OLA: Of Latin America

We found out about OLA in the Sanctuary Hotel from yup, you guessed it!  The Best Thing I Ever Ate.   We actually had other dinner plans but knew we wanted to try out OLA so we decided to do appetizers here and head someplace else for dinner.

Boyfriend really wanted to try out the “Fire and Ice” ceviche that was recommended on the show.  It’s cobia marinated in sour oranges, Thai chilies, cilantro and jalapeno all over asian pear granita.  I had my doubts about this because the pear granita sounded like it would melt and wash away and flavor this dish had.  I ended up loving it and thought the name of the dish suited it perfectly.

The restaurant was packed so we ended up sitting at the bar.  This was probably to our advantage because we made friends with a couple next to us AND the bar tender.  The bar tender told us Chef Douglas Rodriguez is known for his ceviches and recommended the Hamachi Nikkei.  My ears perk up when I hear “hamachi” so I couldn’t wait to try it out.  This ceviche was marinated in yuzu, Thai basil, togarashi peppers, cilantro, sweet soy glaze, crushed seaweed and sesame seeds.  Talk about a party in your mouth!  This ceviche was also quite amazing.

The Chicharron dish we ordered was my favorite of the night.  I can still remember the warmth and the flavors of this rock shrimp dish.  They almost tasted like popcorn shrimp but ten times better than any popcorn shrimp I’ve ever tried before.  These were coated with rice and corn flour with a sweet and spicy panca sauce and a little cilantro.  I kept popping these in my mouth as if they were tater tots and I could’ve eaten the entire bowl myself and have wanted to order another!!

Does this dish look familiar?  It’s the Hamachi Nikkei dish again because Boyfriend loved it so much that he ordered ANOTHER!  Yes, we had two of the same dish in the same sitting and it wasn’t the Chicharron.  Sadness.

Our new friends we met at the bar told us we just HAD to order the Mystery Meat Balls.  Everything up until this point had been excellent and even though I was starting to get full, we wanted to try more.  These meatballs (we were told later they were Kobe beef) had a callampa mushroom sauce over them and if you know me at all, you know I go crazy for anything with mushrooms.  These were quite filling which wouldn’t normally be a problem except we were supposed to be heading to dinner shortly after…

We also had these AMAZING bread balls that were made with tapioca flour.  I didn’t get a shot of them because I devoured them the second they were brought to us.  They had this wonderful chewy texture to them with just the right amount of cheesiness.  They were divine and I ate three of them.  Yes THREE.  Yes, I’m trying to cut out carbs from my diet but I was on vacation so I figured it’d be okay.   I also had a couple of glasses of wine and kept asking Boyfriend if it’d be okay to ask our neighbors at the bar if I could eat theirs because that is how good they are.  I didn’t ask but thinking back about it now, I almost wish I had.  Now you know why I was full when we went to dinner about 20 minutes later…

1745 James Avenue   Miami Beach, FL 33139

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One Comment on “OLA”

  1. Boyfriend Says:

    OLA was awesome. Each of our dishes were great, if a bit pricey. The Fire and Ice was a nice blend of saltiness, spicyness, sweet and cold. But as you can tell, my favorite was the Hamachi Nikkei. The chicharron definitely reminded me of popcorn shrimp, but the batter was nice and light. The meatballs were pretty fluffy, not dense at all like your typical meatballs. I would highly recommend this place if you’re ever in South Beach. Reservations are recommended if you want to sit at a table. My mouth is watering just thinking of all that food.

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