The long, slim restaurant at 230 Cedar Lake Road South in Minneapolis’ Bryn Mawr restaurant is now called La Mesa. The new venture comes from Juan Yunga and Ann Carlson-Yunga, a couple who met 19 years ago while working at the Nicollet Island Inn. Yunga is the chef, using the large wood-fire oven that dominates the room to serve food inspired by his upbringing in Cuenca, Ecuador. That means mahi-mahi tacos, guajillo spiced wings, half chickens roasted in that oven and served with choloula aioli, ceviche and more.
In addition to a beer and wine list, there is also a selection of non-alcohol drinks like Andean flower tea, traditionally made with amaranth flowers, lime and sugar; and Fioravanti, an Ecuadorian strawberry soda that’s said to be one of the world’s first commercial sodas, according to a profile on the couple in the Southwest Journal.