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  • Lena

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Lena Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.lena-annarbor.com
  • Phone: (734) 994-2773
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 4:00pm

    Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 12:00am, Sunday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
    Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 4:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Latin American, Contemporary American, Fusion / Eclectic
  • Executive Chef: Gabriel Vera
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Contact: Manager (734) 994-2773

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Liberty
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Lena
A uniquely modern culinary experience inspired by the foods and traditions of Latin America and influenced by the flavors and techniques of American contemporary cuisine.
Our guests are served by professional, attentive and knowledgeable staff.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • ". We made reservations and were seated, but with many staff standing around we weren't waited on for a LONG time. Many waiters walking by without making eye contact. Finally, one waiter working the tables across the room came over, messed up our order, didn't bring water after being asked, delivered the wrong food to the wrong folks, etc. The restaurant wasn't even busy. The food was ok, but the total experience wasn't worth the price. We've been here other times with great service and good food."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "Thanks to Lena for a wonderful dinner! Although there was a minor hiccup (they ran out of one of the specials after we ordered it), the restaurant was kind enough to reduce the price of an alternative entree. We were of course delighted when the original dish was available after all, and the restaurant was beyond generous in comp'ing the price of the now-extra entree. Great drinks and overall experience even without the free dinner!"
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Although the restuarant has been open for a while, this was our first trip. Apparently it is a second-coming of the Habana Restuarant originally on Washington. That being the case, We enjoyed our meal at least as much as we had enjoyed our meals at Habana. The menu is definitely unique (where else might you order blue crab burritos). Our server was excellent, making sure our food came in a timely fashion after we advised her we had an 8:00 o'clock concert. The location is excellent, particularly on a warm, summer Ann Arbor evening. The owners have done a nice job in renovating the site. We will go back and will recommend Lena to friends."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Very nice atmosphere. The waitress was knowledgable about the menu and food preparation. All 4 in our party really enjoyed their food. We had jerk chicken, adobo chicken salad, fish tacos and beef tacos. Too bad there wasn't a plantain side dish to try. The indoor hostess, however was a bit of a mess, kind of rude and unwelcoming. Luckily all went uphill after we got our table."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "We had the goat cheese, and focaccia bread appetizers - they were both excellent. The drinks were good and fairly priced. We sat outside and very much enjoyed the evening and people watching!! The waiter served us at a leisurely pace and did not rush us out of there despite the busy night. He was very knowledgeable about the menu and happy to make suggestions."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Lena has a wide variety of Latino menu items almost to the detriment of the restaurant. Paella was good but not especially authentic. Fish tacos were good but not outstanding. Gin mojitos are a house specialty. Tasty sweet variation to the traditional rum based drink. Good service. Surprised there were open tables on a hustling bustling Friday night in Ann Arbor."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Lena was fantastic, as usual. It was my friends first time and she absolutely adored it. Food is always fresh with fast friendly service."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "The food here is absolutely amazing. The server was quick to provide us with his favorite dishes, and his recommendations were not far off from the truth. I would go back to Lena in a heartbeat."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Tasteless food. The corn cake appetizer had no discernible flavor. The beef short ribs clearly were made on a different day and 4 thin 1 ounce slices was hardly appropriate for $22. Restaurant much worse than 6 months ago. Total bill of $190 for a meal worse than you'd get at Applebees"
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "My husband and I invited two other couples to join us for an evening out including dinner and a local music performance. We were seated in the front section of the restaurant, since it was early and no one was in our section and the music was so loud we couldn't really hear each other - we asked them to turn it down, and they did! From there the experience only improved! One guest ordered the duck soup and said she had dreams about it that night because it was so amazing. Another guest ordered the sweet potato gnocchi and the men at the table all coincidentally (and without discussion about it) ordered the blue crab burrito they all loved it! I ordered the beef churrasco and it was incredible! Try this place!"
