La Vida Cantina

4.1
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184 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
La Vida Cantina is an authentic Mexican restaurant and bar with a captivating atmosphere and a menu of fresh, high quality ingredients where traditional recipes are presented with a modern twist.

Guests will enjoy a spacious, lively and beautifully designed atmosphere patio with a large pentagon-shaped bar, ample lounge seating and five fire pits, all under tow over-sized palapas. The interior features dark wood, warm lighting and contemporary Mexican murals.

The extensive cocktail menu features premium tequilas, an amazing array of uniquely crafted margaritas and signature martinis.
What 184 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.1
food
3.8
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun atmosphere for Taco Tuesday Night.

JF
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Very lively restaurant! Servers are great and attentive but not annoying - food and drinks are always yummy and interesting - not your standard food flavors - really nice and large patio - need to go more often

GF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

La vida used to be my favorite spot for taco Tuesdays. Not anymore and my friends will not be coming back either. I had a reservation and still wasn’t allowed inside? La vida still had the audacity to email me saying I didn’t show up for my reservation when it was the staff not letting me in? Unorganized and it just isn’t the same anymore. La vida is going downhill.

CM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The server came over to remind me 2 times that he would only be able to serve me till 10 my reservations wasn’t at 9:15. He also never came to check on me order? Food drinks etc. I had to o go find him so that I can order

d
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

place was not busy but we waited an inordinate amount of time for little things -- and then toyed with leaving without paying because it was impossible to get our check in time to catch the 7 pm movie next door. food was good. they would have sold more of it had they been more attentive, but they werent

when we got out of the movie, the line to get into this place was around the corner and down the block. so they must have a thriving late night business.

but from 5:30 to 7 pm, the staff got their rest. we ended up with food and drink, yes, but will allow more time next time --- and order en masse IF WE GO BACK

AC
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Fun atmosphere and good drinks and food! We live an hour and fifteen minutes away but it’s worth the drive! Sunday brunch Reggae music is great!

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Food not as good as I'd hoped. Service just ok. Sitting outside was nice. The musician was excellent.

SA
Orange County
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

We love the location but we were not made to feel particularly welcome on our last visit. We arrived early for our 6:15 reservation and the hostess told us we could not be served until 6:15. We told her that was fine, but we would like to be seated and we could grab a couple of drinks from the bar. She then decided she could get us service, and tried to give us seats in the sun on an extremely hot day (Tuesday, July 23). We refused those seats and asked for one in the shade. She haggled with us, and eventually we reached a "compromise" on the seat. It was OK, but still not what I really wanted in their at that point empty section. There were big parties coming, which was clearly all they were concerned about. She then proceeded to tell us there was a two hour limit on our table. I assumed she meant from the time of our reservation (6:15), but she clarified it was from the moment we sat down (even though five minutes before she wasn't able to seat us. Overall, her petty attitude set a poor tone for the evening. The server was OK, although probably had been "warned" that we were troublesome. Honestly, we are friendly patrons and tip well, so this was foreign territory for us. I will think again before I go there. They need to reign in the children that are the first face you encounter. My vegetable quesadilla was outstanding, but my husband said his beef tacos had an odd flavor, and he didn't eat them. We told the server - I'd say he was more annoyed than concerned. Had no comment. We weren't looking to not pay for it, but he could have demonstrated a bit of concern that we weren't fully satisfied. Generally meh.

YL
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Everything was good, went well. Very easy and quick to make reservation. Only thing, it took a while for our waiter to take our order, we weren't sure who our waiter was for the first 10 minutes. They did bring chips and salsa and then for 10 minutes just wondering when they'll be back. BUT once we asked the host, he came out and took our order and was a fabulous waiter, checking in, and refilling. Overall a good experience, I will definitely be back. Thank you!

K
Orange County
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 3

WAY loud!! Probably a good place if you're there to party. Food (nachos) were mediocre at best. Heavy on the refried beans, very light on cheese. Even though only a few people during lunch on Friday we never did get a refill on our salsa. My friend and I won't go back.

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 4

Service was very slow. We sat for 30 mins before our waiter came back to take our food order. At least we got our drink order right when we sat down, so we had our drinks and chips. But finished our drinks way before we were able to order food or more drinks.

RG
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I m from Costa Mesa California East coast Costa Mesa and my is Ramiro Gonzalez 37 years living here this my town and family with all my respect
La Vida Cantina the best /bartender mi frank /Sabine /angel y gordito Y todos good person y doing service 🤗👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

J
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

I went there for brunch and my experience was horrible!
I had reservations, I was seated righ away ok cool. But then, the waitress showed up 15 minutes later... we ordered bottomless mimosas, water and a guacamole appetizer.
10 minutes later we finally got our waters and 15 minutes after that our mimosas. 45 minutes had passed by and i had to remind the waitress about our guac and mimosa refill. finally we got our guac but no chips. we waited about 10 more minutes for our chips after asking multiple times for them. Finally our food was served it had been over an hour and no mimosa refills. i was so mad and i told our waitress to cancel our mimosas since there was no point of us paying for something we werent drinking. we ordered 3 margaritas, well those never arrived!!!. finally we ate and left. my friends and i were so dissapointed and agreed to never come back to this place. We had a Horrible experience!!! i had been there a few times before and always told my friends how much i enjoyed La Vida but after this experience im never coming back!

