visited this stylish new restaurant over the weekend - it was polished and extremely promising with some weak areas.
It was refreshing to see that pricing was reasonable with drinks at $6 and wines generally around $25 per bottle - most of the mains were in the $12-14 range, I think. apps $6-12.
Highlights of the meal were the appetizerss - the arepa and trio of empanadas (the ropa vieja filled empanada was particularly delicious and beefy) were both excellent, each served with some good watercress salad. The shells of the empanadas and the arepa were all beautifully made, arguing for some real traditional skills in the kitchen. The tuna ceviche was very good and fresh, not thrilling; coriander - scented cashew soup was nice but thin, felt more like a bevarage than a soup.
The mains were less satisfying - the roast pork was tender, juicy and well cooked but the seasoning was all on the surface - it lacked salt, and would have been better sliced thinner and seasoned or presented with some garlic or green salsa. The accompanying rice with peas tasted like a typical yellow rice with pigeon peas made with Goya Sazon - good but nothing special, and the "maduros" plantanos were insufficiently ripe, so were bland and starchy - badly needed salt or again, some kind of flavoring sauce. There was no salt on the table.
the peruvian chicken had lovely skin with tons of flavor and the price cant be beat ($5 half, $10 whole), but the inside of our chicken was dry and cottony. Again some salsa accompaniment would have helped. We may have made the wrong picks for mains - lots of good looking red meat was coming out of that kitchen.
limited range of desserts - the tembleque (coc custard) with fruit was nice and refreshing.
no bread was offered instead a plate of fresh yuca chips with salsa. The salsa appeared to be made from dry ingredients and was uninspired. I think that the addition of appropriate fresh salsas (especially at this time of year) would lift Luz's cuisine to a higher level (the cilantro sauce/butter on the arepa was tasty.
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