Yelapa's Platos Crudos

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Mahi-mahi, aka dolphinfish or dorado, was the star of the raw Peruvian "cebiche" at Yelapa, the new Mexican seafood restaurant on Richmond near Blue Fish and the Hobbit Hole. Yelapa's crudo plates are the most interesting thing on the restaurant's menu. No, "crudo" doesn't mean "crude" in Spanish; it means "raw." They also offer "cooked cebiche" for the timid.

The South American cebiche and Japanese sushi traditions have been famously combined by many great chefs, and Yelapa seems to be drawing on that history. I ordered a raw cebiche imaginatively combined with local citrus, pasilla chiles, avocado, hibiscus and ginger. Along with the dolphinfish, the seafood included shrimp and little bits of squid. The local citrus seemed to be all grapefruit. I sort of wish there were some Meyer lemon sections or something really tart mixed in to cut the sweetness.

The cebiche was outstanding, but for the $10 Yelapa charges, it seems the place could spare a couple of chips or something to eat with the fish. I had to pay $2 for a side order of chips and salsa. Charging for tortilla chips in Texas is like charging for bread and butter in France. To add insult to injury, the chips were too thick, and the salsa tasted like spaghetti sauce.

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