A few cosmetic bits of La Cofradia, the now-closed Peruvian restaurant that was once the best in Coral Gables, remain in the space now known as Mixtura, but that's all. Nestor Rojas and Miguel Hilck, partners in a North Beach Peruvian restaurant of the same name, bought the space earlier this year, slightly altering the interior and bringing in a new chive. Before their midsummer opening, they said they intended to trade its high-priced menu and business clientele for small plates and a younger, hipper crowd.
During two visits, however, what we found were high-priced plates and a middle-aged, subdued crowd. Beyond that, Mixtura's promise of Peruvian fusion fell short. We gave it a shot with Ceviche Aphrodisiac ($17), a mix of seafood in uni sauce, the Japanese name for sea urchin roe, but couldn't detect a hint of its trademark creaminess or brininess.
What did work were the Peruvian classics. Lomo saltado, a traditional dish that includes sirloin strips, here tenderloin tips, marinated in an oriental sauce based on soy sauce and vinegar came with white rice and French fries. The meat was cooked a perfect medium rare, the sauce savory and tangy. The only miss were the French fries, which tasted of the frozen variety.
Also missing from Mixtura was La Cofradia's fabulous service, which earned it the Miami New Times' Best Service nod in 2006, now gone seemingly thanks to poor management. On one visit a lone waitress struggled to keep up with the demands of a half-full dining room. The are many option for Peruvian food around Miami, and many of them offer classics equally as tasty as Mixtura's at a far lower price point.
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