Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The not-so-little mermaid

Today we woke up with so many questions bouncing in our brain: Is there really a place in France where ladies do a dance? Ontologically speaking, are we really all alone on this long journey? And lordy gabordy Mr. Tilapia, how are we going to eat your crispy-on-the-outside tender-on-the-inside sauteed loveliness with you staring at us with your mouth wide open like that? What, are you amazed at the heaven you are on the inside, too?

If you're at La Sirena Gorda, a lovely little Mexican seafood marisquería in the Midtown Global Market, Mr. Talipia's answer is probably the latter. Here, whole mouth-hanging-open-and-all tilapia is served in a spicy-as-life garlic mojo de ajo sauce with rice, guacamole, pico de gallo, and tortillas for only $9.95. Top it off with a traditional hibiscus iced tea for $1.75, and suddenly the bustling spot in the MGM appears magically sun-baked and as hot as summers by the sea should be.

Owner Alfonso Melendez, who also owns Babalu, used to manage the much pricier Oceanaire. But we love the easy-on-pocketbook and made-fresh-daily seafood meals he serves up at La Sirena Gorda like we love these bright April days. The shrimp tacos are fire-hot and scrumptious, the mahi-mahi tostadas marinated in chipotle sauce are what hibiscus tea was made for, and the sopa de mariscos, made with octopus, shrimp, mussels, clams, and calamari ($4.95), is little bits of heaven on earth, under the sea.

La Sirena Gorda, Midtown Global Market:

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