Laru Ni Hati is one of the Duke City's top unisex hair salons. In fact, it was named No. 1 Hair Salon by Alibi readers in this year's Best of Burque poll. The name means “clear blue sky” in one of the native languages of the Caribbean. Partners Greg Chakalian and Alan Schechner have created more than a hair salon; they've also provided a great place to hang out. Now you can even enjoy a little slice of Cuba at their café, whether you're there getting beautified or not.
I used to live in South Florida and still miss the many forms of tropical fruit not often found outside of the subtropics. Every time I return to Miami for a visit, as soon as I leave the airport I head directly to La Palacia de Las Frutas, a phenomenal fruit stand/juice bar on nearby Red Road, for a batido, a Cuban tropical fruit shake. These outrageous milkshakes come in a wide variety of incredibly delicious flavors but mamey is the king of batidos. It's made from the fruit of the mamey sapote (Calocarpum sapota). The mamey fruit is huge and takes up to 18 months to ripen, which often causes folks to protect their valuable crop with razor wire fences, no joke. When the flesh of this highly prized fruit is ripe, it turns a lurid salmon/orange color. Its unique flavor is hard to describe but tastes a little bit like raspberries with a slightly tart citrus twist. Try it, you'll love it. Not to worry, you don't need to book a flight to the tropics to enjoy the joys of mamey. Talin World Market carries mamey and other tropical fruit pulps in the frozen food section of the store. I've included a traditional recipe for the batido mamey, but you can substitute any ripe tropical fruit or pulp. I also love guanabana (often called sour sop), which tastes sort of like pineapple with a touch of vanilla.