Why is it called Rosa "Mexicano", you ask? I don't know. Maybe it's like the square root of a million, and no one will ever know. Probably a good marketing move, since people are always talking about it.
If you've been to New York, you've likely heard of Rosa Mexicano, known for its upscale Mexican cuisine and great guacamole. It's a favorite in my family and we were all excited to learn that a new location opened here in Miami.
I was a little surprised to find that we couldn't get a reservation until 1015 on Saturday, but I was happy to hear they were doing so well. The restaurant is located in a part of Miami that is trying so hard to be a hub of nightlife. I love the change of scenery, so I hope the Cocowalk-like shopping center in which it sits will thrive along with the surrounding neighborhood. The few lights that were on in all of those brand-new skyscrapers were not as encouraging as the full restaurant.
So, we ordered the famous guacamole that is prepared table-side. It was quite delicious. No surprise there. Most of us ordered some sort of margarita to drink. Sarah's choice was the most exotic and had cinammony sugar on the rim, rather than the traditional salt. I knew, thanks to my father, that the only way to order the aforementioned libation is "straight up". That way your drink doesn't get watery as you sip it. If you're more of a drink "pounder", this might not matter to you, but keep it in mind the next time you have a hankering for a margarita.
We got some food recommendations from our friendly waiter, and everything he suggested was excellent. The pulled duck appetizer, zarape de pato, was wonderful, as were the empanadas de jaiba. Everybody likes empanadas, and these had crab meat in them. Case closed.
Kim chose the enchiladitas de pollo, probably because they sounded cute, but failed to finish reading the description, which included "mole de Xico". The word is pronounced "mow-lay" for all you gringos our there who can't keep your vowels nice and short. Please just don't say it like that around me.
Everyone who tasted the mole enchiladas agreed when I remarked that it smelled a lot like dog food as a forkful approached my expectant mouth. That sounds slightly sexual. Sorry about that. Oh, Sarah thought it smelled like horse feed. So, we all agreed that it smelled/tasted like something other than people food. And it was ordered by accident. Not a good showing for what I had earlier called Rosa Mexicano's "classic dish". Oops.
My main course was enchiladas suizas, which were only slightly better than chicken enchiladas in green sauce would be at any tex-mex restaurant around, like Rancho Grande, which I love by the way. The main course was good, but not great. We found the service trailed off soon after our appetizers arrived. It took way too long for our second drinks to arrive.
Over all, I would say that you go to Rosa Mexicano for a fun night out in a neighborhood that is coming around. It's not the best restaurant and the service is neither good nor particularly bad, which in Miami I think I have to say means it's got good service. It didn't feel like we were ripped off, like you would if you'd just been mugged at Barton G, but we didn't leave with the euphoria that one experiences after an unexpected transcendent meal. I'll go back.
Incidentally, does anyone know if one can get Montezuma's revenge here in the U.S.? No reason in particular. I was just, you know, wondering.
*Many thanks to reader, Alex, who enlightened us to the fact that "rosa" is a color and takes the masculine article "el". I am surprised to learn this since there's another word for pink in Spanish, "rosada".