​Ceviche is the perfect food for Miami's brutal summers. When properly made, the dish can serve as a refreshing escape from the unrelenting heat. But not all South Florida eateries offer worthy recipes. Take Lakes Seafood. 

Lakes Seafood's Sad Ceviche

The Peruvian restaurant is situated in a Miami Lakes shopping center.
The Spanish-speaking staff is  friendly and inviting, the furnishings simple. Plain, square tables are covered in traditional Peruvian knitted covers and a TV in the corner plays Spanish television. It would seem to be the just right for the home-cooked tastes of a mom-and-pop Peruvian joint.

But this was not the case when it came to their ceviche de pescado

On a recent visit, Short Order was served the dish in a fish-shaped crystal plate. The seafood pieces were oversize and of a strange tint -- accompanied by a bland tasting camote (sweet potato). Everything was sprinkled with red onion, stale plantain chips, and corn nuts. The unidentifiable fish was tough and rubbery, lacking the usual citrus essence. The flavor was more like undercooked chicken than light, fresh snapper.

Perhaps this is an exception for the homey restaurant. The server was embarrassed to collect the barely-touched plate and removed it from the bill. Otherwise, the disappointment would have cost $15. And The Miami Herald praised Lakes Seafood in a 2009 review, stating that "it excels at fish, seafood and ceviche." Excel is a strong wrong. As strong as the rotten fish smell emitted by our over-priced plate. 

If you don't want to risk receiving a similar dish, take ceviche matters into your own hands. Riki Altman posted a Sea Bass ceviche recipe last week

15480 N.W. 77th Ct., Miami lakes

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