I did it again. I went out to lunch instead of making it myself, but this time I discovered something new: La Moon Restaurant. I’ve been seeing this tiny place on 8th street (between SW 1st and 2nd avenues) every morning for months now. I was intrigued by a sign on the side of the building that reads: perros colombianos (Colombian hot dogs). Thinking that it just sold Colombian hot dogs — I’ll leave explaining what makes a hot dog Colombian for another day — I hadn’t thought of going. But as I found out yesterday when four of us headed there at the suggestion of a friend, La Moon serves a full menu of Colombian and not-so-Colombian dishes.
Don’t expect anything fancy. The place has about eight tables and a few more outside, mostly bare walls, plastic checkered tablecloths and to quote my friend, ugly chairs. Then again the food was good and presented nicely for this type of restaurant. Even their hot dogs are served in very nice plates. Prices were comparable to everything else you find around Brickell that’s not fast food.
Because I don’t eat it very often anymore, I ordered ajiaco, a potato-based soup with shredded chicken, corn, peas and carrots, served with white rice and house salad (which is served without dressing; oil and vinegar are provided for you to add yourself). The soup fed me twice (see the big bowl in the picture) and was reminiscent — just reminiscent, not quite like it — of my family’s homemade ajiaco.
The mojarra frita (fried fish), another typical Colombian dish, caused a little stir when it arrived at the table standing up on the plate. It’s served with white rice and tostones. Neither the fish nor the tostones were too greasy, which is a problem I’ve had often with some Colombian restaurants in Miami. The other two in the group ordered grouper served over potatoes and vegetables (not sure if that was the actual name on the menu) and shrimp scampi pasta. Although they were good, especially the grouper, I would opt for more typical dishes. I mean, the fun is in trying the Colombian food.
While paying our check, we caught a glimpse of the hamburgers arriving at the table next to us. I’m not a big fan of burgers but these, like the hot dogs, looked so good that I’ll be returning to try their fast food menu, which I’m thinking must be very popular on weekends when La Moon opens until 5 a.m. Stay tuned…
Prices before tax: Ajiaco ($8); Mojarra ($10.50); Shrimp scampi pasta and grouper ($10.95 each).
La Moon Restaurant
144 SW 8th Street