La Hacienda, Pleasant Hills, PA

3075 Clairton Rd
West Mifflin, PA 15122
(412) 653-4141

We always love what people name places after. Naming a Mexican restaurant in the US “La Hacienda” would be like us starting a place called “Fancy House” in Guadalupe. Someday, we are going to start a business that exclusively names restaurants, nail salons and hair stylists. LA Nails. Hollywood Nails. The Hair Force. Curl Up and Dye. That’s all you get for free.

Taking over the remnants of a Ruby Tuesday at the rapidly dying Century 3 Mall (which may not even make it to the end of this decade), La Hacienda closed off the mall entrance and built the outside up to look like a…fancy Mexican estate house. Or hacienda! Oh, the education you get when you read Beer, Bacon, Candy!

We started our meal with chips and salsa, which, since the days of Chi-Chi’s, is de rigueur when it comes to Mexican places. The chips were very tasty, but the salsa was just OK. Quite thin, really.

Another Mexican tradition, if you will, is the decoration in a place like this. La Hacienda straddles the line between bright, festive Mexican colors, Aztec iconography, bullfights and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Surely an odd mix.

The menu was expansive. And quite honestly, expensive. We think they are combating this with their new lunch buffet, which is only available Monday to Friday. But us? We were there on Sábado. Therefore, we had to make a decision and not just rely on the wonderful ease that a buffet can bring, where you just say, “I’ll have the buffet,” and absolve yourself from any making of choices.

We got a chili poblano, which ended up being a greasy, fried, gooey puddle. The sauce was decent, but it was pretty messy getting to it. The chicken burrito was better, with really tasty chicken.

The best thing we can say about La Hacienda was that our waiter was seriously the best waiter we have ever had ever. This is not hyperbole. He was honestly the most attentive, nicest waiter in the history of waiterdom. He even called Nina, “my lady.” I mean, this dude took waiting more seriously than anyone ever. Forever ever? Forever ever.

La Hacienda has been around a year or so, but it still feels like they are getting things going. Regardless of the fact that Pittsburgh is about as far from Mexico as you can get, there are plenty of Mexican places in town. All places that are better than La Hacienda, mind you. But if you are at Century 3 looking for wigs or comic books or just have some time to kill and like shopping at Rainbow (and we do, obviously), you’ll get treated well and can enjoy a soupy Mexican thing-a-ma-job.

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