Gulas y Gambas: Don't Get Squirmish, Eat These "Baby Eels" with Shrimp

Categories: Best of Miami
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Jackie Sayet
Creepy, squiggly, tasty. Gulas, get them in your belly.
Gulas sound like something you'd more likely find lurking in your neighborhood on Halloween than on your dinner plate.  But last night at Xixon, the Coral Way Spanish tapas restaurant with a New Times Best Of to its name, that's exactly where they were -- swimming in a boiling cauldron of olive oil and crisp garlic shards.

Angulas, real baby eels, go for about 80 Euro a portion in Spain, where they can't get enough of the stuff. 

You need only look for the black eyes to tell the difference from "gulas."  At Xixon, these faux elvers are made of processed surimi (fish from Alaskan waters pressed into blocks on factory ships, according to the New York Times.)  A line of squid ink tints the backs dark like the real McCoy; they just don't peer back you, which may be a good thing. 

Arriving to the table in the traditional terracotta cazuela, the gulas (in "gulas y gambas") are like tender strands of calamari pasta easily twirled on a fork and popped into the mouth.  They have a very mild flavor, the perfect canvas for caramelized garlic.  The three perfectly-cooked tiger prawns in the dish are a bonus.

Next time you feel like ordering "gambas al ajillo" (shrimp with garlic,) opt for the gulas instead.  Xixon is always packed for lunch, so show up for dinner between 6 and 7:00 p.m. to avoid a long wait.  They don't take reservations.

Xixon (pronounced Shi-shon)
1801 Coral Way
Miami
(305) 854-9350


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