Local cuisine crosses cultures

With décor accented by pinks, oranges, and yellows, tropical colored candles, rustic wood tables and chairs, rainbow-colored chopsticks on every table and dark mood lighting, Chino Latino offers customers a trendy environment to enjoy a tasty blend of Latin and Asian dishes.
Located on the corner of Hennepin Ave. and Lake Street in Uptown, the restaurant is only marked with its sparkly orange wall of sequins surrounded by the restaurant’s posters. This theme is also present inside the restaurant, where the mood is relaxed and hip.
The food is inspired by street food from the tropical belt extending from the Caribbean to North and South America, Polynesia, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa. There is a changing menu every night which makes each visit unique.
One of the more popular meals that always seems to find its way on the menu is the El Barbarrosa’s Borrachos, which is a meal of juicy and tender steak pieces soaked in a Dos Equis marinade with lime juice. It is served with freshly made guacamole, cheese, sour cream and warm, white corn tortillas ($29.00). Other favorites are the chicken, beef, scallop, or portabello mushroom satays. They are traditional Indonesian-style grilled meats with dipping sauces such as spicy peanut butter sauce ($4.95 each).

Meals, at Chino Latino, are served differently than at most restaurants. All the dishes are made family style. There are big or little dishes to share and their prices reflect that. Usually each table, depending on how large the party is, will get a large dish and a few small ones.
Chino Latino is very popular on weekend nights and reservations are suggested. One drawback to this popularity is that on a typical Friday night, the restaurant is very loud and it is hard to hear the music or talk to the waiter and the other people you are with.

anna martin, staff writer