Juan Carlos and Larissa Jimenez's bright, warm-toned Dublin restaurants decorated with dramatic murals by a Cuban designer. Together with lively Cuban music, flattering lighting and really welcoming and helpful staff, it all makes for a uniquely Cuban atmosphere - and you get into the mood at the little bar, with a famous Cuban cocktail like a Daiquiri or Mojito.
Juan Carlos's cooking demonstrates the Spanish, Caribbean and South American influences on Cuba's food and there are no cheffy tricks, just good honest cooking.
his informative menus give the names of dishes in two languages, with a full description of each, and it's well worth a visit to experience something genuinely different. Most dishes are slow cooked, with very little deep frying, and the flavours are of aromatic spices and herbs - predominantly garlic, cumin, oregano and bay.
To start, you might share a plate of tender mini barbecued pork skewers served with a light South Beach olive oil and mustard seed salsa; mixed with peppers and nicely grilled, it makes an attractive the starter garnished with mixed salad leaves.
For mains, try Drunken Chicken (or pork) with guacamole, a very tasty Cuban rice dish garnished with deep fried plantain strips and with Tabasco offered for extra spice. Or perhaps a simple but very well executed dish of red snapper fillet coated with a light coconut sauce. Side orders are different here too of course - black bean rice is typical, complementing the spicy food well.
Service, under the direction of Omar Jiminez, is professional and friendly, adding to the appeal of this cheerful restaurant.
The wine list, which is moderately priced (€22 to €34) and mainly from the New World, includes a pair of Cuban bottles and has good tasting notes.
9 wines are offered by the glass in two sizes (small or large €6.00 to €8.50).