Chef Ricardo Orozco has transformed this little strip-mall space into a butterscotch- and rose-colored backdrop for a menu that reads like a greatest hits of the Latin kitchen. Simple white tablecloths and flickering candles make an ideal setting for Orozco's mushroom tapas and paella Valenciana from Spain, the grilled Colombian skirt steak with garlicky, parsley-based chimichurri sauce, Cuban ropa vieja, and media noche sandwiches. There are Mexican fajitas, chicken wings, mini empanadas, arroz con pollo. A half chicken roasted "Sinaloa style" is served sizzling with paprika and pepper. A "seafood fantasy" is sautéed together with tomatoes and white wine. This is a Latin food lover's dream of a neighborhood café, with all the requisite starches to round out those proteins: black beans and rice, tostones and maduros (green or sweet plantains), yuca frita, sweet potato fries. And then, of course, pitchers of sangria and inexpensive bottles of red wine.
The first Spanish phrase I ever truly understood was arroz con pollo. I was probably 3 or 4, and admittedly, my infantile comprehension remained limited the larger concept I had down if the details were a little hazy. In my childish brain,... More »
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