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Nice menu, but only fair food. My ceviche was very good: the crab burrito, however, was bland and disappointing."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "Lena was mediocre in terms of food and ambiance. Nothing particularly good, nothing particularly bad."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "This was our first (and likely only) foray to this SouthAmerican/Cuban/Latin American restaurant. The menu was interesting, with good fish, vegetarian and meat choices, but our meal was marred by: misinformation about the ingredients in one dish, which therefore had to be returned; the noise level, which made it nearly impossible to have a conversation; and the pacing of the meal - salad, soup and entree arrived at the same time! The food was tasty but unremarkable, including duck soup, sweet potato gnocchi, and blue crab burrito. Cost was fair for the food and portions."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "We went during Restaurant Week and it was the first time that week that I felt we didn't get our money's worth. The timing was off - cocktails (which had too much ice and not enough drink) arrived simultaneously with the first course. The gazpacho soup (which I normally love) was so hotly spiced my husband couldn't eat his and I (who love spicy food) couldn't finish it. My husband asked for a replacement and the waiter agreed but the other first course arrived after the main course did. The main course of halibut was quite good. The dessert - basil lime sherbet - was inedible. I can't recommend Lena's."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Downtown Ann Arbor is seeing a huge upsurge in new dining but Lena feels like the chef and management are just going through the motions. Our fish was over-cooked and dry, and a steak was tough and under-cooked. Neither the drink or food menu has changed since the opening a few years ago. Service was attentive and tried to be helpful but it can't make up for mediocre food. This is our last visit."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Brought my mom and sister there to meet my girlfriend - luckily I didnt need any help from the food to make the dinner go well. Everything we ordered was terrible. The Guac was nothing special at all, kinda runny and thin. The drinks we got were alright... I got a bloody mary/beer thing the waitress recommended and it was so bad i had her take it back and give me a mojito. the mojito had very little alcohol in it. We ordered salads, which were spicy (?), we got two taco variations, both of which fell apart and were subpar (fish tacos and pulled pork), and I got the short ribs which were cold and tough to chew. Our waitress was nice, but clearly she has a terrible menu to work with."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Our group of four enjoyed this first visit. Fish for two, gnocchi for one and beef for me. Really tasty appetizers - all served fresh and promptly."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "When we were there the music was loud heavy metal. Probably worked for the staff but not at all a good fit for the decor or the Latin-influenced menu. Everyone at the table rated their plates as excellent. The service was spot-on."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Nice drinks and bites during happy hour to keep you happy and satisfied."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "I did not know what to expect when I made reservations for Father's Day lunch. The appetizer selection was good and our group found a few things to try and all were good choices. We ordered the lobster enchilada, beet salad, and turkey burger which were all good. The portions were larger than I expected. Kid friendly menu and the service staff's attention to our children was appreciated."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "I tried the Gin Mojito for the first time. This was one of the best cocktails I ever had. It was so good that next time we have an event in DT Ann Arbor we are spending the night so that we can have a few more Gin Mojitos!"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Good fish tacos. Friend had the scallops, which looked really good. Great place to try on a nice night for the Liberty St tables."
    Dined on 6/9/2014
  • "The food at Lena was really wonderful and the prices very reasonable for the size of the portions and the quality of the ingredients. The noise level, however, was deafening even in the booth along the side of the room where we were seated. The waitress complained that she couldn't hear us! The restaurant was filled to capacity with large groups, which contributed to the volume, but unless you don't want to talk to your companions, Lena is just too difficult a room to communicate with anyone. Too bad because the food is great and the service was very good too."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Where was the manager? From the time we were seated NO ONE seemed to know what was going on. It was 10 minutes before we received water and menus. Our cocktails took forever. The appetizer,"crispy" calamari, was finally presented as a lump of soggy calamari submerged in a thick gelatinous sauce which was cold. We told the wait person to take it back. Then the soup/salad course came with the entrees following minutes afterward. My entree was cold which made the risotto seemed like sludge. My request for salt an pepper ended with getting it myself at the hostess station. Get it together!!!!!"
