Normally, finding Loca Loca should not have been difficult. After all, as the promoters tell us, it’s just behind the Khar Education Society gates, close to the station and off the Khar 3rd Road. But the new Cuban theme bar and lounge hasn’t yet put up their signage.
Even the front entrance is sort of dark without a single neon light! But just before we go “Loca”, we find the place, after a quick phone conversation with the hangout’s owner Kishore. We are here to check out the latest addition to the Bandra-Khar nightlife, and going by their past offerings — The Big Nasty and WTF, we expect good stuff from Loca Loca.
Inside, things are already in place even though there is still five days to go before Loca Loca opens to the public. The seats are comfortable — a choice of leather armchairs and sofas around each table. The lighting is dim, but enough to read the menu or figure out laugh lines on your partner’s face.
The menu is not printed yet but we get an insider’s view of the bar and finally choose a Fresh Strawberry Cubanito (Rs 385 for a glass and Rs 1,000 for a jar) and a Miami Mojito (Rs 290 for a glass and Rs 800 for a jar). The Cubanito — a Bacardi-base cocktail, comes in three fresh fruit flavours — pineapple, strawberry and watermelon. They are well made, slightly sweet as you would expect but smooth.
We refuse the chance to sample another of Loca Loca’s specialties, the Vodka Fresh Grape Sangria (vodka, wine and lots of slightly fermented fruits) or one of their many beer labels, since getting woozy is not on our agenda. The chef says not all items on the menu are being dished up as yet. So we ask for a Non Vegetarian Platter (Rs 500) and a few items from the veg section of the menu. The pork wrap is divine and the Shrimp Fritobit, pretty cool too. The Fried Calamari (Rs 180) gets two thumbs up, as does the suggestively named Cheesy Corn Job (Rs 120).
For those in the mood for a sandwich instead of a heavier Pot Roast Beef (Rs 235), there is the BBQ Beef in Foccacia, the Cuban Ham Sandwich or the Chicken Sofrito, all priced at Rs 220. Vegetarians can grab Paneer & Corn Sliders or a Mushroom Corn & Cheese Toast for Rs 180.
Kishore says he struck upon the idea of a Cuban theme bar because Cubans are “fun loving people, a little crazy when they party and of course because they make some great rum.” The décor of the place is worth a second glance too, with carefully picked up stuff from — err, let’s not say where — creating a typical Havana street look. Wooden window frames and broken door-frames greet you as you enter the lounge. The lime green and orange shades on the walls are typical of the colourful Cuban houses. On the walls hang movies posters from Cuba. And no, they don’t really have a Fidel Castro portrait keeping a watch on how much you drink. Just the right atmosphere to go completely Loca!
Loca Loca is open to guests from today. firstname.lastname@example.org Since it was a preview, we cannot rate the experience.