La Loca shares a new menu

The restaurant in Mosaic House offers healthy food that actually tastes good

Meals can be about sharing food. But when eating out, often that is not the case. La Loca in Prague 2 is trying to make eating out a bit less formal. The venue has launched a campaign called La Loca by Day, which stresses its restaurant, lounge, cafe and co-working space with WiFi, and La Loca by Night, with its events, live music and karaoke. La Loca is located in Mosaic House, a hotel and hostel that is hard to classify as it has a wide audience. The club and restaurant is the same.

The restaurant has also seen changes, with a new menu on the concept of Together with a motto “together tastes better”.

Nah-Dja Tien, the general manager of Mosaic House and La Loca, said the new menu offers healthy eating with vegetarian options and also food for sharing. Nah-Dja Tien has a grandfather from China and grew up in Holland in a family that ran a restaurant. “I always wanted to do something different than the norm is. If you take Berlin and London as examples there are some very interesting concepts that I fell in love with … that don't exist in Prague. That is what we are currently starting,” he said, adding that he calls the concept crossover cuisine.

The dishes are by chef Radim Gerlich. There are some vegetarian favorites like humus with beetroot, bulgur with fennel and tomatoes, and quinoa with zucchini and eggplant. Other starters include roast beef with Gorgonzola cheese, prawns with coriander and three types of Caesar salad as well as a soup of the day.

An Italian influence can be seen in the main courses like spaghetti with prawns and garlic, ghocchi with roasted vegetables, and risotto with saffron and pistachios. Meat choices include chicken with salsify root ragout, salmon with fennel, rib eye with Jerusalem artichoke, and lamb shanks with grilled vegetables.

On a bit of a lighter side, there is the club sandwich, falafel burger, beef burger, and ribs. And for something to share over some conversation, there are nachos, fries (large order or a side dish) and roasted potatoes. Desserts are panna cotta and chocolate fondant.

The burger and club sandwich are “eternal items” because La Loca has to have some things for hotel guests and for people who just want a quick bite, but even those items have a bit of a twist.

The new menu itself is an odd shape, more like a poster that you unfold. There are three different ones that when lined up can spell “to-get-her” or “get-to-her” or “her-get-to.” The intention of the somewhat odd shape is to help start the discussion about food as people try to figure it out.

A presentation of the new menu for invited guests showed several standouts. The falafel burger in particular was impressive for a lighter item, and from the main courses the salmon was soft and delicate. The rib eye was tender and well-matched with its date sauce and side vegetables, but it is also the priciest item on the menu. The beef burger was good, but easily outclassed by the other items.

All of the vegetarian starters also scored well, making this a good place for groups of friends that have both vegetarians and meat eaters. The panna cotta, made of spiced cream with apple foam, is worth a trip on it own.

The menu currently is a bit limited but that will change. La Loca plans to physically expand its kitchen in February next year. “From March onwards, it is my dream come true,” Nah-Dja Tien said, adding praise for chef Radim Gerlich's creativity. “Sometimes you meet people and it just clicks,” he said. Nah-Dja and Radim both visited Berlin and London to seek inspiration. The process of reaching his goal of having a place that offers something unique in Prague isn't so important though. “In the end it is important what you eat and how it is served.” A new menu will come with the expanded space, but some items will likely carry over.

La Loca “together tastes better menu
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