Restaurant review: La Tuna Icehouse & Grill

The locally owned restaurant prides itself on its unique blends of different cuisines

Daily Special: Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwhich

On the first Thursday of every month, La Tuna Icehouse & Grill hosts a karaoke night from 7-10 p.m. Walking into the establishment on October’s karaoke night, I got to hear patrons performing at the bar.

When one thinks of karaoke, the first thing that might come to mind is a rowdy scene, but the vibe at the restaurant was relaxed, and the amateur singing was surprisingly unintrusive — I had to get up and walk over to the bar in order to hear the performers. The only disappointment is that when I stood up to partake in the karaoke myself, they had already packed up for the night. All in all, I would describe La Tuna Grill as the perfect place for college students looking for a laid-back place to eat and drink.

The vibe is not the only thing that La Tuna has going for it. The location, service and food quality all come together to make eating at the restaurant an excellent dining experience.

La Tuna Grill is conveniently located 11 minutes away from campus at 100 Probandt St. The restaurant includes indoor and patio seating options, as well as picnic tables under the pecan trees. Their hours are 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. on weekdays, and 12-10 p.m. on Saturdays.

For the last 18 years, La Tuna Grill has been serving a fusion of Tex-Mex, Cajun, seafood and American classics. The restaurant is family owned and operated, and has been since couple Mark and Anna Dortman opened shop. Mark is the owner and head chef, while Anna is the general manager. She handles the front-of-house operations and oversees the social media, while Mark stays behind the scenes.

I was immediately taken aback by the kindness of the employee who served me, Diana Plaza — who has worked as a manager at La Tuna Grill for 18 years. She seemed pleased, rather than obligated, to take my order. Her kindness was not just directed towards me, but to other patrons as well. The look of the place, along with her demeanor, made me feel like I was in an old-timey diner.
Another thing that stood out to me was the quality, presentation, freshness and consistency of the food, which shone through in all the dishes I tried. I ordered the La Tuna Wings, the Special Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich with a side of fries and the Outrageous Fudge Brownie.

The wings were piping hot when the server brought them to the table. The house-made wing sauce glistened and the homemade ranch on the side was very fresh. When I bit into the wing I could tell the chicken was of good quality, but it was the wing sauce that truly set these wings apart from other restaurants.

They served the chicken sandwich open-faced to show off the buffalo-covered, ranch-drizzled cutlets. The Hawaiian bun was high quality. On quantity, the sandwich was big enough to feed two people, perfect for sharing or taking the meal home. The fries that came on the side were all cooked evenly, showcasing the restaurant’s raved-about consistency.

Last but certainly not least, the brownie did not disappoint. The quality of the brownie and the ice cream were superb. It was every bit as sinful as hoped for. What distinguished this brownie from others is that it almost tasted undercooked. This is my new favorite way to have my brownies prepared.
The menu, while delicious, is also relatively low-priced. La Tuna’s wings are $11.79 and the brownie is $7.29. The Fried Chicken Sandwich is not a regular menu item, therefore a menu price is not listed.

It did not take me long to fall in love with this restaurant, starting with the fact that they are a family owned business, to the excellent customer service and ending with the grade-A quality of their food. This is a place I highly recommend taking family to when they visit or bringing friends for a casual night out to eat. I know I will definitely be going back.

Rating: 4/5

If you would like to learn more about this restaurant before you try it, you can follow La Tuna Grill on their primary social media platforms, Instagram (@latunagrill and @latunaicehouse) and Facebook. To learn more, their website is