Note 26th June 2016: I recently found out that La Mina no longer exists. Out it went and in came an Asian restaurant.
It’s true that Bogotá is full of overpriced restaurants with food that isn’t worth the buck (usually pricing is one notch higher than the food quality) and retarded service like slow and snappy waiters. The unfortunate thing is that these restaurants survive and have no incentive whatsoever to make any changes because they remain oversubscribed among the uncomplaining Colombians (i.e. it’s a norm to have to wait at least 20 minutes for a table at prime times, whether it’s lunch or dinner, at good or bad restaurants). So when you come across restaurants like La Mina that are serious about their food and service, it’s a precious find.
Perhaps La Mina has a more rigorous quality system because it’s inside the Calle 73 Marriott. Michelin stardom hasn’t arrived in Colombia yet but if it had, La Mina would be at a one star restaurant. It’s the only restaurant I’ve come across in Bogotá that has iPad menus, a tacky feature that’s slowly catching on in the industry internationally, but admittedly it’s very cool to flip through a list of wine with images of the bottles and details on food pairings. Chefs show off their alchemist skills while waiters scramble every moment to make you feel special. The only complaint I had is that their repertoire of desserts isn’t especially extraordinary..
Check out my verdict here: The article I wrote for The City Paper!!
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