I'm really not sure if I liked Sazon. On the one hand, it is clear that a fair amount of pride goes into the place. Their menu is expansive. They have a nice, large, outside patio out front. The house margaritas were decent and quite sweet. Their salsa was really tasty. It was a fresh, chunky red sauce with an interesting smoky taste. The actual, physical menu were stylish and clean (rather than coated with old salsa droppings). The place settings, too, somehow seemed nicer-than-normal. Food bowls were served atop doilies!(?)
On the other hand, there are some glaring problems. Our waiter was over-taxed (he had the whole patio) and over-bizarre (he flung his waiter tray like a frisbee several yards where it landed on another table and skidded to a halt). The nice, large, outdoor patio overlooks not-so-beautiful and rather loud South Lamar. And finally, my tacos were a swirling black hole of taste.
What does nothing taste like? Let me tell you: The tacos al pastor at Sazon. It was the strangest thing, like someone had vacuumed up the taste before serving me my food. When I took my first (and second) bite, I was just baffled that I couldn't taste anything. I even went and blew my nose. Just to be sure, I also had my buddy take a bite. He confirmed it: their tacos al pastor tasted like absolutely nothing. It was really a shame, too. They looked awesome. They had pineapple mixed in. Pineapple! This is something that really pushes a decent Al Pastor into greatness (Just imagine if Tacos Al Pastor on Riverside had pineapple in their tacos ... they could rule the world!) Of course, that only works if your pineapple tastes like something, which mine did not. To be fair, not all of the food was tasteless. My beans tasted like, well, beans, and my buddy had the mole enchiladas which he said were 'passable'.
I have this nagging feeling that my meal was a outlier; that if I went back I would love the place. One day, after I've finished reviewing all of the other taco places in town, I'll find out. Please, don't let this review stop you from going. By all means, go and enjoy the salsa and the margaritas and the clean menus. And if you get something there, come back here and let us know if it tasted like something.
Sazon - 2.25 stars - The Commish
1816 South Lamar Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78704