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Went to Lena for a milestone birthday with my husband. We were seated in the center of the restaurant. We noticed there were open booths and asked to move. Our server was very friendly and made thoughtful recommendations. Before we went we read a lot of reviews about service being slow, but our food actually came out way too fast. We still had half our appetizer left when my salad showed up, and our dinner was on the table well before I had finished the salad. And, the entrees were over cooked (steak medium-well instead of medium-rare). We had been there 45 minutes and not finished eating when she asked if we wanted our bill. That said, the food was decent. I could see it would be delicious if cooked properly."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Had a late dinner on a Saturday. The service was good and our drinks were really yummy. The food was only so-so. We found out the chef was new so one of the apps we had before was totally different, and not in a good way. Not sure we'll be back."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "We tried Lena late last year and had a fabulous meals and great Sangria. Since it was so great, I naturally reserved a table for my partner's birthday only to be let down by the quality of the food. It's my understanding that none of my party was particularly satisfied with their meals, and I can say for myself that the calamari lacked flavor and the cuban sandwich, served with dry tortilla chips and no salsa/sauce, was also quite dry and pretty plain. I also sampled the fish tacos and fried plantains only to be let down further. I'm not sure what happened to Lena's cuisine standards, but I don't think I'll be back to find out. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "We enjoyed the food and outstanding service, but were underwhelmed with the decor and noise level. The restaurant's decor included school cafeteria type plastic chairs and tables; the side booths looked a bit better. We were there at ~7:00 pm on a Friday and the noise level was already quite high. It was difficult to have a normal level conversation and certainly did not exude a "romantic" ambience that I hope for in any restaurant."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "We visited Lena for dinner on Mother's Day for our fourth visit and it was our only disappointing visit. They were very busy with many young families including the wandering toddler which was the view I had throughout dinner (we had our 8 year old and any wandering she did when younger was taken to a lobby or outside). When we went to order, my first choice was out of stock along with two other items including what my husband was planning to order (lobster salad sandwich, short rib mojado sandwich) so we needed a few more minutes. I settled on the turkey chipotle burger which was hastily assembled so I had to redistribute the toppings evenly. Also it now comes with sweet potato fries instead of chips. I preferred the chips. "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Took wife to Lena for Mother's Day with 3 kids from 5 to 15. Calamari and fruit salad appetizers were a solid choice for cheese adverse group. Port reduction decimated the raspberries in the fruit salad, but otherwise delicious. Fish tacos were excellent. Pork tacos and sandwich got good reviews from our clan. Reasonable kid menu for the young one. Overall...an enjoyable visit. We will return."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Since it was Mother's Day, it was of course, crowded. Noise level was such that we could only really talk to the person next to us. We were a party of 5 and got the worst table in the house...annoying since we had a reservation weeks ago. You'd think they'd give customers with reservations the better tables and leave the lousy locations for walk-ins. It took 35 min. to get our dinners and they looked like they were thrown together. It's not usually like this. At least our waitress was good and attentive. The food was just ok. Usually it rocks. So, inconsistent is all I can say, usually much better than this, and avoid the holidays."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "I took my mom there for Mother's Day and it was good for the occasion. I think their dinner menu is better than their lunch menu. But I would definitely go back. "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Was happy to find an open reservation on Mother's Day. Went for brunch with my family including parents and brother's family. Reservation at noon. Food on table at 1:10. Minimal coffee refills. Food was okay - though heads up - the grilled bread that came with the omelet is hotdog bun (possibly from Meijers). Overall - disappointing."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "We went to brunch at Lena for Mother's Day. So very disappointing! We had a reservation (I assume most people in there did) so the restaurant should have been equipped to handle the volume of people having brunch that day. The service was unbelievably slow & awful! Our food took over an hour to arrive from the time we placed our order. I also requested that my son's meal arrive as soon as possible & that also took over an hour to arrive. I asked the waitress multiple times & then she eventually stopped coming to the table, even to give us more water. I also talked to the kitchen manager who very sharply told me it was going to be a little bit because it was made from scratch. Lena did nothing to make up for the extremely bad experience. "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "We enjoyed it very much. We had fine service and thought the food was excellent. We were celebrating our anniversary, and the one drawback for that experience was we were seated quite near another two-some. I had no problem with them, but it's not ideal for personal conversation for either party. Otherwise, loved the place. "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "The food was okay (nothing special). Those who had burgers, however thought that they were amazing. The service was not good. The waiter was very absent and was not good at refills and was not good offering alternatives and helping us to find certain items on the menu."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Our food took a long time to come out. The Waiter said that the food would be out soon, but we waited an additional 30 minutes (waiting 50 minutes for food altogether). My friend also came into the restaurant and was seated and ordered 30 minutes after we did, but their food came out only 5 minutes after ours. Something was up. We didn't get an explanation, only complimentary chips that came out 10 minutes before our food did. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "The food here was so bland that I could only eat a quarter of my meal. I can not recommend this place to anyone"
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "We decided to try Lena's for an early dinner after attending a theater performance. The six of us fit into one of their generous booths. We looked around and liked the minimalist decor which was not stark but inviting. Since we arrived at 4:30, we were able to take advantage of Happy Hour which had amazing offerings of small plates, Mojitos, Margaritas and Sangria. We were all very pleased with our food and beverage choices with the exception of the Sangria which was not sweet enough. Our waiter, Nick, demonstrated impeccable service. We are looking forward to dining at Lena's again."
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "Typically I give this place at least 4 stars but this time there was a hectic feel to things. Our appetizer took too long and the entrees came when we were just starting on it. The pulled pork tacos (first time having) were too sweet and one dimensional in flavor. An off night. We will come back, tho."
    Dined on 4/26/2014