Jul 262012

Cuisine: Caribbean, Fish & Seafood
Restaurant Features: Bar, Flatscreen TVs
Location: Bloomington, MN (Mall of America)
Address: 60 East Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425
Hours:  Mon-Sat 11am-10pm  Sun 11am-8pm
Links: Kokomo’s Island Cafe Website * Kokomo’s on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Located on the 3rd floor of the Mall of America (East Broadway), Kokomo’s Island Cafe is brightly decorated with an over-the-top tropical theme.  The thatched-roof and large wooden Tiki Gods are meant to transport you to a carefree, sunny place.  If nothing else, Kokomo’s is a cheerful place to take respite from a long day of shopping.

The thatched-roof decor carries into the Tiki Bar area, where there are also giant decorative flowers and colorful stringed lights hanging about.  There are about a dozen colorful chairs along the bar and a handful of bistro tables in the area.

Menu: Small Plates and Starters include French Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, Beachcomber Nachos, Cayman Salmon Sliders, Thai Chicken Flatbread, Caribbean Wings, Sweet Chili Wings, Buffalo Wings, Jamaican Jerk Wings, Pacific Pupu Platter, Polynesian Flatbread, Jerk Chicken Flatbread, Kahuna Egg Rolls, Koko Crab Cakes, Island Quesadillas, and Tiki Koko Shrimp.

Salads at Kokomo’s include Jerked Chicken Salad, Dinner Salad, Big Island Salad, and Kokonut Chicken Salad.  Soups offered Bob Marley Soup of the Day, and Caribbean Gumbo.

Kokomo’s also offers sandwiches such as the Jerked Chicken Salad Sandwich, Tropical Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, Jamaican Bleu Burger, Jamaican Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, The Cuban, Captain Jack’s Chicken Sandwich, Hawaiian Chicken, Buffalo Chicken, Bahama Burger, Cali Burger, Cancun Carnitas (served with tortillas), Key West Fish N Chips, and Chicken Fingers.

Side dishes offered include Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, Yellow Rice, Island Slaw, Corn Succotash, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Black Beans, Seasoned Green Beans and Yams.

Entrees at Kokomo’s include 8oz Filet Mignon, Ribs, Beach Kabobs, Caribbean Pork Chop, Big Luau Feast, Key West Lime Chicken,  and Calypso Chicken Stir Fry.

Seafood Entrees include Shrimp Enchiladas, Grilled Salmon, Tilapia, Baha Fish Tacos, Seafood Paella, and Tiki Koko Shrimp.

Kokomo’s also has a handful of Pasta dishes such as Cajun Chicken Fettuccine, Palm Island Noodles (in coconut curry), Jerk Chicken Pasta and Fettuccine Alfredo.

Desserts offered are the Pina Colada Cake, Bananas Foster Cheesecake, Sweet Island Shooters, Key Lime Pie, and Molten Chocolate Cake.
What we ordered: We started with a round of drinks.  While my usual drink of choice is a margarita, on this occasion I opted to try the peach instead of the traditional lime.  I can’t say much for the mix that was used; it was way too sweet and artificial tasting for my liking.  The drink was nice and strong, though!

One of my companions ordered the Dos Equis, which was served in a pint-sized bottle.  To see how big it was, here it is next to my margarita.

I ordered the Fish Tacos with Sweet Potato Fries for my entree. The order came with two warm flour tortillas, each filled with crispy fried tilapia, napa cabbage, pico de gallo and pickled pineapple relish.  On top it was drizzled with creamy garlic lemon dressing and chopped cilantro.  These fish tacos were pretty good; the pineapple relish gave it a sweetness that was a nice compliment to the fish and there were several layers of texture that I enjoyed.  The sweet potato fries that came with were really good! They were crispy on the outside and served with  seasoned mayo.

One of my companions ordered the Key West Lime Chicken, which came with two citrus marinated chicken breasts  grilled with special seasonings, & topped with a citrus-onion sauce.  The citrus-onion sauce is what really made this dish so special and gave it so much flavor.  The chicken was served with a large portion of sauteed green beans and red peppers.

Another companion ordered the Captain Jack’s Chicken Sandwich, a grilled chicken breast served on a fresh, toasted brioche bun.  The chicken was brushed with a raspberry inferno sauce and then topped with grilled pineapple & pepper jack cheese. It was served with french fries and a side of avocado ranch.

