Birthday Lunch At Pisco Y Nazca Gastrobar With Miss Thing

To prolong my birthday celebrations, I invited one of my daughters for a quick lunch at Pisco Y Nazca at the Kendall location. This was my second visit to this restaurant, and I was not disappointed.

Miss Thing is one of her nicknames
A Peruvian Feast

We began with the Ceviche Rocoto that was made with mahi, shrimp, octopus, fried calamari, rocoto (peppers), leche de tigre, cancha (toasted corn), and sweet potato. This is my favorite from their menu because of the crunchy fried calamari.

Ceviche Rocoto

The Jalea was spectacular – fried calamari, shrimp, mahi, mussels, clams, salsa criolla, which was prepared with red onions, aji amarillo, lime juice, and some freshly chopped cilantro.

Jalea – fried seafood served with Salsa Criolla

We ended with Empanadas de  – chicken stew, ají amarillo, chalaquita (a medley of chopped peppers, onions, and cilantro), rocoto pepper aïoli. These were flaky and sexy, the chicken stew succulent and intensely flavorful.

Sexy Empanadas de Ají de Gallina


I will be back to Pisco Y Nazca soon: I still have many things to try on their menu.

Pisco Y Nazca Gastrobar
8405 Mills Drive, #260
Miami, FL 33183
(305) 630-3844
http://piscoynazca.com/kendall/

*Cover photo by Pisco Y Nazca*

La Mar By Gastón Acurio, Miami

It was my birthday, and my brother was pre-disposed to indulging me. La Mar by Gastón Acurio has always been one of my favorites restaurants in Miami, but I had not been there in a while. It was so pleasant to sit right next to the ocean on a breezy Saturday afternoon. It felt a little bit like heaven.

We started with the Chicha Morada while basking in the gentle sun and inhaling the scent of the sea, it was very refreshing and cooling.

Chicha Morada

Then came the Cebiche Sampler – three types of cebiche (Chifa, Barrio, and Clasico ) that were all divine, even though I did have a favorite, the Chifa.

  • The Clasico – fluke, cilantro, ají limo pepper, red onions, choclo, classic leche de tigre
  • The Chifa – salmon, peanuts, ginger, wonton strips, cilantro, pickled vegetables, sesame leche de tigre
  • The Barrio – catch of the day, shrimp, octopus, crispy calamari, rocoto pepper leche de tigre
Cebiche Sampler
Cebiche Clasico
Cebiche Barrio

We had the Causa Tasting called La Chalanita – causa tasting of two nikkei, two crab, and two salad causas served in a hand-carved traditional fisherman’s boat

  • Nikkei – aji amarillo pepper causa, salmon tartare, avocado, rocoto pepper sauce, cucumbers, ikura, nori
  • Crab – beet causa, blue crab, tobiko, avocado, huancaína sauce, cherry tomatoes, quail egg
  • Salad – aji amarillo pepper causa, sunchokes, beets, asparagus, avocado, huancaína sauce
La Chalanita

The little one had something different this time, not the usual chicken nuggets; she got the Peruvian KFC – crispy chicken thighs, Peruvian and Korean confit chiles, sesame, scallions. This dish I did not get to taste, but I guess that it was good as it disappeared in no time.

Peruvian KFC
Peruvian KFC – bones

The Lomo Saltado was out of this world – stir fried tenderloin, red onions, tomatoes, soy sauce, cilantro, thick cut fried potato wedges, rice with choclo. The meat was chunky yet tender, and all the ingredients came together like a good marriage.

Lomo Saltado

Loving the Lomo Saltado

This was the first time that I tried Chaufa Aeropuerto – Chinese sausage, roasted pork, quinoa, pan fried rice, shrimp omelet, nikkei sauce, pickled salad. The presentation was very impressive: the rice was on the bottom, covered by the shrimp omelet and topped with the pickled salad, green onions, and sesame seeds. I think that you were supposed to mix it all up, but I left it as it was, eating it in layers, and it was just exquisite.

Chaufa Aeropuerto
Chaufa Aeropuerto – layers

The dessert was also unusual. It was called “El Chocolate En Texturas” (Chocolate in textures), and it looked like a mess on the plate, in a good way – it was made with chocolate brownie textures, foam, ice cream with 60% Peruvian chocolate, crystallized manjar drops.

El Chocolate En Texturas

La Mar by Gastón Acurio is a restaurant that is dear to my heart. The service was exceptional, the food was excellent and the place itself – pretty like a picture. I hope that one day, I will be able to meet the Chef, Diego Oka, the magician who makes little miracles on the dishes that he presents to his guests daily.

View

La Mar by Gastón Acurio

500 Brickell Key Drive

Miami, FL 33131

305.913.8288

http://www.mandarinoriental.com/miami/fine-dining/la-mar-by-gaston-acurio/

Time Flies At 55, Happy Birthday Masala!

55 years ago, I made my grand entrance into this world. It was Mardi Gras in Grenada, Carnival Tuesday, so this little island girl was supposed to be jolly and full of verve. Instead, I turned out to be a very serious person, quite introspective, with a gentle soul. Both a blessing and a curse.

baby-masala

Where has the time gone? I remember sitting with my cousin outside her house, talking about what we wanted to do when we grew up. I can tell you that my two dearest wishes have not materialized yet. A good husband and a beautiful house were just not in the cards for me this time around.

Dwelling on the things that I don’t have instead of being thankful for what I do have is an easy thing to do – it’s the lazy thing to do. I will focus instead on my two lovely daughters, my loyal puppy and the supportive family that God gave me. Oh, and on the opportunity and wisdom of taking pictures of the food that I am fortunate enough to get to eat.

family

The Wynwood Walls, Urban Graffiti in Miami

I did not realize that the Wynwood Walls was such a popular place to visit in Miami. I had been there before, some years ago, but did not have the time to linger and appreciate the real beauty of the art painted on the walls. It’s different,  full of positive energy, a fascinating place showcasing pure talent and creativity.

Check out The Wynwood Walls  website for more information. There is also an excellent article written by Bill Kearney that says it all. Miami Culinary Tours  offers a comprehensive and delicious Food & Art tour where you will learn about the history of the walls and get to taste some of the food offerings in the area.

Here are some of the pictures I took when we visited. Worth putting in your bucket list when in Miami.

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