Unique Cultural Restaurants To Try In Salt Lake City (Part 3)

I would love to travel to literally every country in the world someday! 

In the meantime, we are tasting food from every culture we possibly can. We love to try new things right here in our home town because it's a simple way to break free of our daily routines. 

Josiah and I have now tried foods from nearly three dozen different countries and cultures! And almost all of them can be found in the Salt Lake Valley. 

Today, I would like to share a few more of our favorites. 

If you want to learn about the previous restaurants we have discovered, you can read about them in Part 1 and Part 2 of this post series. 

As always, let me know if you have any suggestions in the comment section at the end of this post!


Taste of Mahider for two at Mahider

Josiah's friend from work recommended Mahider (pronounced Ma-hai-der) to us years ago, and I wish we had tried it sooner. 

It's a lovely little restaurant with a beautiful mural along one wall depicting scenes of Ehtiopia. The owner himself took our order and he's very funny. 
We chose lentil samhusas with red and green spicy sauces for an appetizer. They were similar to samosas and great quality. We especially liked the spicy sauces which paired well with the richness of the lentil filling. 

For lunch, we ordered a Taste of Mahider for two. We wanted to try so many things on the menu and this made it possible for us to sample almost everything. 

It included: Doro wot (tender chicken legs simmered in stew), siga wot and alicha wot (stews made with cubed beef and different spices), and all their vegan dishes. 

This was served on a large tray over ingera which is an airy pancake-like bread made from teff (a staple grain in Ethiopia)

All the flavors were so good and rich without being too heavy! We picked up our food with torn pieces of ingera. 

Most Ethiopian food is eaten with your hands, but you can ask for a fork or spoon if you don't like that idea. 

I didn't mind the ingera, but I didn't love it either.  It was flavorless and didn't interfere with the taste of the curries or stews, but maybe I would have liked it more if it was a little bit savory. The texture was new and I actually liked it: very soft and light. 

If you prefer, you can request rice instead of ingera with your order. 

There was so much food and the owner teased me that I couldn't go home until I finished it, which made me laugh.

It's not customary in many countries to take leftovers home and it's polite to finish all the food that is served to you. He did give us a takeout box, however. 

He said the ingera under all the sauces is the best part because it had soaked up all the flavors. It was soggy by that point, and we did eat some, but not all of it. 

I want to go back to Mahider again, maybe with some friends so they can try it with us! 


Ceviche at Finca

An old friend said we should go to here and we loved it! We had dinner outside on the red brick patio where ivy grew all around. 

To start, we got the ceviche made with halibut, citrus, jalapeno, cucumber, and fresh herbs, with house made tortilla chips

Next, we tried the patatas bravas which translates to fierce potatoes! They're crispy red potatoes with bravas sauce (a tomato sauce with just a little spice) and an aioli. 

The bravas sauce was so creamy with just the right heat to it and perfect with the crispy potatoes. The aioli was good too, but the bravas sauce is where it's at. 

Patatas Bravas at Finca

For our main dish we shared a Paella de Valenciana: a traditional Spanish rice with chicken thighs, chorizo, asparagus, and pickled lima beans. I would describe this dish as being a true comfort food. It's flavorful and not too heavy, and there was plenty for two to share and take some leftovers home. 

We ordered an apple chimichanga for dessert. This is not a traditional dessert in Spain, but Josiah wanted to try it. 

While it was good quality, it was not a favorite for us and we suggest sticking with snacks, appetizers, and entrees.

Finca is quite possibly my favorite out of the five restaurants featured in this post!

Paella de Valenciana at Finca


Twice cooked pork (eggplant household style) at Red Corner

Until now, I haven't been a big fan of Chinese food. I had some good dishes while I lived in South Korea but I have often been disappointed in the Chinese restaurants I have visited here in the US. 

I was aware that Chinese food in the states is usually American Chinese. It wasn't until recently, though, that I discovered you can ask for a Chinese menu instead of the American Chinese one. Am I the only one who didn't know this? 

At most Chinese restaurants we are given the American-Chinese menu, so you need to ask for the Chinese menu. If there are no Chinese characters on the menu, you've got the wrong one. 

An acquaintance, who happens to be Chinese American, recommended Red Corner to me saying it is her favorite Chinese restaurant in Salt Lake. 

She suggested we try the diced chicken with chili, eggplant household style, twice cooked pork, and sliced potato with jalapeno. 

We loved them all. I've never had an eggplant dish that I liked more. Even my father-in-law, who says he doesn't like eggplant enjoyed it.

Also, the Dan Dan Noodles are really good: great flavor with just a little bit of spice. 

And I was told that the Ma Po Tofu is really good, but we haven't had a chance to try it yet. 

We liked the ham fried rice from American Chinese menu, but the cashew chicken was just okay. 

Diced chicken with chili at Red Corner

I recommend the selections from Chinese menu, not only because they are more authentic, but also more flavorful, less sweet, and saltier. 

I recommend getting a pot of jasmine tea as well. It's delicious, specially with spicy food.