Service: We were able to get a table without a problem; The Mall didn’t seem to be terribly busy on this particular Friday night and neither was Kokomo’s.  Our server promptly greeted us and was friendly and patient as we took our time with ordering, etc.  Very helpful too, as was the bartender.  We wanted to special-order a sugar-free cocktail and the bartender was more than willing to try to accommodate our needs.
Overall Impression: While Kokomo’s might not be my number one choice for restaurants at the Mall of America, the food was decent and the service was great.  Fun place if you like the gimmick ;)
Kokomo's Island Cafe on Urbanspoon

Dec 282011

Cuisine: American, Barbeque, Caribbean
Restaurant Features: Bar, Happy Hour, Live Music, On-Site Parking, Patio Dining
Location: Stillwater, MN
Address:  423 Main Street South #A  Stillwater, MN 55082 (651) 439-5375
Hours: (Winter)Mon – Wed:  3pm – 9pm, Thurs:  11:30am – 9pm, Fri:  11:30am – 10pm,  Sat: 11:30am – 10pm Sun 11:30 – 9pm
Links: Smalley’s Barbeque Website * Smalley’s Caribbean on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Smalley’s Caribbean barbeque is located at the south end of Main Street in Stillwater, overlooking the St Croix River.   Once upon a time this location was an Esteban’s Restaurant, but it has definitely undergone a big makeover since.  If the wooden plank floors and knotty pine tables aren’t enough, the occasional model pirate ship and large selection of rums will surely bring the pirate theme to your dining experience.

The Pirate Bar is located in the same Plaza as the Caribbean Barbeque but is accessed through a different doorway at the back.  This is a happening place where Live Music is played most evenings all year long.

Menu: Appetizers at Smalley’s include Sweet Corn Fritters with Rum Butter Sauce, BBQ Shrimp with jalapeno Cornbread, Plantain and Tortilla Chips with Habanero Salsa and Queso, Sweet Potato Fries, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Shrimp Cocktail.

Salads include Ice Berg Wedge with Bleu Cheese and Pepper Bacon, Caesar, and Ginger-Jicama Slaw.  Chicken or shrimp can be added to any salad.

Sandwiches include Barbeque Pulled Pork, Pulled Smoked Chicken, Jerk Chicken Breast Sandwich, Clam Po’ Boy, and Carolina BBQ Pork Sandwich.  Jerk Tacos are also available with either Jerk Pork or Jerk Shrimp.

Barbeque entrees at Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque include Pork Spare Ribs, Smoked Beef Brisket, Roasted Pork Shoulder, Shrimp Skewers, and Jerk Ahi Tuna.

Sides offered include Fire Roasted Pork and Beans, Grilled Curried Veggies, Black Beans and Rice, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Creamy Coleslaw, Potato Salad with Bacon and Egg, Mac & Cheddar, and Beer Battered Plank Fries.

Desserts include Pecan Pie with Homemade Ice Cream, Coconut Flan with Rum Caramel, Key Lime Pie, and Drunken Chocolate Cake.

Price guide: Appetizers $6-11  Sandwiches $10-12  Entrees $12-20

Happy Hour: Sun-Mon:All Day Tues-Thurs:3-6pm & 9-11pm, Fri:3-6pm & 10- 12am, Sat:10pm-12am
What we ordered: We started with a couple of cocktails; I ordered the Sunsplash.  Just as it appears on the photo, it was a girly, fruity drink with rum and orange juice and a bit of cointreau.  Tastes just as good in the winter as the summer!

My companion ordered the Bloody Mary which was quite spicy (horseradish, hot sauce) but delicious.  It was served with a giant slice of thick cut bacon and giant olives.  It was served with a sidecar which was needed to cool the spice.

We started with the BBQ Shrimp, which is a complete misnomer for the dish we received, but we loved it all the same.  The sauce for these shrimp did not taste nor resemble a traditional barbeque because it was made with butter and rum and was slightly sweet and spicy from some type of chili peppers cooked into the sauce.  There were about eight shrimp in the order and it came with a wedge of cornbread with jalapenos baked right in.

For my entree I ordered the Beef Brisket which came with my choice of two sides.  The brisket was moist and delicious, smoked with authentic  Jamaican Pimento wood even more so with each of the house-made barbeque sauces.  The two sides I chose were the Potato Salad and the Mac & Cheddar, both of which were quite good.  The Potato Salad was especially delicious, with large chunks of hardboiled eggs and several crumbles  of crispy bacon.  It was cool and refreshing after a bite of barbeque with the Scotchie Sauce which is extra spicy.  The Mac & Cheddar came with an optional topping of spicy green chiles and bacon which made it spicy.  The noodles were flavorful but the sauce was already kind of pasty instead of creamy.

