Of The Week
Boca Loca Offers Good Food, Light Atmosphere
This newly opened eatery is a cool and comfortable place to enjoy light, flavorful Italian fare. With summer upon us, palates turn to lighter meals that are big on flavor and Boca Loca ("crazy mouth") is just the ticket. Everyone’s mouth will go crazy for Boca Loca’s delicious appetizers, pizza, pasta and more.
Owners Selma and Michael Marich opened Boca Loca just about two months ago. Selma, who was born in Brazil, added an exotic touch to the décor with two brightly colored murals on the walls. The bartender makes fresh, fruity cocktails to quench your thirst. One cocktail which bears the restaurant’s name combines fresh fruit, a touch of coconut and spirits for a refreshing start to a nice meal. The menu, which features light Italian fare, also includes some surprise touches of Brazil.
While we checked out the menu, our waiter brought us a veritable artist’s palette of dipping sauces with thick slices of homemade Brazilian bread in the center. We dipped pieces of warm, flavorful bread into one of six different dips, including balsamic reduction, pesto, sun-dried tomato and fragrant garlic and oil.
Though listing only a few items, the menu includes wonderful antipasti, pasta, pizzas, chicken, fish and meat. Start with bruschetta topped with cured filet mignon and roasted peppers or fresh mussels sautéed in white wine, garlic and onions ($8). Smoked salmon is tossed with green and yellow peppers, tomatoes and red onions for a burst of fresh flavors ($9). Beefy grilled Portobello mushrooms are topped with feta and mozzarella cheeses with mixed greens and balsamic vinaigrette. The perfect antidote to summer’s heat is a salad of spicy arugula topped with paper-thin prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella and vine-ripened tomatoes.
Try grilled steak paillard with pan juices, served with fresh vegetables of the day ($16). Cornish hens stuffed with wild rice, olives and prosciutto make a light, yet satisfying meal. A simple grilled chicken breast over vegetables can’t be beat either($14).
Boca Loca has fresh fish dishes as well, including pan-seared flaky monkfish with baked orange and lemon zest for a light and tasty meal. Atlantic salmon is crusted with potato and lemon and served with sautéed shrimp and scallops. Skate fish over couscous with spinach is another excellent choice.
For those who crave pasta, Boca Loca has nearly a dozen choices. Drunken shrimp linguine melds shrimp in white wine and homemade spinach linguine and cream sauce. Festive bow-tie pasta with shrimp and bright red radicchio are married in a light cream sauce that is sure to please ($14). There are also old favorites. Such as ziti, gnocchi and ravioli, all made just a bit more special by the chef’s sure touch. Imagine a mélange of seafood including clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari in white wine and garlic over a mound of bucatini pasta and you’ve got their paella pasta that isn’t paella at all, but is certainly delicious.
Boca Loca specializes in crispy pizzas with a twist. Their signature Faccio di Vecchia pizza is topped with crisp breadcrumbs, red onion and grated parmigiano cheese. At just $8, this pizza is big enough to share, but you might not want to since it’s so delicious. Boca Loca pizza is made on foccaccia bread filled with robiola cheese and prosciutto di Parma, the best on the market ($9). The basic margarita pizza, made with tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella, is simply delicious, and at lunchtime, costs only $5. For more exotic tastes, pescatore pizza is topped with fresh scallops and shrimp with pesto. The Mediterraneo is loaded with freshly grilled vegetables ($10).
Whatever you do, save room for dessert. The chef’s homemade pannacotta and tiramisu are creamy and delicious. There’s also crème brulee with a crispy burned sugar coating, and chocolate polenta (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!). They even make a dessert pizza topped with Nutella, raspberry sauce and powdered sugar.
The service is fast and friendly and the prices are reasonable, too, so stop in at Boca Loca soon. To make their presence known, Boca Loca is offering Sunday night open house parties in July from 5 p.m., with free draft beer from 5 to 6 p.m., offering an opportunity to sample their appetizers while diners can get to know each other. Private parties can be arranged for up to 50 people. Welcome Boca Loca to the neighborhood by visiting for lunch or dinner, seven days a week. Enjoy light Italian fare with a Brazilian twist.
36-08 30th Ave.