The service at Red Corner was great too. We ordered a lot, because I wanted to try so many things. They forgot my in-laws' ham fried rice but when we reminded them, they brought us some free cream cheese wontons to make up for it. 

The waiter seemed excited when I ordered from the Chinese menu and said the diced chicken with chili is a favorite among their Chinese customers. It's made with sichuan peppercorns which are not only tasty, but there is a compound in them that gives your tongue a pleasant tingly sensation. This chicken dish is also very salty which I love.


Escargot at La Caille

We went to La Caille for our fifth wedding anniversary and it was a beautiful evening. I wish I could say everything was downright delicious, but you'll need to read on to know what to order here and what to avoid to have the best time you possibly can. 

La Caille is famous among locals, and it's one of those places people go to celebrate and splurge. I wouldn't want you to be disappointed with what you get, so keep reading!

The escargo was tender and I love the garlic butter sauce with lemon. 

We got the lobster bisque and citrus salad to share. Honestly, the lobster bisque was no good. We even agreed that Zupas has better lobster bisque even though it isn't made with 100% real lobster. 

The best lobster bisque we have ever had, though, was at the Viking Yurt in Park City. Best. Ever.

Despite the lobster bisque being a disappointment, it came with a tiny bit of caviar on crostini which was delightful. You can get caviar as an appetizer, but it's pricey. 

Filet Mignon with Truffle Pavé at La Caille

When at La Caille, keep in mind that you pay for the location as well as your meal. It's a truly stunning place to eat dinner, especially if you sit outside. 

You'll be surrounded by the beautiful gardens with multiple water features, a vineyard, and charming peacocks. And the nearby Wasatch mountains provide breathtaking views. 

So yes, I have had quality French food at a better price, but you pay a more for the setting at La Caille, sometimes at the cost of quality. I'll tell you what though, the créme brûlée was worth every penny, but I'll get to that later. 

The citrus salad was underwhelming too, flavorless and not worth the price. If you go to La Caille any time soon, skip soup and salad and just go for an appetizer and entrees. Besides the escargo, the only appetizer that looked promising to us was the charcuterie board.

Just so you know, you can mix and match entrees and sides to customize your meal to your taste. I chose the filet mignon and asked for the truffle pavé in place of the mashed potatoes. The crisp potatoes with truffle paired perfectly with the tender beef filet. 

Scallop & Lobster Duet at La Caille

Josiah went with the Scallop & Lobster Duet which included lobster ravioli, lobster, scallops, and shrimp. The seafood was decent, not as fresh as the fish we got at Old Fisherman's Wharf (read about it here), but that's expected I guess. I found the scallops to be flaky with a great taste, but we couldn't help but compare the ravioli to our favorite from Cucina Toscana

Now for dessert! We went in June and the seasonal option was strawberry crepes. I wasn't interested in them until I asked the server for recommendations and she suggested the crepes. It wasn't worth it. 

Cardamom Saffron Créme Brûlée at La Caille

In my opinion, everyone should try the Cardamom Saffron Créme Brûlée. It's perfect. I loved the delicate flavor, the texture, the burnt sugar crust. It is served with a tart blueberry reduction and vanilla bean whipped cream. If it's still on the menu when you go, get it! 

The only tiny disappointment with the créme brûlée was the pistachio brittle on top. it was a pretty garnish but lacking in pistachio. It doesn't really matter, though, because the rest was delightful.  

We got way too much food and not all of it was worth it. I recommend the filet mignon with truffle pave for sure, and maybe next time I'll try the bouillabaisse. I wonder how it compares to the bouillabaisse we had in Chicago. 

So, to sum up. When dining at La Caille, skip soup and salad (maybe even appetizers), and go for a carefully selected entree and the créme brûlée to share. Take a lovely stroll around the grounds at sunset and call it an evening. 


We've been to Mazza before, but it was years ago and I thought it was worth a revisit. 

Instead of two entrées, we got a small plate appetizer combination: small amounts but more variety. We chose the Vegetarian Grape Leaves, Muhammara, Hummus with Lamb and Pine Nuts (I love pine nuts), and Mujaddara.

I had never had grape leaf wraps before so I have no mode of comparison, but I thought these were great! The hummus with Lamb and pine nuts was also a favorite. 

And we got one entrée to share: a kebab platter with chicken, veggies, and basmati rice.

We also got an order of fries because the waiter said the were amazing.  They were great but I like the fries at Bohemian Brewery better.

The kebab wasn't particularly special. Everything tasted good, but it was a memorable dining experience overall. 

(There was this Syrian place we once went to in Michigan and they served incredible Middle Eastern cuisine!)

For dessert our friends got a baklawa square to share and we went with a mamool with date filling. Both were dry and, we feel, overpriced. 

I recommend small plate appetizers for lunch or dinner. I enjoyed every one we tried. 

Which of these restaurants would you want to try? Where should we go next? Share with us in the comment section.  

Hi! My name is Kait. Follow this link to learn more about me and my blog.


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