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After that delicious start, a few of Casa Ora’s dishes got bogged down in too-similar flavor profiles, making it redundant to share plates, even if they were individually pleasant. For example, the hallaca ($12), pork tamal with chickpeas, could’ve used more olives for some extra dimension. The bollitos pelones ($14), which are corn dumplings stuffed with ground beef in a tomato sauce, lacked a strong taste of its component ingredients.
But some plates do stand out, such as the pabellón ($26), an elevation of the traditional Venezualen rice and beans with shredded beef, here as a slab of brisket. Next to that generous portion is a plump dollop of sweet plantains, with powdery white cheese, beans and rice. Comfort food at its best.
The Baby Shark ($20)—yes, named after the children’s song—is actually monkfish stewed with guayanés cheese, caramelized coconut milk, ají dulce paste, ripe plantains and jasmine rice. It was a creative interplay of sweet and salty.
Overall, sophisticated plating techniques—bright splashes of orange with hints of earthy greens—make it clear you should look beyond the country’s excellent street-food options and consider its lesser-known fare for your next dinner. Sure, some dishes needed more measured seasoning, but much like at home, tinkering is to be expected.