Nestled in the Art District of Wynwood, Bloom has your grandma’s garden patio feel…if your grandma was Miranda Presley from the Devil Wear’s Prada. Cozy-Chic, to describe it one hyphenated word.
I sit on a purple cushion and lay against a burnt orange pillow. Across from my table huge photos depicting the pueblo life in Guatemala catch my eye. “It looks relatively empty”, I commented to the owner Sebastian. “It’s because we just started serving lunch, people don’t know about it yet.” I’m hoping that Sebastian is right and that this isn’t an indicator of what the food is going to be like. The waiters are attentive and my Pinot Noir has a nice oaky taste to it, so not a bad start.
The first dish that comes out is the Shrimp Shaken. My James Bond voice comes in handy as I try to make a joke about how I’d like my shrimp shaken, not stirred but it falls flat. The waitress shakes a glass mason jar with the contents of the appetizer. The dish had been described to me as a ceviche but it tastes far from it. Somewhat sweet with papaya and peanuts in the mix but also spicy with a special soy sauce. It is accented with pepita, or Squash seeds. It tastes very fruity rather than citrusy. It’s nothing to brag about but not too bad either. At 14 dollars a jar I would skip it on my next trip.
The next thing to grace my little table is a duck arepa. WOW! Made in house with shredded and flavorful duck; this is amazing. Complemented with cilantro this is the epitome of a near perfect dish. I can’t detect the exact spices in the duck, maybe a hint of cinnamon? But that is no matter because great food, like great music is a combination of things to create one beautiful sound or in this case taste. Complemented with fingerling potato fries that are so thin that they are practically see-through! The fries are just as incredible as the arepa, made with smokey coban pepper and topped with chives and cotija cheese…just magical.
Then came the special fried rice with short ribs, another strong contender. The short rib meat is succulent and finely shredded mixing into the jasmine rice seamlessly. Sprinkle in some of their homemade spicy soy and hot sauce and you are good to go. Probably one of the best fried rices I have had. Filled with flavor and not too salty like most fried rices.
Last up is the “Char Sul Tamale” or a tamale with chinese bbq pork. The pork is cut into small chunks and is tender with the same tangy and delectable taste I found in the arepa. Unlike most tamales the meat was placed above the corn tamale rather than in it, but good all the same. It was again, not too memorable but satisfying.
Overall my experience at Bloom was positive. Charming interior, friendly and eager to please staff and again GET THE AREPAS! Some things are a bit pricy for what you get (I’m looking at you shaken shrimp) but definitely worth a stop if you are looking for a truly unique tasting dish.