D
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Loved the atmosphere and the location. Wait staff was great. Food was typical Mexican food and a bit pricey, but we had a nice time!

OT
1 review
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went with my 2 friends for taco Tuesday. The tacos came out within 10 minutes of ordering and they were very good. The service was great I even got a free shot since I was celebrating my birthday. There is a 2 hour limit on the table but other than that I would highly recommend this place.

OT
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

My group and I had fun! Loved the atmosphere and the decor and location of the restaurant. The food was good, the drinks were alright...they could have been made better. Overall, I was satisfied

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Mimosas with the brunch were terrible! They were served in a mixed drink style glass, not a champagne flute and did not taste like OJ or champagne. They were COMPLETELY flat, not bubbly to taste or see, the color was not orange like OJ, but rather a color that looked more like a margarita and tasted like lemon. A waste of $12.

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 5

The service was horrible the waiter was just horrible. I will come back just for the food, but i will definitely come back for the food

JH
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. A very cool vibe with a delicious but relatively inexpensive menu. Particularly on Taco Tuesday!

OT
Orange County
12 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a good time. Great environment for a friend get together

OT
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter was THE BEST. I didn’t catch his name but he was an older Hispanic gentleman and he was very attentive. He made the experience much better!

MS
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

My first time their and was not impressed. Went with someone who had really liked in the past. Wasn't extremely busy but the service was really bad - the basics, utensils, side plates had to be asked for as well as clearing our table when new food was coming out. Waited a long time for initial contact by server and drinks.

k
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

One of the best places to celebrate a birthday, especially one’s 21st

L
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 1

The service was poor I know you guys are busy but being nice isn’t that hard. The food was cold and the tortillas were soggy. Highly wouldn’t recommend going on taco Tuesday ever again.

KB
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Meh
I mean it was ok - food average drinks just ok
Hostess had on a beanie and waitress was pretty stupid

KC
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

What a great and fun place ! Service a little slow, but place was extremely busy. Definitely will return. Free parking and just around the corner from movie theater.

AB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great drinks, great food, great taco tuesday deals... and a HOT date to boot! Taco Tuesday at La Vida itself was a wonderful experience! However, I wish my broken Chanel shoes felt the same way LOL

OT
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Great for taco Tuesday. It's busy so definitely make a reservation if you want a table and make it a few days in advanced!

FA
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 1ambience 5

I only book La Vida through this up because of the hard time I have getting an on the stop table on a taco Tuesday. Honestly this place has poor food quality and horrible service. The waiters/waitresses are just so slow and I’m guessing inexperienced. Taco Tuesday at La Vida is mainly for the ambiance and to socialize with friends. The happy hour alcohol is reasonably priced but the happy hour food is tasteless full of dry meat and not worth the price. When this place first opened the food was much better.

AM
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere, outdoors but cozy with heaters, great chips and salsa. Tacos are affordable along with beer. 10/10

GP
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Love this place! I brought two couples with me that have never been and they were also impressed. They had my reservation ready quickly plus food & service were amazing! My only critique would be that the live musician was really good, but extremely loud! We had to talk loud and still had people at the table that could not hear each other. For a bar where you're standing close that might work, but Sunday brunch it was a little much.

CJ
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food. Got put outside when it was raining and was so cozy and warm with the heaters. Our waiter was great and the red sauce on my wet burrito was fantastic. Chips and salsa was the best I ever had. Can’t wait to go back.

CH
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 2

Had a reservation yet it took 10 minutes for a waiter to come, another 10 minutes for our drinks to come, and the food came before the appetizer we had ordered. The place wasn’t very well kept as there were traps everywhere. Also, there was a massive chicken wishbone in my enchilada that hurt like heck biting into. We had to ask three times for water because we never got it after asking the first two times.

OT
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Excellent service. Food was average.

ER
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Not very many specials for taco Tuesday. And I was bummed there were only crispy tacos

MC
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Always fun to come here during their Taco Tuesday nights. :)

AT
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I was very disappointed. I had my birthday dinner here. Some of my guest waited way too long for there food. Some had to ask twice for their drinks. Our table wasn’t ready at the time of the reservation. Never again will I go to this place.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Carlos was amazing. Very attentive! We love this place a lot and will definitely be back another zillion times.

OT
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun upbeat atmosphere to a great night at triangle square. We ordered guacamole and of course pomegranate margarita pitcher, Divine. Food was hot and delicious, great for large groups.

OT
Pittsburgh
3 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service

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