Smalley’s makes its own sauces and there are four to choose from including  Scotchies Sauce which is a very spicy Jerk sauce, the House-Made Barbaque, and 3 Dives Mild Jerk Sauce.

My companion ordered the Clam Po’ Boy, which was a delicious, giant sandwich layered with crispy golden fried clam strips, house-made pickles, thinly sliced red onion, bacon slaw and mayonnaise served on a grilled brioche bun.  This sandwich came with one side, so my companion ordered the beer-battered plank fries.  I ate almost half of this because I liked it so much! The just-pickled cucumber slices were the perfect touch with the bacon slaw.

Service: We sat ourselves as the sign indicated, and were greeted by our server about five minutes later.  Our server was friendly and had many great suggestions from the menu.  Food and drinks seemed to take some time but we were not in a hurry so we enjoyed the time while we waited.
Overall Impression: I was very happy to have discovered Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque, the food and drinks were both wonderful and the service was also pretty good.  The Pirate Bar is a pretty cool place to have a cocktail and listen to live music.

Smalley's Caribbean Barbeque and Pirate Bar on Urbanspoon

Jul 272011

Cuisine: Caribbean, Creole, South American, Spanish, Fish, Seafood
Restaurant Features: Bar, Happy Hour, Nightclub
Location: Northeast Minneapolis, MN
Address: 501 East Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55414  (612) 331-3360

Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-2am  Sat-Sun 4:30pm- 2am
Links: Conga Latin Bistro Website * Conga on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Conga Latin Bistro is located in Northeast Minneapolis, at Hennepin and Central Ave.  The dining room takes up about half the space, with a colorful mural of conga drums gracing the back wall and two large, floor-to-ceiling wooden conga drums at the entrance.  There are mostly tables but there a couple of round booths along the outer wall that can accommodate up to six people.  It was very comfortable and had a very clean feel to it.

The bar and dance floor area take up at least half of the space, a very popular place on weekend nights when it turns into a nightclub.

Menu: Appetizers at Conga Latin Bistro include Empanadas, Chicken Croquettes, Calamares a La Romana, Seafood Ceviche, Plantain and Shrimp in Garlic Sauce, Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Plaintain Tapas, Green Plantain Tapas, Chicken Wings, Habanero Chicken Wings, Fried Chicken, Chicken Tenders, Sweet Plantains with Queso Fresco, Yuca xon Mojo, Burrito Cubano, Tacos, Nachos and Cheese Platter, and French Fries in Garlic Butter.

Soups offered include Black Bean, Asopao de Mariscos, Asopao de Pollo, and Soup of the Day.

Salads offered are the House, Cesar, and Avocado Mango Salad.

Rice dishes at Conga Latin Bistro include Arroz con Pollo, Arroz con Camarones, Arroz con Vegetales, and Arroz con Mariscos.

Entrees include Jamaican Chicken, Pollo Al Ajillo, Pollo Isabel, Bistec Encebollado, Chicken Parmesan, Pork Tenderloin with Mofongo, Filet Mignon, Ropa Vieja, and Pernil (roast pork).

Seafood entrees include Tilapia in Curry and Coconut Sauce, Shrimp in Garlic Sauce, Spicy Shrimp Creole, Shrimp Victoria, Halibut in Garlic Sauce and Broiled Salmon in Brandy.

Specialty Dishes at Conga Latin Bistro include Churrasco Argentino, Parrillada Argentina, New York Steak with Shrimp in Garlic Sauce, Steak and Scallops, Halibut a la Mar, Seafood Stew, Paella Valenciana, Paella Marinera.

Desserts include Flan, Tres Leches Cake, and Rice Pudding.

Price guide: Appetizers $5-12  Entrees $10-20  Paella $40-50  Desserts $4-5

Happy Hour:

  • Mon-Fri  5-7pm

What we ordered: I visited on one of the hottest days we’ve had this summer and nothing sounded better than an icy, frozen drink so I ordered a Pina Colada (2 for 1 during Happy Hour).  It was refreshing and tasted like a non-alcoholic pina colada.  Seriously, I don’t think it had any rum, which was a shame.

One of my companions ordered a Mango Pineapple Margarita.  This drink was sweet and slightly tart, not too strong.

We started with the Ceviche appetizer.  This was a nice mix of chunks of shrimp, fish, clams marinated in lime juice then tossed with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro.  Light, refreshing and tangy, a perfect appetizer for a hot day.  Served with a side of tortilla chips that may have been Tostitos.

