She Said: Scottsdale’s La Hacienda looks different, but food is still delicious

Sep 26, 2018, 11:31 AM

(Facebook/La Hacienda)...

(Facebook/La Hacienda)

(Facebook/La Hacienda)

The end of September brings the highly anticipated reopening of La Hacienda at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. The Valley favorite, which continues to be voted the No. 1 Mexican restaurant in Arizona, got a complete expansion and update to its design and menu. I was invited to a “sneak peak” media night as the unveiling of the remodel and menu unfolded.

I was hearing mixed reviews around town about the revamp of La Hacienda as locals were nervous the restaurant they knew and loved would lose the comfortable familiarity that has kept them loyal for decades. General Manager Jack Miller assures there is no need to worry. “The leadership at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is committed to making sure the heritage and history of this local dining landmark is honored while bringing the design and menu forward. We are determined to make sure La Hacienda continues to be the top-ranked Mexican restaurant in Arizona for another generation.”

As I arrived, the first things I noticed were the new entrance and the new color scheme of the outdoor patio furniture. Black and white tables, chairs and cushions give a clean, modern and spacious feel. The interior has clearly changed — but don’t worry, the La Hacienda warmth still exists. An inviting lounge greets you as well as a newly expanded bar that includes communal tables. Modern furnishings with accessories sourced from Mexico gives off an authentic feel. My favorite “added touch” was the black matte utensils.

The most popular menu items are still available including Lobster Tacos, Filet a la Parilla, Tableside Guacamole and Flaming Coffees, which we got to sample. The esquites guacamole was a highlight, mixed with sweet corn, cultured cream and cojita.

But it was the new dinner menu items that I was most excited to try. Chefs Forest Hamrick and Richard Sandoval briefly spoke, telling us about the time they took visiting their families along with several hot, new restaurants in Mexico for inspiration and R&D for La Hacienda. As the gorgeous food arrived, I knew we were in for a treat. My favorite dish was the short rib barbacoa with tamarind mustard barbecue, gremolata and poblano yogurt. It was exploding with flavor and I could tell with each bite the time and energy put into this one dish. Another dish that stood out was the smoked adobe vhicken, brined for 24 hours and smoked for 4 hours, this chicken was incredibly tender with enticing smoky hints. The pear and fig Capirotada for dessert was delectable. With vanilla bean crema, cherry compote and pecan streusel, I could have eaten three of these.

An exciting new cocktail menu is also being introduced by Matthew Doerr, the director of beverage, offering 21 specialty cocktails. La Hacienda will feature more than 150 tequilas with a significant expansion of its Mezcal cellar, all curated by tequila Goddess, Katie Schnurr.

Long story short: Carve out time to go experience the updated La Hacienda. Savor the delicious classic and modern Mexican recipes as you take in all the new décor. I have no doubt this Valley favorite will once again be ranked at the top of Mexican restaurants in Arizona.

Chew On This

File photo of a row of smoothies. Three Phoenix-area Tropical Smoothie Cafes are offering freebies ...

3 Phoenix-area Tropical Smoothie Cafes offer freebies, specials for grand opening weekend

Three Phoenix-area Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations will give away free smoothies for a year Saturday as part of their grand opening weekend.

5 days ago

Birdcall storefront...

Brandon Gray

Chicken restaurant Birdcall expands with grand opening in Phoenix

Denver-based chicken restaurant Birdcall announced the grand opening of its second Arizona location in the Valley.

9 days ago

A rendering shows the plans for Pickle and Social Scottsdale....

Kevin Stone

Pickle and Social sport/entertainment venue coming to Scottsdale

Come for the pickleball, stay for the food, drinks, games and music. And if you like the idea of Pickle and Social Scottsdale, you can own a piece of it.

15 days ago

(Yelp Photo)...

Here are some of the best metro Phoenix places to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day

Here's the list of some of the best spots across metro Phoenix to grab a burger on National Cheeseburger Day.

16 days ago

Fans can add edible images and messages to coffee or beer foam at Arizona Cardinals home games in t...

Print it: Cardinals to debut machines that top beer, coffee foam with images

The Arizona Cardinals will draw up a trick play at their home opener Sunday when they debut high-tech beverage printing machines.

20 days ago

Rock N Roll Sushi Arizona...

Brandon Gray

‘Dine-out-loud’ at Rock N Roll Sushi opening in West Valley

Rock N Roll Sushi is making its debut in Arizona by opening its first restaurant in the West Valley.

20 days ago

Sponsored Articles



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.


Ignite Digital

How to unlock the power of digital marketing for Phoenix businesses

All businesses around the Valley hopes to maximize their ROI with current customers and secure a greater market share in the digital sphere.



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]

She Said: Scottsdale’s La Hacienda looks different, but food is still delicious