As evidenced by the colorful paintings of cigar smokers, disco dancers, and drummers adorning its walls, Laura's Cuban Restaurant fully embraces the festive spirit of its namesake Caribbean island. The eatery is home to a menu of traditional Cuban comfort food, such as roast pork, shrimp in garlic sauce, or ox tail cooked in red wine. In addition its international selection of wines, beers, and tap waters, Laura's Cuban Restaurant also doles out steaming cups of Cuban-style coffee as well as tropically inspired milkshakes made with everything from papaya to banana.
It was in La Ceiba, Honduras, that Mario Flores first began associating food with family. His mother would cook for him and his siblings, and the family meals, which set the groundwork for good conversation, provided both a structure to daily life and a sense of comfort. He now hopes to emulate that same atmosphere at his own establishment, Mario's Catalina Restaurant, where he mans the kitchen.
His dishes harken back to old-world Cuba and Spain with appetizers of yucca, sides of fried plantains, and entrees of roast pork cooked in Jack Daniel's whiskey, which is a far more flavorful marinade than Jack Daniel's lukewarm water. His menu also includes "Mario's favorite": a red snapper fillet breaded in green plantains and accompanied by lobster sauce and jumbo shrimp.
Guests enjoy these dishes and a selection of wines and sangria inside the dining room, which, with its wall-to-wall paintings, softly lit lamps, shimmering chandeliers, and close tables, resembles a warm, cozy home.