We were in the neighborhood of La Jaiba yesterday for a medical appointment, so we decided to lunch there. Although the main entrance is on Blvd Garcia de León, there is free, shaded parking accessed by Calle Batalla de Casa Mata at the rear.
|Drive by photo of main entrance|
The door from the parking area takes you through part of the kitchen and past the clean rest rooms, and by these attractive garnish plates, ready for service.
We were seated by our soft spoken waiter and brought a basket of surprisingly decent bolillo, crisp, non greasy tostadas, and the requisite galletas Saladitas; plus limes, serious salsa and seasoned mayo.
Then a somewhat unpleasant surprise came, when our waiter quietly informed me that photography of the food was not permitted. I could only speculate as to the reasons for this prohibition. But he invited me to photograph the seafood display on ice in the front dining room. I wasn't impressed but I acquiesced.
After I recovered my aplomb, we ordered. I started with a warm tostada de marlin, which was very good, as the guisado de marlin was in small dice instead of shreds, and the seasoning was perfect.
For drinks, Doña Cuevas had an agua mineral, as the aguas frescas choices were limited to limonada or naranjada. I had a michelada con Clamato. With the arrival of the drinks and their serving, a certain stuffy, formal style of serving emerged. Our waiter asked us if we would permit him to pour the drinks. A nice touch, maybe, but a bit pretentious for a marisquería, I think. The michelada was excellent, served in a beer mug from which a celery stalk emerged, but did not come with any shrimp. Later I saw two women drinking micheladas in chabelas (goblets, complete with shrimp.) Later, I had another cerveza sencilla y sola.
Doña Cuevas ordered Brochetas de Camarones, which she had enjoyed at La Jaiba on previous visits. In the past, it was an attractive pair of skewers with alternating large shrimp, onion, sweet peppers and bacon, capped by chunks of orange. This time, however, it arrived skewerless, and judging by the higher than average oil level, had been sautéed, not broiled. It was, however, a tasty if less attractive mess. It was accompanied a variable salad of shredded jícama, raw beet, etc, and the truly not photogenic plop of gross looking Ensalada Rusa. She skipped the Ensalada
I chose Huaguachil de Camarones Grandes, "Huaguachil" is apparently a variant spelling of "Aguachile(e)". It takes about 20 minutes to prepare, as the shrimp are "cooked" in fresh lime juice, afterwards served with diced cucumbers and garnished with a few rings of purple onions and some slivers of avocado.
It was really quite good, tart, picante and refreshing, but it now occurs to me that if I chose camarones grandes, for more money, instead of camarones chicos, what did it matter, if the shrimp were cut into small bits anyway?
We were both quite stuffed by meal's end, and no room for any of the desserts offered on a tray. From past experience, most of the desserts are easily skipped without regrets.
The final cuenta was about $433 pesos, an remarkably high figure for two people, but we were aware when we ordered, that our platos fuertes were about $175 or more each.
Since it has been a few years since I last reviewed La Jaiba, I'll update my ratings.
Food: *** Greater attention to details would be welcome.
Service: *** Kind of stuffy for a basically informal place, but more than adequate.
Price: $$ 1/2
Ambience: Nets and fish, crabs and nets and fish, shells and crabs.
Rest rooms: clean and in good working order.
Parking: free, shaded parking accessed by Calle Batalla de Casa Mata, between Bat. de Cerro Gordo and Bat. de Angostura.
Special plus, to their credit: free wifi, and no password needed! This feature goes some ways to canceling my grudge about no photos. If only other restaurants, and especially Starbucks, would remove the absurdly challenging barriers to logging in to the Internet.I do have a few photos, taken on previous visits.
|Taco de Marlin|
|Coctel Vuelve a la Vida|