Isla del Mar Seafood Restaurant brings traditional Sinaloan cuisine to Omaha in an artistic way. The playful plating and generous portions beg to be shared with your friends and family.
Isla del Mar Seafood Restaurant
Isla del Mar Seafood Restaurant, 5101 S. 36th Street, brings traditional Sinaloan cuisine to Omaha in an artistic way. This hidden gem is owned by Ismara Gonzalez who opened the restaurant two and half years ago. Since opening they have moved to a new location and even expanded. Isla del Mar boasts 10,000 square feet of space and an extensive menu. Gonzalez’s mother and sister help operate the restaurant along with assistant manager and Chef, Julio Cajas. Together they have created an experience anyone who loves seafood will enjoy. The playful plating and generous portions beg to be shared with your friends and family.
As a professional chef, I personally look for three things when I visit local eateries (aside from the totally obvious, and necessary, service, cleanliness and hospitality).
Taste. First and foremost, does it taste good? Not much else matters above this. Isla del Mar does not disappoint. The flavor combinations are unique and elevated, taking traditional dishes to unsurpassed heights.
Authenticity. If the food lacks genuinity, no one wins. Isla del Mar captures the essence of traditional Sinaloan cuisine from their authentic augachile to their ambrosial ceviches. They set the standard and truly show you what you have been missing. The environment of Isla del Mar instantly transports you to a vacation type experience.
Elevated Seafood Experience
Listen – food is a vehicle for love when done right. It is a universal language. A gustatory art. A way in which to bring people together and stay connected with friends, family and loved ones. Setting a new standard of expectation is necessary on the food trend scene. Isla Del Mar does just that. It’s what I call a foodie goodie. A haven. An island destination right at the heart of Omaha. Trust me, you will want this in, and or around, your mouth.
Let’s face it, if you’re into Mexican food, there’s a few “must haves”, a few “staples” that always have an expectation of excellence by guests. Chips, salsa and guacamole. Isla del Mar hits all the notes here. From the house made tortilla chips, that are still warm when they hit the table, to the refreshingly chilled salsa roja with fresh cilantro and lime, and the lava rock molcajete filled with delicious homemade guacamole that was so good I considered pouring the rest in my purse, but I kept it classy. I am a lady after all. Muy delicioso.
Now that the staples are accounted for, let’s dive in…(sea what I did there?) Okay, my puns are a joke, but this place isn’t so let’s talk about a few of the standout dishes that will keep me going back for more and will leave you in the most enjoyable food coma of your seafood loving life.
The La Torre Imperial
A ceviche tower that I would be willing to climb any time. A tower constructed of shrimp cooked in lime juice and perfectly braised octopus with crisp cucumber, red onion, tomato and creamy avocado with a house sauce that will leave your taste buds dancing to the rhythm of the live mariachi music. This beautiful beast is topped with a fried prawn. You almost don’t want to eat it because it is literally that beautiful…almost.
The Mojarra Frita
A whole tilapia fried and seasoned to perfection topped with a smooth, rich zarandeada sauce. Served in what could quite possibly be the biggest molcajete I have seen my life. This is a dish that is well worth the wait and is meant to be shared with friends and or people you like…a lot. Rustic, flavorful, and abundant it will leave you feeling completely satisfied.
There is something about traditional street tacos that pack a punch to your face hole. These little robust flavor bombs are a total necessity at any Mexican establishment (trust me, I know, this is one of my specialties). Enjoy Isla del Mars fish tacos piping hot and crispy with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and their house made red sauce. Go for the gusto and add one of your favorite Mexican beers. It really doesn’t need to do much else, except get in your mouth.
Yes, you read that right. Do yourself a favor and order a sushi roll. Don’t be fooled or confused by this innocuous pairing. Traditional Sinaloan food combines authentic Japanese and Latin Mexican foods. It’s how it’s done there, and now, thanks to Isla del Mar, it’s how it’s done here too. Fresh, fragrant, and unexpectedly delicious. I guess that’s how they roll.
The Menu at Isla Del Mar
The menu at Isla Del Mar is extensive. The most difficult decision you will make is choosing how many items you are going to try. The owner, Ismara Gonzalez and her team of chefs clearly strive for excellence in the kitchen, which was evident in all aspects from everything they put on a plate down to the astounding prep work done in the kitchen. It is clear that the traditional values of their cuisine are at the forefront of this experience and that is exactly what this is, an island of the sea experience. Whether you’re an avid foodie, seafood enthusiast or a you’re looking for a new place that embraces tradition and authenticity, Isla del Mar is for you.