After an Art Basel event at Vizcaya (recap included in longer Art Basel post here), my friends from college who were in town and I were pretty hungry. They had spent the first part of their trip in South Beach and so I thought Brickell or the Grove would be cool places for them to see that were convenient after leaving Vizcaya. They liked the idea of Brickell and so we Uber’d it back and got dropped off at Mary Brickell Village. They were pretty open to any kind of food after I gave them a long list of options (sushi, burgers, BBQ, etc. You can get pretty much anything in Brickell). We walked around a bit first, so they got an impression of Brickell (they thought it was really cool). Not getting much help from them on the decision-making process, I recommended Colombian since that was something they hadn’t tried and Miami is a great place for it.
La Moon was an old favorite I hadn’t been to honestly in years (and hadn’t blogged about it either). My old roommate had loved La Moon and we would go there somewhat often late at night after going out in Brickell or sometimes early in the morning for breakfast. It’s kind of a nice balance between late night food with good quality and being pretty quick and easy, while also being sort of a nicer restaurant with a sit-down experience (if you want that). Their “new” location (new as in like two or three years) down a few blocks from the old one also gives it much more space (plus added to the ability to have that “sit-down” experience).
I knew that of course I would be getting an arepa (corn pancake), which is my favorite and go-to for Colombian/Venezuelan meals (and a favorite food in general). You can check out an overview of arepas that I did in an old blog post here, especially some of the differences between Colombian and Venezuelan arepas. I got the Super Munchies arepa (steak, chicken, smoked sausage, bacon, and cheese) and then got us all an order of the salchipapas (french fries with sausage and pink sauce). One friend got the Supermoon Perro (hot dog with sausage, bacon, and quail egg), while the other got the chicken breast Milanesa.
I would say that generally I tend to prefer Venezuelan arepas to Colombian arepas, because they are a little bit softer and you stuff the fillings inside one arepa (vs. Colombian where you make a sandwich out of two arepas). La Moon is an exception to that and are some of my favorite arepas in Miami. They are crispy, but not “tough”. Tough doesn’t accurately describe other Colombian arepas, but you do usually have to bite a lot harder into them. Along with having great arepas on the outside, the Supermoon arepa at La Moon is a great combination of meats and cheese for this strongly-leans-carnivore “omnivore” (thank you carrots!). Very filling and delicious!
Salchipapas are another interesting combination that sounds at first odd or interesting to visitors, but that they come to love (like Peruvian lomo saltado). The french fries with the sausage are a great complementary combination of flavors and the pink sauce adds an extra something. Both my friends gave it thumbs up and were eager to eat more (despite us all becoming quite stuffed from our entrees). I think it’s a combination of flavors that a lot of Americans are not used to (again similar to the lomo saltado), but realize that it’s great.
My friend raved about his hot dog and another great combination of flavors (from the sausage and bacon) on his hot dog. He was really amused by the quail egg. Like really amused. My other friend enjoyed his chicken and thought the plantains were really delicious (also came with rice and beans). His dish was a good introductory dish to a lot of common Latin dishes.
Given it’s pretty extensive menu, quality food, and central location to a lot of hotels and the cruise port, I think La Moon is a great place to try out Colombian food. I would recommend it to visitors and those hosting visitors (and of course Miamians that haven’t tried it). I would highly recommend the arepas and from this friend (and many others) also suggest the hot dogs. It’s also open until 6 AM on Fridays and Saturdays (3 AM on Thursdays, 1 AM on Sundays, 12 AM on Wednesdays, 10 PM on Mondays/Tuesdays), so it’s a great option for some late night food (it’s delicious when sober and when… not). It also does delivery for those in the Brickell area (and maybe Little Havana/downtown). The menu is at the link below.
La Moon- 97 SW 8th Street Miami, FL