La Perla used to be an outstanding restaurant, full of charm and delicious, hip Mexican fare. The restaurant burned in a fire, however, and took some time to rebuild. We went back there recently and were surprised how bad the food had become. The service was spotty, the salsa was terrible, and the entrees were poorly balanced and barely palatable. We've heard similar reports from other long-term La Perla diners, and, regrettably, the joke is that the chef must have died in the fire.