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the menu is unique, therefore the small number of choices may lead to ordering something you really do not want. Most dishes were very good; some, like the lambchop, were smothered in a sauce. My beef dish was a lump of charcoal. Others in my group said the fish dishes were excellent.
About what one should expect from this location and makes me question the integrity of LA Mag. Food was good but not as exotic as the menu would have you think. Service was curt. Atmosphere felt like a hotel restaurant. Crowd was touristy (even on a Saturday night) with kids sitting at the table next to us. If you must see for yourself, sit in the front room near the bar.
Front room a little cramped and noisy but sexy too. Service not great, guy liked to drone on and disappear for long periods. We got the S. Amer Samba menu - tried the mushroom carpaccio, the quechua (sweetbreads), and mofongo from that side, then the piquilos from the Classics side. Liked them all except the piquillos, all could have used a little heat. Wine list great but expensive, cocktails great also. Would try a different room/menu nexttime.
Interesting, even avant-garde takes on pan-Latin cuisine. Although the food is very good, the menu is more intriguing than the dishes themselves. Small portions and execution that sometimes feels a bit too self-conscious detract from the overall experience. The service was outstanding -- friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. Ironically, Rivera's "Playa" on Beverly is much, much better in all regards.
Best drinks, & small plates
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