A new eatery highlighting the flavors of Venezuela and Latin America has opened on Highland Avenue in National City. Mi Pana Latin American Cuisine features a menu comprised of classic Venezuelan staples such as corn flour arepas, yucca roots, and fried plantain sandwiches joined by dishes that represent other Latin American countries, from Colombian beef steak with pork belly and fried egg to Mexican sopes and enchiladas. Some signature items are a blend of cultures, from arepas stuffed with Mexican al pastor pork or fried egg and bacon to yucca fries topped with carne asada in a nod to Southern Californian favorite carne asada fries.
As explained by proprietor Augusto Lopez, a Venezuelan native, he was prompted to open the restaurant because of the lack of Venezuelan food in San Diego, but he’s also featuring dishes from throughout Latin America to appeal to diners who might be more familiar with those other cuisines.
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mi Pana is looking to be a hub for the local Venezuelan community through community events and benefit drives. “There are a bit over 5,000 Venezuelans living in San Diego, and I always had the desire to open up a Venezuelan restaurant so that we can feel represented here,” Lopez said.