When it comes to Cuban food, you might not think crystal chandeliers, eclectic golden bells and an iconic black staircase courtesy of designer Marcel Wanders. But that's the setting for the fare... Read More
When it comes to Cuban food, you might not think crystal chandeliers, eclectic golden bells and an iconic black staircase courtesy of designer Marcel Wanders. But that's the setting for the fare served in this fusion eatery in the back half of the lobby at the Mondrian South Beach. It's justifiably high fashion when you consider the menu, which includes made-to-order ceviches such as the curry swordfish and passion fruit with lemon oil, toasted coriander seeds and fried capers or shrimp, snapper and "confit" watermelon with Vietnamese red chili, garlic, jalapeño and shaved coconut. High drama continues with appetizers, which bring a little more Cuba to the table with bacalao and oven-roasted tomato with an olive salad with sherry and black Chinese vinegar ($19), and braised oxtail and kimchee steamed dumplings with spiced calabaza threads and mango ponzu. Main courses, such as Cuban coffee-crusted rib-eye with Mandarin orange, gingered sherry butter and yuca mojo fries, and the panko-crusted 'Bistec Empanizado' with sofrito of peppers, onions and Japanese eggplant and a watercress salad with orange oil, may not thrill the runway crowd, but certainly leaves an impression on the palates of food impresarios. As will, 10Best should note, the cocktails: At the adjoining Sunset Lounge, Mixologist Angelo Vieira crafts distinctive quaffs that reflect the "Nuevo" Asia de Cuba ethos. The Cuban Missile, a combination of brown, aged and honey rums, Cherry Heering liqueur, freshly squeezed orange and lemon juices, a cocktail "for two," is indeed "da bomb."