One thing I can say about Coconut Grove is that it’s a neighborhood full of surprises. Walking down Main Highway, we saw the small Spanish restaurant. It was early still, and a bit empty, so we debated whether it would make for a good dinner. After a few looks around–everything else was full–we settled for La Gamba.
The outside is a number of high tables and chairs covered by large umbrellas and set right next to the bustling Main Hwy. The inside is also very small, with red walls and a couple of tables and chairs. Towards the back, a large opening hints at the busy work going on in the kitchen.
- House olives. I love, love olives, so there really isn’t any argument there! We flew threw two servings very quickly.
- House bread. Add a little balsamic and olive oil to it.
- Carpaccio de pulpo con aioli a la paprika. The dish is small; the octopus is thinly sliced, and is overlaid with olive oil and paprika. At first, the flavor seems minimal; however, as it moves around your taste buds it becomes an explosion of flavor. The paprika really stands out, and leaves a tingling sensation.
- Mejillones al vapor con salsa de vino blanco. The dish is a decent size, with part of the mussels submerged in the white wine sauce. While enjoyable, I do prefer stronger, more distinctive flavors.
- Navajas de almeja. Delicious! Marinated in a myriad of seasonings, it starts off with lime hints and turns from one flavor to the next.
- Gambas al ajillo. Exquisite! Six large shrimp with a strong garlic flavor come accompanied with a decorative serving of salad (which was just as good). These are definitely a must.
- Red wine sangria. The flavor wasn’t bad, but it was too watery. I wish it had been stronger, with more pronounced savors.
This is a restaurant I really liked, especially because it’s very intimate and it offers good food that I found enjoyably different to other seafood and tapas places. The one thing I wasn’t convinced with was the service. It was too slow for such a small location.