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Mexican minichain offering fresh, straightforward preparations of shrimp and seafood galore.

Our Review

There are enough different shrimp preparations on the menu at Las Islas Marias to dazzle Forrest Gump's army buddy. Shrimp empanadas are simple and good, with a cornmeal crust and fresh green salsa, and there are several shrimp-heavy seafood cocktails, hot and cold, as well as a paté. Langostinos a la plancha (grilled shrimp) are meaty little bastards griddled in salsa Huichol to a piquant crustiness. Our order of parilla levanta muertos--a grilled platter to "raise the dead"--was fresh and spicy, full of shrimp, mussels, scallops, and crab. My dining partner rapidly slurped down a bowl of caldo sieto mares ("soup of the seven seas"), an overflowing cornucopia of crustaceans and fish more stew than soup. We ordered tilapia and were pleased to receive a whole fish--which is rather interesting, zoologically speaking, if you've only seen this creature in fillet form. This is not fancy seafood, just good stuff prepared straightforwardly and perked up with avocado and fresh lime. Most dishes are cooked in the tradition of the islands off the coast of the Mexican state of Nayarit, so don't come a-looking for refried beans and tortillas.

David Hammond

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Price: $$
Payment Type: American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

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