Lena
Lena

Lena

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.lena-annarbor.com/
  • Phone: 7349942773x
  • 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, Fusion / Eclectic, Contemporary American
  • 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 7349942773x

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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Lena reviews from OpenTable diners
85 reviews since May 22, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.9
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
82% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (37)great for outdoor dining (27)good for groups (25)neighborhood gem (25)special occasion (22)hot spot (20)great for lunch (14)vibrant bar scene (12)romantic (8)great for brunch (7)late-night find (6)kid-friendly (5)notable wine list (3)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Reasonable prices and decent food
    Nicki
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Prices are very affordable and happy hour would be a great deal. Had papas rancheras which was chorizo, potatoes and onions/peppers in a nacho cheese sauce (better than it sounds but not what I was expecting). Cuban sandwich was big but a bit sweet and had minimal mustard and pickles. Adobo chicken salad was also very sweet and not overly flavorful. The place has a cool 60's latin/cuban ambiance. Our waitress was overeager but effective. I would go back for happy hour and drinks.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Menu Change Soon?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    I've been here three times over the past two years. Great food, awesome atmosphere. I just wish they'd change the menu up a bit, is love to see what new things they could come up with.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loud but good
    DlynnA2VIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    If you want to actually have a conversation with the person across from you sit in a booth or outside. It gets loud in there. That said, food and drinks are spot on and all of the kids menu is scratch made and excellent as well. Have never had a bad meal here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Friday Night Lena Dinner
    WhensDinner
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    The food was well prepared. However, the sweet potato gnocchi was too sweet; the whole dish tasted as if it were coated in maple syrup. Their craft beers are available at other restaurants in Ann Arbor - nothing special there. Service was good. The waitress was attentive, but didn't have a strong grasp on the menu. The ambiance was disappointing. I got the impression that I was eating in a college cafeteria. The food and drinks were fairly pricey - 80 dollars for a two person meal. I guess we were expecting a little more for that cost. If you are going to try out Lena, I would go during their happy hour. It may be better as a casual dinning restaurant; especially if you have a large group - lots of space in the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Appetizers/Drinks 👍 Meals 👊
    yalesmom
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Do not stop at Lena's if you're in a hurry. We weren't, so the slower kitchen service didn't bother us. The drinks and appetizers were fantastic. Both the potato cakes with cheese and the calamari would warrant a return trip. Our table had 5 different meals. The sweet potato gnocchi was the only meal with real flavor. I'm not sure if we would go again for dinner, but I can't wait to return to try the rest of the appetizers and a few more drinks from the fun drink menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Deliciousness
    beppy
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    I had a great experience at Lena. The jalapeno/peach margarita was wonderful. I was hesitant to try it and I'm so glad I did. My friend and I shared the calamari, which was so tender and the sauce was delicious. We had the fish tacos, which were good but nothing special. And the guacamole which I liked a lot. We shared flan for dessert, it was incredible. We sat at a booth with a pole in the table, so it was very private. The service was good too. I would love to go back and try new things, but definitely getting the margarita again and probably the calamari too. I highly recommend Lena to everyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I used to love it
    EllenVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    But things are not quite as tweaked as they had been - maybe it is because I was so cold.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • surprisingly good
    rickVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Some unusual items on he menu, for example, humitas. However, I was impressed by how well prepared the dishes were. I had the ribs and they were tasty and tender but not fatty or dry. We will definitely return soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Glad I came here!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Lena! For starters, the food was fantastic. Our server was extremely knowledgeable of the menu and very friendly. She helped me decide on what I wanted to eat and it was delicious. Lastly, the ambiance was perfect for a nice date night with my girlfriend. I highly recommend eating here!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    discerningdinerVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Great food, accommodating staff, festive cocktails. One of our favorites in Ann Arbor.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice!
    Kris
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Very good service and food. I loved the music. I had a ceaser salad which was wonderful. I'd have to go back and try some more exotic dishes to give a really serious review but I liked what I had.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • jumbler
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    This is a place we will go back to. The server was very helpful and friendly and the food was very good. We enjoyed the free dessert because we and our friends were celebrating wedding anniversaries.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice mix of food and favors
    candys
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    First time there with group of six and everyone got different things everyone seemed pleased. Tasty appetizers and mains. We did not have dessert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • poor service this time
    stylurus
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    . 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great evening out
    genrcVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A great downtown addition
    jack
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Latin gem on Main street
    SJ28
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A fun place to dine. . .
    Ydeek
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Diverse Latino Flair Menu
    Liv2dine
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Extremely Welcoming
    MzParkr
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Simply Amazing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bland food
    Steve
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    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
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great attention to us!
    FoodieAtHeartVIP
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • good, not great
    Jimhenry
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Nice menu, but only fair food. My ceviche was very good: the crab burrito, however, was bland and disappointing.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • mediocre
    Steakerlover
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Lena was mediocre in terms of food and ambiance. Nothing particularly good, nothing particularly bad.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mediocre
    KeepingUp
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • A Disappointing Experience
    Susan
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointment
    vpbran
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was terrible
    JustGo2Grazi
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Liked Lena
    AAArt
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Music Misses
    mremmers
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Happy hour suitably happy
    intofoodVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Nice drinks and bites during happy hour to keep you happy and satisfied.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Eclectic menu with great service
    RAUDIKAL
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The Best Mojitos Ever
    DaveVIP
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice street dining
    goblu6
    Dined on 6/9/2014
    Good fish tacos. Friend had the scallops, which looked really good. Great place to try on a nice night for the Liberty St tables.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food but too noisy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great disappointment!
    SpringskierVIP
    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!!!!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good, not great.
    A2Townie
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 47 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 310 reviews are from the Lena reviews archive.
  • Late dinner
    JtrooVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • What happened?
    desch
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate