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Hot Eats
Jul 01, 2010

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Hot Eats: Mojo Tapas

The expansive, globally inspired tapas and fresh fruit cocktails carry the charm at this new South Grand locale.
Story: Cristy Miller
Photos: Photos by Jennifer Silverberg

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 Maybe it was the orange-ginger salmon gravlox or the lamb sliders with apricot—or the ginger caipiroska cocktail—but something charmed my taste buds on my first visit to Mojo. Located in the space at South Grand and Arsenal that once housed Erato Wine Bar and then Parkside Lounge, Mojo has a low-key vibe and a something-for-everyone menu of small plates, sandwiches and fresh-fruit concocted spirits.

Globally Inspired Tapas
The broad menu pulls its influences from around the globe; Latin, Caribbean and even classic American ingredients, herbs and spices are present throughout. Order the curried edamame hummus and a side of French fries—who said they don’t go together? I enjoyed the wild mushroom flatbread with creamy goat cheese and truffle oil one evening and ordered it with the shrimp with lime, two skewers with mini shrimp delicately cooked and served over rice. But these pairings and the overall span of the menu isn’t so unexpected once you know a little bit about the chef. Chef and owner Eric Erhard has had a hand in several local restaurants, many as varied as his own menu at Mojo. Stints at the departed Café Mira and Crazy Fish and more recently, at the respected Annie Gunn’s and Harvest and Mike Johnson’s tapas ventures, Momos and Boogaloo are evident in Chef Erhard’s menu and he ties together dishes like salt cod and potato cakes, jerk chicken skewers and roasted pork empanadas effortlessly.

Among the twenty-plus tapas items, Chef Erhard rounds out the menu with a few dishes that are a little less adventurous, but that are enjoyable all the same. The mixed green salad, while small, was satisfying with pine nuts and carrots and currants tossed with a light orange sherry vinaigrette. The chopped tomato salad had a nice Mediterranean touch with mozzarella and pesto with balsamic vinaigrette. Entrées include well-prepared tagliatelle; the pasta was tender and light with sautéed chicken in a thyme butter sauce, but my favorite was the smoked salmon club, a mini version of the classic with hot smoked salmon and a zesty lemon pepper aioli, served on a pretzel bun.

Mojo Tapas Restaurant & Bar
3117 South Grand Blvd.
South City
Tapas: $5-$9
Entrées & Sandwiches: $7.50-$10
Hours: Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri 11am-11pm, bar until 1:30 am; Sat. 4pm-11pm, bar service until 1:30am

Editor's Picks: Tips for a top-notch experience at Mojo's Tapas

Top Tapas: Lamb sliders with apricot mustard

Best Place To perch: Sidewalk patio along South Grand Boulevard

Spirit Award: Lemon basil mojo mojito; housemade with white rum, simple syrup, basil and lemon

Recommended ETA: Early; happy hour is Monday-Saturday with domestic beer and cocktail specials.

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