OLA's Polished Staff and Artful Ceviche Shine
|Ceviche at OLA.|
Starting things off were a couple of cocktails. The traditional Cuban mojito ($14) is made with Don Q rum, lime, mint, and sugar. It's a well-balanced mojito served in an oversize rocks glass. The vodkajito ($14) is made with Charbay pomegranate vodka, pomegranate purée, lime, and mint. It is both a unique take on the traditional and not overly done-up with the pomegranate, as the description might suggest.
A tasting of six ceviches came first: hamachi ($18), lobster ($20), rainbow ($18), fire and ice ($18), mixto ($18), and tuna and foie gras ($20). The lobster, with chili-spiced cucumber, lime juice, fresh corn, and tarragon beurre-blanc, was a favorite. The most traditional ceviche on the menu is the mixto, composed of shrimp, octopus, and cobia in lime, orange juice, limo pepper, cilantro, kalamata olives and served with yuca à la huancaína. Also impressive was the tuna and foie gras with kumquat-yuzu sauce, lemon oil, serrano chilies, and baby arugula.
A tasting of starters included smoked marlin tacos ($18), with rum vanilla, cured-smoked in a crisp malanga boat with pickled jalapeños. They were definitely a favorite, along with the foie gras empanada ($15), made with anise dough, almond-fig cake stuffed with foie gras, duck serrano and served with frisée salad and black trumpet vinaigrette. The mystery meat balls ($20), with callampa mushroom sauce, are moist and flavorful but perhaps too pricey to stand on their own as a full-size appetizer. The chicharrón ($17), comprising crisp rock shrimp tossed in sweet and spicy panca sauce with micro cilantro, was a nice appetizer full of taste and texture. Falling short of expectations were the king crab salad ($20) and duck salad ($17).
|Lamb loin and filet mignon.|
|Mahi and ahi tuna.|
Although the portions in relation to value was indeterminable owing to the tasting sizes, one can't go wrong with OLA, where the food is artistic but not pretentious, the atmosphere displays a touch of class, and even the busboys have manners.
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