We also ordered the Habanero Chicken Wings.  There were six giant, breaded wings that were tossed in a spicy habanero sauce.  These wings were not saturated with sauce like buffalo wings often are, which is probably a good thing because they were much spicier!  Great if you like a lot of heat, if not, they were served with a side of ranch dressing to help cool them down.  The order was also served with a basket of french fries.

My companions and I ordered all of our entrees to share. One of the entrees we ordered was the Shrimp Victoria.  This was a delicious, but interesting dish consisting of 7-8 peeled shrimp swimming in a creamy sour cream and wine sauce with thinly sliced mushrooms.  It was served with white rice.

Another dish we ordered was the Pork Tenderloin with Mofongo, which came highly recommended by our server.  The center of this dish was the Mofongo, made of fried, crushed plantains with olive oil and garlic.  The pork tenderloin was cut into eight bite-sized pieces, then seared and served in a dark wine sauce with sauteed onions.

The last entree we tried was the Arroz con Mariscos.  The dish of rice was seasoned with Saffron, then tossed with bots of rice, peas, olives and onions.  The rice was tossed with small pieces of Mussels, Shrimp, Halibut, Clams, Crab and Calamari, which were all overcooked.  We all liked the flavor of the rice but wish the seafood would’ve been tender as it should be.

Service: We had no problem getting a parking space on the street outside the restaurant on a very hot weekday afternoon, nor did we have any problem getting a table.  In fact, we were a few of the only customers at the time we arrived and had our pick.  Our server was nice, but spoke with a strong accent and had a few problems communicating with us.  Our food and drinks were taken care of in a reasonable amount of time.

Overall Impression: We had a decent experience at Conga Latin Bistro.  The food we tried was good, and while I wouldn’t say it was great,  I would definitely get the ceviche again.
Conga Latin Bistro on Urbanspoon
Conga Latin Bistro Reviews in Minneapolis

Sep 272010

Cuisine: Creole: (American and Caribbean)
Restaurant Features: Bar (Beer & Wine only), On-Site Parking
Locations: St Paul & Minneapolis, MN
Addresses & Maps:

St Paul– 777 Grand Avenue  St. Paul, MN. 55105  651-224-1302

Minneapolis-600 E. Hennepin Avenue   Minneapolis, MN 55414  612-379-3030

Hours: Sun – Thurs: 11am – 9pm  Fri- Sat: 11am – 10 pm
Links: Brasa Website * Brasa Facebook Page

Atmosphere: The St Paul location of Brasa is located on Grand Ave, near many other popular restaurants.  The inside of the restaurant is contemporary, with a mix of tables and booths.  The pendant-style lighting is comprised of long, skinny, transparent light bulbs.

Dining at Brasa ~ St Paul, MN

The walls of windows inside Brasa are not actually windows, but rather garage doors that can be opened during nice weather.

I saw one little nook at Brasa that contained a large round table. Perfect, cozy little  place for a group to share a meal!

Menu: Sides of Vegetables and Salads at Brasa include Yams and Andouille, Collards with Smoked Turkey, Creamed Spinach with Jalapeno, Sweet Plantains, Fried Green Plantains with Garlic Oil, Crispy Yuca with Mojo, Romaine & Tomato Salad, Cabbage and Mozzarella Salad.

Grains and Beans include Yellow Rice and Beans, Rice and Pigeon Peas with Olives and Ham, Cornbread and Beans, Rustic Cheese Grits, Homemade Chips and Guacamole.

Side orders of bread include Cornbread with Honey Butter, Griddled Garlic Toast, and Masa Corn and Cheese Cake.

Sandwich options at Brasa are thePulled Chicken, Roasted Pork, Braised Beef, Vegetarian Bean Fritter, Smoked Sausage, Scrambled Egg and Chorizo, and Fried Catfish.

Meat & Fish Platters include Rotisserie Chicken, Pulled Chicken, Slow Roasted Pork, Braised Beef, Smoked Sausage (Mpls only), and Fried Catfish (St Paul only).

Dessert specialties include Pineapple Upside-down Cake, Chocolate Pudding, Rhubarb-Strawberry Shortcake, White Birthday Cupcake, and Big Cookie of the Day.
Price guide: Breads $2   Veggies $3.75/5/9.50   Grains/Beans $3.25/4.50/8.50   Sandwiches $6.50-9.50  Meat/Fish $5-20 (Served 1/4 lb, 1/2lb or 1 lb)    Desserts $2-5

What we ordered: We started with the Corn Bread Muffins with Honey Butter ($2/ea).  These were big muffins, moist and on the sweet-side from the honey butter glaze.  Very tasty!

