There was a wait and the small restaurant was packed. We waited about 30 minutes - since it was cold I waited inside but felt kind of in the way of all the servers bringing food/dishes in/out.
By the time we got seated, we already knew what we wanted to order.
(All photos: http://tinyurl.com/bgre53
We wanted something light with seafood, so instead of going with the deep fried stuff, we went with the Siete Mares soup ($13.00)The seafood was fresh, and the broth was very delicious! The name siete mares means "seven seas" so I tried counting the number of seafood types: squid, crab, shrimp, clam, mussels, fish, octopus. This is a relatively light dish - again, I Loved the broth. Do give it a try sometime!
I ordered the lomo saltado ($11.25) since I've been craving it for a while! Lomo saltado is beef sauteed with onions, tomatoes, and french fries.
The meat was a little tough, but the flavors were excellent. I love the fries also and kept eating them with the fragrant rice! Next time I might try out the seafood version, saltado mariscos, so I can avoid having my beef overcooked and yet still get to taste the delicious flavor of saltado.
For good measure we ordered dessert: Crema volteada/flan ($3.00)
This is a pretty heavy duty flan! Rich and dense - a bit too dense for my taste although it's still tasty. Eat in moderation :P
Overall I loved Mario's. The food was excellent although I would stick with the seafood as the meat can be tough and overcooked ... The line can be long during dinner time, so go early or just prepare to wait! (It's worth it!!)