"The sign of good paella is really in the rice," says Beatrice Bajares, owner of Spanish restaurant La Dorada. "It's the same as with pasta. If pasta is not cooked al dente it tastes bad." And to get the rice right, explains Bajares, a good paella must be prepared fresh, slowly, and on the premises. La Dorada offers two varieties of the dish: a traditional fish and shellfish version, and a black paella cooked with squid, baby calamari, and fish. Every evening around 11:15 p.m. (5:15 a.m. in Spain), Bajares phones her contacts in the Spanish port city of Malaga as the daily fish market opens. She ascertains what seafood the fishermen have that morning and then places an order according to her needs. "The fish are put on ice and flown from Malaga to Madrid to Miami that day," she informs. "The razor clams arrive at the restaurant still alive." In addition to the best rice and just-off-the-boat seafood, she says La Dorada uses only fresh saffron and high-quality extra virgin olive oil. The paella costs $26 per person and is worth every penny.

Location Details

177 Giralda Ave.
Coral Gables FL 33134
305-446-2002

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