The Pulled Pork at Brasa was delicious! It was seasoned with Mojo, which is a marinade of lime juice, garlic and olive oil.  The pork was tender and quite flavorful, the marinade was distinct yet subtle.

Pulled Pork at Brasa ~ St Paul, MN

The Braised Beef was out of this world!  The meat was very rich, tender and moist, cooked in a sweet and flavorful red sauce (made with brown sugar).  A pound of this delicious beef might not go very far, depending on how hungry you are!

Braised Beef at Brasa ~ St Paul, MN

I had never had Fried Yuca before, but so glad I tried these Crispy Yuca Fries!  They were thickly cut (like large steak fries) and then fried like potatoes.  The taste of them was similar to potato but with a hint of sweetness and more flavor! They were served with a delicious homemade cilantro-lime-garlic mayo for dipping.  So darn good!  I wish more restaurants would start serving these, they are a great change-up from the usual potato french fries.

Crispy Yucca at Brasa ~ St Paul, MN

Service: We were lucky to find a parking space that was relatively close, as parking on Grand Ave can be tricky sometimes!)  We sat ourselves as the sign indicated and were greeted by our server within just a few minutes.  Our server was very friendly and helpful with the ordering process; you could tell she genuinely enjoyed everything on the menu!  The food took awhile to be served but I have to admit I was starving and slightly impatient.  Everything was excellent.
Overall Impression: I had heard about Brasa long before I had the pleasure of eating there and can honestly say its reputation is well-deserved.  The ingredients are fresh, all natural and local.  The Roasted Pork is delicious and the Braised Beef is phenomenal.  Prices are a little high but the food is worth it!  Try the Crispy Yuca Fries!

Brasa Rotisserie on Urbanspoon

Aug 262010

Cuisine: Street Foods from around the Equator:  Asian, Caribbean, Mexican, South American, and Polynesian
Restaurant Features: Banquet Room, Bar
Location: Minneapolis (Uptown)
Address: 2916 Hennepin Ave  Minneapolis, MN  55408  ( 612) 824-7878

Hours: Sun-Thurs  4:30pm-1am   Fri-Sat  4:30p-2am

Links: Chino Latino Website * Chino Latino on FacebookGoogle Map

Outside Chino Latino

Outside Chino Latino

Atmosphere:  Chino Latino is located in Uptown on Hennepin Ave at Lake St (across from Calhoun Square).  It is a cool and chic restaurant that runs two stories, with most tables set closely together.  Most of the tables are big enough for larger parties, but there is also a extra-long community table on the lower level that allows for much bigger parties.  One side of the restaurant hosts a sushi bar, the other side has a giant bar that illuminates the entire restaurant with its orange glow.  The kitchen is on the lower level, as are the bathrooms.
Inside Chino Latino

Inside Chino Latino

Inside View of Chino Latino

Inside View of Chino Latino

Menu: The Menu at Chino Latino is printed on a daily basis, so items may vary depending on season and availability.

Tacos include Barbacoa (shredded beef), Tinga (stewed chicken), Crunchy Carne, and Mijangos (stewed chicken).

Sushi Options include Chipotle Salmon Roll, Salmon Roll, White Tiger Roll, Tuna Tataki, Weed Eater, Kalifornia Krab Roll, Spicy Mango Shrimp Caterpillar Roll, Ring of Fire Roll, and Sushi Sampler.

Little Dishes on my visit included Habanero Poppers, Queso Fundido, Chinese BBQ ribs, Black Laab (Thai lettuce wraps),  Jerk Chicken Skewers, Shrimp Feast, Tostada de Tinga, Firecracker Wings, Popocatepe (nacho-style fries), Potstickers, Shrimp Wraps, Shrimp Lollopops, Plum Blossom Salad, Bulgogi Beef Lettuce Cup, Empanada de Janeiro, Pescado Ahumado, Satay, Nachos del Sol, Chicken Enchiladas, Calamari, Mushi-Buro Beef, Crispy Saigon Rolls, Spicy Edamame, and Polynesian Pupu Platter.

Bigger Dishes to Share include Carne Asada Ala Moreliana (taco platter), Coconut Shrimp Curry, Mahi Mahi, Lo Mein, Philippine Paella, Fish Taco Platter, Banana Boat Chicken, Cuban Pork Roast, Mandarin Beef Stir Fry, Jerked Chicken, Big Chipotle Burrito, Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice, Miso Noodles, Kung Pao Chicken, Argentine Rodizio Roast, Cuban Pig Roast, and Cuy (roasted Guinea Pig).

