Just back from first visit to the new little hole-in-the-wall restaurant Ceviche Bar, in Des Moines’ East Village, and sort of a mixed bag. The meal I had was good – but not what I ordered or even near. (I’ll explain later) The the service was confused at best (which actually is the main reason why I didn’t get the meal I ordered.)
The place just opened and got a good write up in the local paper so that is probably why they seemed completely overwhelmed. I ordered ceviche (which seemed a good bet given the name) but instead was served a plate with chicken and rice smothered in an orange-red sauce. The server explained that they’d run out of ceviche so they brought me the day’s special. Why they didn’t give me the option to order something else, I don’t know. But the chicken looked good – and was good. Delicious in fact – very tender chicken and the sauce’s defining flavor was salt, which might not be very complex but was tasty. I never received my cuban coffee. My companion got part of the meal she ordered (a cuban sandwich that was pretty ordinary – nothing like the amazing one Rick Bayless serves at Torta in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport or Xoco in Chicago), with missing rice that she reordered. Whatever. We shared a small disc of flan – good flavor and texture. Not too sweet and held together well. The place is cheerful and small and I’ll wait awhile before returning so they can iron out some of the kinks. Overall, a nice addition to the dining scene here.