paladar improving

Over the weekend we went with our neighbors to check out Peppermint on Lander Circle, the new Thai restaurant from the people who own Mint on Coventry. Sadly, we arrived way too early because they are not quite open yet. Which is how we ended up at Paladar.

The place was packed. In fact, I’ve never seen it so busy. My husband and I have both been there several times before, mostly for lunch and the occasional weekday dinner. While we were never the only dinners, the place was never this packed. We certainly never had to wait for a table, but we did on Saturday – an hour to be exact.

Since I wasn’t that hungry, thanks in part to two mojitos and the guacamole for the table, I ordered the butternut squash tortilla soup and Cuban braised beef appetizer with sweet plantains and aji-amarillo.

In previous posts, I’ve commented about the guacamole being rather bland overall, which is disappointing to have an independent Latin restaurant so close to my house that serves blah guacamole. I mean, if my sister can make outstanding guac, why can’t they? And this is something they tout, like the rum bar. In my opinion, you can’t hype something if it doesn’t deliver.

Since opening in August, it appears they have worked out a few kinks, and my guess is continuing to work out a few more. While I still wouldn’t call the guacamole great, it was definitely much improved. It noticeably had a lot more flavor, which alone is an improvement, but now seems to be lacking any avocado flavor. This is ironic because when I first tried it, I only tasted mashed fresh avocado – that’s it. No salt, cilantro, tomatoes, onion, etc. They deliver on the presentation, serving the popular appetizer is an oversized mocajete, along with yummy plantain chips. They are almost there if they could just figure out the guacamole.

While the guacamole may not shine just yet, the soup and appetizer sure did. The creamy soup was a bit smoky and packed with perfect butternut squash flavor. And I really enjoyed the toasted tortilla strips with each bite. The Cuban braised beef, which was so big I only finished half, was spicy, tender, and simply delicious. This is something I’d happily order again, and given the size, look forward to leftovers the next day.


  1. Allison M.
    Posted November 6, 2007 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I meant to tell you about that place. I saw it on my way to Heinen’s. I’ll need to check it out too.

  2. michelle v
    Posted November 6, 2007 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I went again for lunch today b/c of this soup – it’s that good! I need to get my fix b/c who knows how much longer it will be on the menu.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted November 7, 2007 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Has the service improved? I was there for lunch and the bartender was frazzled and uninformed about the food. The fish tacos were helped by the capers and raisens but were more like a deli smoked fish spread in a taco shell. Do you know a good place dor fish tacos?

  4. michelle v
    Posted November 7, 2007 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I’ve always thought the service was pretty good and have never had any problems, although I have heard minor stories from other people. No, I don’t have a good recommendation for fish tacos – I wish I did! If you find one, please share.

    I had the fish tacos once and wasn’t fond of them. The consistency was like chicken salad and I wasn’t crazy about the overall taste.

  5. Rachel
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Regarding fish tacos, i have had decent ones @ the Nauti Mermaid