Dessert Options include Deep Fried Snickers, Molten Chocolate Cake, Fried Bananas with Coconut Ice Cream, S’Mores Platter, Chocolate Flandango (flan layered with chocolate cake), Brownie Tres Leches, Fried Ice Cream, Mango Spiced Cake, Ice Cream, and Banana Split.

There are countless “Hot Zone Cocktails” at Chino Latino including a variety of Mojitos, Martinis, Margaritas, and many other fruity drinks.  Several Beers and Wines also available.

Price guide: Tacos $3-4  Sushi $12-25  Little Plates $7-17  Big Plates  $19-35  Desserts $6-14

What we ordered: **Must warn you that these photos are not very good, I was forced to use flash because of the eerie orange glow**

I started with the House Margarita, made with Sauza, fresh lime juice and Triple Sec.  Maybe I have gotten spoiled with all the sweet margaritas I have had lately, but I thought this margarita was terrible! It was bitter and strong, no matter how many limes I squeezed into it, it did not get much better.  A few of my friends had the same one and enjoyed it.  Must be a matter of preference, but I would not get it again.

Margarita ~ Chino Latino

Margarita ~ Chino Latino

I ordered the Pescado Ahumado, a delicious dish of bite-size pieces of smoked swordfish tossed in a light, creamy citrusy dressing, served with fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, and thick corn tortilla chips.  I loved it!  The smokiness of the fish was subtle but gave it such a nice flavor, there was no hint of fishiness at all.  The texture of the swordfish was very dense, almost more like poultry than fish.  Excellent choice!

Pescado Ahumado ~ Chino Latino

Pescado Ahumado ~ Chino Latino

One of my companions ordered the Chicken Enchiladas.  There were 3-4 corn tortillas stuffed with shredded chicken and black beans, then covered with a spicy chile salsa and topped with shredded lettuce, sour cream and tomatoes.  I tried some of these enchiladas and thought they were good, but not a highlight on the Chino Latino menu.  So many other fun and yummy things to try!

Chicken Enchiladas ~ Chino Latino

Chicken Enchiladas ~ Chino Latino

Another companion ordered Fried Rice with Chicken.  This was a giant order of fried rice, with tons of peppers, green onion, egg and chicken.  Absolutely delicious!

Chicken Fried Rice ~ Chino Latino

Chicken Fried Rice ~ Chino Latino

Another companion ordered the Potstickers, an order of six large pan-fried dumplings stuffed with chicken and vegetables.  Served with a ginger-soy dipping sauce.  Very yummy!

Postickers ~ Chin Latino

Postickers ~ Chin Latino

Another companion ordered the Ochos Rios Jerk Chicken Skewers, one of the best things that I tried! The chicken was very spicy and served with a delicious, refreshing mango pico de gallo.  The sweetness of the mango was the perfect compliment to the spicy chicken.

Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa ~ Chino Latino

Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa ~ Chino Latino

Another companion ordered the Nachos del Sol.  These nachos were unlike most you might be familiar with, because they were served with fried plantain chips instead of tortilla chips.  The bowl contained black beans, chorizo, pico de gallo, queso fresco, sour cream and jalapenos for dipping the chips.

Nachos ~ Chino Latino

Nachos ~ Chino Latino

And last but not least, is the Sushi Sampler that two of my companions shared.  Just one look at this tray and I was envious of their choice! For $25, this is the best sushi deal you can get at Chino Latino because you get to try the Tiger Shrimp Roll, Mango Shrimp Caterpillar Roll, Wasabi Tuna Balls, and Chipotle Salmon Roll.  Outstanding sushi!

Sushi Platter ~ Chino Latino

Sushi Platter ~ Chino Latino

Service: We had very good service while at Chino Latino.  We had a party of eight without a reservation but they were able to seat us without too long of a wait.  The drinks took some time and the food was brought out as it was made, so we were all eating at different times.  One thing that is very nice is that Chino Latino has some round tables and booths made for up to 10 people so we were all able to conversate more intimately and there is a lazy-susan in the middle of the table to easily share dishes.
Overall Impression: I love the food at Chino Latino and think the concept of  “street foods from the hot zones” is absolutely genius.  I wish the prices were a little more affordable so I could eat there often and try everything on the menu!

Chino Latino on Urbanspoon