Owners Epi and Soraya Velez have created a warm and welcoming haven for anyone hoping to enjoy a little piece of Puerto Rico in Chicago. Their home-style cooking would make any Boricua proud, offering standards from mofongo to lechon and even the holiday favorite of coquito-with much less of the heaviness often associated with the traditional cuisine. As the story goes, the jibarito was created by Chicago's Puerto Rican community, and La Plena's rendition-featuring thin steak strips, garlicky mayonnaise, and melted cheese between fried flattened plantains-is an exceptional example. For dessert, dig into a slice of dense, eggy flan while you take in the dining room's custom murals that showcase Puerto Rico's beaches and countryside.
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