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Fearless Critic restaurant review
This restaurant is closed
Latin American
Upmarket restaurant

Tue–Thu 11:00am–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 11:00am–11:00pm
Sun 11:00am–10:00pm

Features Date-friendly, outdoor dining, veg-friendly, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


4800 Burnet Rd.
Austin, TX
(512) 458-1100
La Sombra
The flavors of Central and South America, sexed up with as much substance as style

With a Peruvian chef at the helm, La Sombra capably twists traditional Andean and Yucatán cuisine, but without losing the essence of its origins. The lounge is festooned with bamboo, natural-looking textiles, and organic furnishings—kind of like a W Hotel’s rainforest treehut. Here, Rosedale and Hyde Park neighbors sip on pisco sours, and caipirinhas made with cane sugar simple syrup (strong, yes, but light on the funk of a good cachaça). Many of the Latin world’s better recession-priced wines are on this short list, and a 3–7pm weekday happy hour invites you to try a little of everything.

We can’t seem to get beyond the small-plate section of the menu: citric, gamey cochinita pibil tacos; pillowy bolillo sandwiches; vibrant cold salads and sides; a variety of terrific ceviches all marinated in leche de tigre—a blend of varying peppers and citrus that’s also an eye-popping hangover cure—to be sipped alongside tequila or cachaça. Flaky empanadas are expertly complemented according to filling: beef with powdered sugar and lime, potato and corn with caper crème fraîche, and—less winning but still good—chicken with mango relish. Parrilla steaks are cooked nicely, but sans the grass-fed flavor and texture Argentine meat is famous for; red and green chimichurri sauces are certainly convincing, though. Moreso on the shady, pretty patio.

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