The Hennepin Avenue rendition of Salsa A La Salsa quickly replaced BoneYard this year, offering new cocktails and seafood alongside popular standards like fish tacos and “three amigos” enchiladas.
Partner Kaskaid Hospitality is also Salsa A La Salsa’s landlord on Nicollet, explained restaurant owner Lorenzo Ariza, and he briefly considered expanding the restaurant’s footprint on Nicollet last year.
“I said no, I was too busy. Then here we are,” he said. “And I’m so glad.”
Ariza said the higher sales on Hennepin allowed him to start offering fresh ceviche — his favorite is baja style, made with sushi-grade tuna, aji amarillo, cilantro, onion, yellow pepper and ginger.
The restaurant is also rolling out weekend breakfast and brunch, featuring a micheleda “hangover remedy” and huevos con chorizo. The restaurant makes its own pork chorizo, and has started making soy chorizo as well. (Two of Ariza’s daughters are vegetarians, which prompted him to experiment with a soy alternative).
The chicken, pork and beef are all-natural and free of hormones and antibiotics.
“We pay a higher price, but it’s something we believe in,” Ariza said.
Ariza is a board member of the Latino Economic Development Center, which helps Latino businesses get off the ground. Long-term, Ariza would like to create a group that consolidates purchasing power and buys direct from Mexico, eliminating middle men and distributing the products throughout the Twin Cities.
“We could get a good price and good quality,” he said. “At the same time, we would be creating economic development in Mexico in our hometowns.”
Ariza is also an artist, and he plans to bring a new limestone sculpture to the restaurant called “Life is like fishing.”
“Some days you catch a lot, some days it’s nothing,” he said. “Whatever it is, it’s okay. It’s being alive in that moment. Sometimes you fail, sometimes you succeed.”
On May 3, Salsa A La Salsa is planning an early celebration of Cinco de Mayo with mariachi musicians and other live bands.