Last night was my third and final visit to La Perla. I’m guessing that at least half of the customers at this semi-Mexican in the lower Marais think they are meeting at the hipster bar Le Perle. You can see the confusion wash over their faces when they’re greeted by neon beer signs with no sign whatsoever of Romain Duris.
I, too, was hoping that a mistake had been made and that we would be drinking at Le Perle. Alas, the friend with whom I’d made the plan had surrendered to a pretty girl who wanted La Perla. She also, it turned out, wanted to order for everyone at the table. The result was this:
Lobster-papaya quesadillas. With cheese and sour cream. The horror!
They were truly revolting – creamy and fishy with a gagging sweetness – so we sent them away and turned our attention to what remained on the table: a small pile of chile con carne and a large platter with twelve chips suffocating beneath a mountain of cheese and cream. The French men at the table thought the nachos were totally fine, as did I during those desperate years before good Mexican came to town. But they were not, and there is no reason to eat this sort of slop when better options abound.
To learn more about these better options, check out David Lebovitz’ recent post on Mexican Restaurants in Paris, or visit Paris by Mouth to read about the Mexican restaurants we like most, El Nopal and Rice & Beans. You can also read my earlier post about El Nopal here.
Some parting advice: the next time somebody asks to meet you at the pearl, make sure it’s the bar and not this place. And don’t let skinny girls order your dinner.