If you’ve never gotten the chance to go to Cuba or can’t wait to go back, we’ve found the next best thing. Because you see, a new restaurant in Little Havana is bringing Cuba to you.
That music, a rotary phone, old cash register and pictures of Ernest Hemingway?
Take a step inside Sala’o on Calle Ocho, and right away, you feel like you’re in 1940s Havana.
Jorge Mas, Sala’o: “The idea of this restaurant is paying tribute to Ernest Hemingway. He was an American writer and man who lived in Cuba most of his life and loved the country.”
The name of the restaurant comes from “The Old Man and the Sea”.
A fisherman named Santiago went 84 days without catching a fish.
Jorge Mas: “It comes from the Spanish, Cuban word that means salty — but also means bad luck.”
Though instead of bad luck, what you’ll find here is authentic Cuban seafood dishes like seafood rice.
It’s inspired by a fishing town in Cuba.
Jorge Mas: “At the end of the day, they used to make this type of rice with whatever they had left to feed all the fishermen. We play with the seafood that we can get. We put clams. We put half crab, fish. We used corvina. We put some shrimp.”
Juan, customer: “The flavor is delicious, and the seafood is very, very soft.”
There’s also the pulpito, which is charred octopus.
Jorge Mas: “On the bottom, we put a sauce that’s from roasted red peppers. Then, we use a little bit of the ink and put it on top.”
And from the raw bar, you can get a mahi mahi dish that’s got a Caribbean vibe.
Jorge Mas: “We put tiny slices of the fish. We cover it with coconut lime sauce. Then, we put pineapple on top. We put on puffed sasona’o rice. It’s a crunchy rice.”
Ally, customer: “It was very light and refreshing and like kind of sweet but not too sweet. It was great.”
You’ve also got plenty of options from the drink menu, like daiquiris — a Hemingway favorite — or a Cubanito.
Josh, customer: “It was really good. It’s like a spin on a classic bloody Mary.”
Can you tell that music’s still bumpin’ in the background?
Between that, the food and drinks, Sala’o is looking to bring a unique Cuban flair to the 305.
Customer: “It’s my first time in this neighborhood, and it’s exactly what I would’ve wanted to experience.”
Jorge Mas: “It’s a piece of Havana in Calle Ocho.”
FOR MORE INFO:
Sala’o Cuban Bar & Pescaderia
1642 SW 8th St.
Miami, FL 33135
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