Posts tagged ‘Cuban’

Restaurant Review – Larios On The Beach

I’ve been meaning to give this restaurant a proper review since returning from Miami a few weeks ago. Today, I finally have enough down time to get to it.

Let me preface this review by saying that this restaurant was not my choice. We went there because my work colleague had fine memories of eating there on a spring break trip with her boyfriend. And Larios might be good for just that – spring break tourists.

Located right off Ocean Drive, Lario’s is partially owned by Gloria Estefan which makes this particular restaurant (that doubles as a Salsa club after hours) a very popular destination for tourists and wanderers. Supposedly known best for its Cuban food, Lario’s offers typical fare, from skirt steaks to fried plantains and various seafood dishes.

Grace and I decided to take a streetside table to people watch and enjoy the evening air. Since we arrived in Miami that day, we ate a reasonably late lunch and thus a very late dinner, but the restaurant was still bustling. I was completely underwhelmed with the wine list, which curiously offered many selections that didn’t pair well with Cuban food at all. I finally settled on a glass of Bogle’s Sauvignon Blanc (2006), because I was planning on having seafood, and love drinking the varietal in particularly warm climates because it’s served chilled and the light flavors are actually quite refreshing.

Our waitress brought our drinks right away, and I was immediately a bit put off that my wine wasn’t particularly chilled.

Nearly 20 minutes later, she finally made it back around to take our order. I opted for the Lobster Creole, fried plantains and black beans and rice. Another 30 minutes went by and we finally got our food. My lobster came in a small casserole-type dish, swimming in a VERY salty creole base. It was a bit tough in spots. Overall, I was very disappointed with the Lobster considering what I paid for the dish (about $35 I think?). Presentation was largely uninspired.

Rice and plantains came on a separate plate and there was no attention to color in the presentation. Everything had a brown tinge. It gave me the impression that the chef simply didn’t care about making the side plate look appetizing. The plantains were pretty greasy, but the black beans and rice were fabulous, hands down the best part of the meal.

I’ve read elsewhere that Lario’s supposedly has very authentic Cuban cuisine, but this was far from my experience. Save your money for a restaurant in a Cuban neighborhood. You’ll pay half what you pay at Lario’s and it will taste authentic. EVERYTHING I ate, from the plantains to the lobster to the beans, had too much salt – and I’m a salt guy.

The only saving grace for Lario’s is location. It was fun to people watch with Grace despite the uninspired meal.

Stick to singing Gloria, but only perform Miami Sound Machine stuff. You’re a terrible restaurateur.

Rating for Lario’s By The Beach
Half a star out of Five

August 8, 2008 at 10:51 am Leave a comment


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