Two nights ago a few of the girls from work and I went out after work to celebrate one of their birthdays. We kept it super classy, unlike my birthday extravaganza which included Cyclones at Pat O’s, dancing on Bourbon, and shoving Vic’s shepherd’s pie in my face at the end of the night. This girl just wanted a low-key dinner and Mayas was her restaurant of choice. I was excited to go for my first time and try one of their famous mojitos.
Mayas is located on Magazine Street, right before it splits into a one-way, across the street from Juan’s Flying Burrito. It’s a tiny little restaurant with an intimate atmosphere and a menu fit for sharing. We started the meal with the Tuna Tar Tar, which I don’t see listed on the online menu, but is definitely something I would order again when I go back. This dish was a festival of colors and flavors, from the deep red pieces of raw tuna, to the bright green avocado wedges, all dotted with tons of black and white sesame seeds. A basic sesame/soy sauce mixture brought it all together nicely and I liked the tortilla chips that were served alongside. My raspberry mojito was incredibly refreshing and I loved the tartness from the berries and the sweetness from the simple syrup and sugar cane garnish, which I happily chewed on once my drink was empty.
I ordered the Avocado Mango Salad to start and since I really enjoy a raw spinach salad, this one was right up my alley. Ripe chucks of mango and avocado were piled on top, along with some very large black grapes (which at first I feared were kalamata olives!), and an incredibly flavorful balsamic vinaigrette. For seven dollars, I thought this salad was more than fitting for two people to split, or for one person to have as a light meal. I ordered the Paella as my entree, which was loaded with shrimp, calamari, mussels, clams, chorizo, and chicken. I enjoyed the flavor of this dish, but I did find that the seafood was overcooked slightly, especially the green mussels which were very rubbery. I have not had enough paella to consider myself knowledgeable about how it’s made traditionally, but I will continue to look for the best (this place comes immediately to mind).
After dinner we headed to Pinkberry where I treated the birthday girl to a mini coconut and we continued to chat. The evening was as relaxing as it was entertaining and we were all happy to break up the work week with cocktails, giggles, and birthday wishes.
Paella Valenciana for one with Shrimp, Green Mussels, Clams, Calamari, Chorizo, Chicken, Onions, Garlic, Bell Peppers, Olives, and Saffron Rice. The online menu says it’s $25 for one person, but it was actually $19. And for the record, I didn’t taste any olives in this dish (which I was thankful for).