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Today we had our second good burger of the week (read about the first one here), which is saying a lot in this city. We found it, unexpectedly, at a tapas restaurant, the buzzy new La Loca Maria that opened in Bandra (W) a few days ago.

The said burger came with decent, paprika-dusted fries on an airy bun with nice, sticky, sweetish house sauce – we only wish there was more spice to balance out the flavours.

Thankfully, spice was not at all a problem in a dish of gambas al ajillo, where fat prawns swam in a golden, fragrant pool of chilli oil and garlic chips: you’re going to need extra sourdough toast to mop it all up.

Adding a cooling note was an excellent sea bass crudo, translucent slivers of fish dressed in an alchemy of citrus and heat, with a smattering of pistachio for crunch and heft. Get this for sure.

The only disappointment of our meal was linguine dressed in pesto with shavings of parm and sundried tomatoes: the pasta itself was overcooked and the pesto seemed like something a competent home cook could have whipped up. This is a bit of a let down from La Loca chef Manuel Olveira Seller, who formerly presided over the kitchen at Arola at the Marriot, and has worked at restaurants such as Le Cirque, Dubai.

Our dessert of tiramisu, however, can stand up to any five star version in the city – unusual and surprising, it was a perfect medley of cream, cake, meringue and gratifyingly dark coffee ice cream. Just don’t forget to scrape up the chocolate “soil” from the plating: it adds a faintly salty note that ties the dessert up perfectly.

We ate this last dish on one of La Loca’s relatively quiet outdoor tables – between the semi-open kitchen, overtly-attentive staff, blaring speakers and chortling ladies on the next table, the inside section can be too cacophonous – and chased it with a cigarette. There’s not much more you can ask for on a cloudy afternoon.

Getting there: Shop No. 5, Carlton Court, Turner Road Signal, Bandra (W), call 06269262691, Rs 2,500 for a generous meal for two, no alcohol available.

bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.

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Food & Drink