Sirena brought the heat to Little Italy this past Thursday kicking off its Latin Nights dinner series! Hosted by Chef Jaime Chavez the Latin American inspired dinners will be held on the 3rd Thursday of the month – each one to showcase the sizzle of one or two chefs as well as some stellar entertainment. I headed down to the dinner with buddy of mine, Chef Alex Emery who was equally enthusiastic to experience what the evening had in store.
Located on the corner of Columbia & Fir in Little Italy, Sirena has been open for almost a year . Their menu denotes a strong seafood and latin flavor game. With seating for 70 and my favorite open kitchen format, it’s perfect for this kind of dinner series!
San Diego/Baja is home to a plethora of talented chefs and their cross-border collaboration and camaraderie is unparalleled. In fact, Chef Jaime chose Chef Felipe as the 1st guest chef after meeting a few months earlier at the Berry Good Night Dinner – from convo to collaboration and presto!
Although I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of trying his food I read up on Chef Jaime‘s Chef’s Roll profile, and quickly understood that cooking has been in his blood since before this Chilean Chef was born into a family of bakers and that cooking allows him to most fully express himself and his passion.
Equally as passionate is my good friend Chef Felipe. Originally from Puerto Rico he attributes his love for food to his mom and sisters, and as a self-taught chef, holds his own. Frequently spotlighted on cooking spots on t.v, he donates much of his time and talent for charities on both sides of the border. Currently a resident of Ensenada, he works with the wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe for special events through his catering company.
6 courses. Yep. 6. with an optional wine pairing. But lets be serious… No option here. Mandatory. 😉 p.s. the pairing of wines was perfect. The imagination for the courses was inspirational!
Cassava Mofongo over Octopus Salad – Annato oil & citrus greens
Chicken Fricassee in Beer – Served in a plantain cup / creole bean / guava puree / candied serranos / recao
Cliantro Crusted Rockfish – garlic mojito / root vegetable medley / mango relish
Puerco Criollo with Sofrito – cabarnet reduction / sweet plantain mash / tamarind sauce
Passion Fruit Sponge Cake – candied papaya / roasted pineapple / rice pudding & ice cream
Dark Chocolate Godiva Coconut Cream Cheese Flan – candied chombard / rasberry & blackberry molasses
Shout out to Chef’s Roll Photographer Photog Rob and fellow food lovers!!!
Latin music regaled us and of course no one wanted to leave, which means we have to make it to the next one!! Like Sirena‘s FB page, the chefs page (Chef Jaime & Chef Felipe), or PS I love San Diego‘s page so that you don’t miss out!!
DISCLAIMER: My party and I were invited as Chef’s Felipe & Jaime’s guests.They generously picked up the tab for us on this occasion. My opinions are my own, and no compensation was received from the restaurant or its affiliates for writing this article.