Now, this one falls under that little invisible category called “Do, with a Disclaimer.” While I love Crazy Homies, it’s not the best Mexican in the area, and definitely could use a few improvements. But, I will be back because it’s tasty, eclectic, and in my neighborhood.
Another part of the Tom Conran’s restaurant group, Crazy Homies resides on Westbourne Park Road with its siblings Lucky Seven and The Cow. Tom’s little stake on that road feels a bit like his own section of a Monopoly board. You’re bound to land on one of his spaces for an easy dinner, a quick drink, or for a post-drinking cheesy feast, perhaps.
Conran’s restaurants do a couple things really well. The restaurants all have unique themes and the decor stylishly and accurately goes along with all of them. That and all of the food is pretty tasty. This is why they are all must-dos on the London Checklist. What happens, though, when you have success in major restaurant categories, is that other issues might fall through the cracks. This, in my opinion, is what has happened to Crazy Homies.
I go there to sit upstairs. It’s a quirky bar/restaurant that reminds me of NYC and has Dia de Muertos vibes. I do not go there to sit downstairs. Downstairs it is dark, dingy, and smells bad. For this reason, reservations are a must. Even if seated at a colorful upstairs table, you may find yourself venturing down to use the restroom. That would be at your own risk. It is in major need of a face lift (and more space.) If memory serves me correctly, it barely has a working hand dryer and is carpeted(!). So, stick with upstairs and, hopefully, by the time you need the bathroom, you’re already too drunk on the Margaritas Calientes to care.
Ah, the margaritas. My fav. That, some nachos and quesadilla action, and I’m a happy girl. Everything is pretty good. Definitely on the spicy side, so beware if that is not your thing. I have to point out that they charge wayyyy too much for a side of sour cream. Sour cream is a standard accompaniment to any Mexican dish in America, so it’s hard to wrap my head around being served the littlest portion or none at all. Especially for as spicy as Crazy Homies makes their food. So be prepared to shell out a couple pounds for something that should be a given. Lastly, in regards to the actual food, skip the churros. They’re the worst I’ve ever had. Always way too overcooked and greasy. You forget that they are actually made of dough. They don’t have much more in the way of desserts, but if you’re still feeling calorie-deficient, you can load up with another margarita.
Okay, here is my biggest gripe with Crazy Homies. The service. Despite being a Mexican place, which is usually the cheapest cuisine in town (in America, anyway) Crazy Homies is like any other restaurant in Notting Hill. You’re not getting out of there for less than £30-40 per person, so you should be able to expect some reasonable service. I have been in there countless times where I’ve had to beg for attention from a server for literally everything–the inevitable sides of sour cream, water, drink refills, even silverware once! But what really aggravates me is when the food comes too quickly. They’re better about this on slow nights, but, when they’re busy, they have zero control over their kitchen. There is no flow. Just food haphazardly flying out and about. Once, I dined at Crazy Homies with three other people. We made it very clear that the nachos and quesadillas were to start, and then each ordered an entree. The food came out in a reckless manner. Two entrees came, then the starters, then the rest of the entrees twenty minutes later. This was also another one of those times when we had no drinks and water. We were just stuck with half of our spicy food. Restaurants also lose money this way. I remember my cousin trying to find the waitress for another cocktail, but by the time she came around, it was basically time to go. That would have been an additional £10 for the restaurant and a higher tip for the waitress if everyone got their heads around the bigger picture.
I will say, it usually comes down to this one specific waitress. She never seems to recognize if a table is dissatisfied. Maybe its partially the language barrier, but I have to blame some of it on skills and training. When we tried to explain the rough go we were having with the empty drinks and the plates coming out in the wrong order, she was not apologetic. She stared at us blankly and said “We don’t do that here.” She was referring to giving you a starter as a starter and not just bringing everything out as its ready. This policy works for tapas places. Beyond that, let people have a pleasant, leisurely dining experience.
So, that’s how I feel about all that. Not to put a damper on a neighborhood “Do,” but I’m hopeful that if small adjustments are made, Crazy Homies will truly live up to its full restaurant potential. Head there and decide for yourself!
125 Westbourne Park Road
London W2 5QL