Miami’s LOBA Restaurant

Loba is a lively restaurant that combines Southern comfort and Latin spice. Since 2013, the neighborhood restaurant located in the historical Mimo district of Miami has served grand translations of classic Latin American dishes with a touch of Southern accents. The establishment is a casual but cozy and quaint atmosphere where you can enjoy your meal amongst excellent company. This food-centric idea is chef-driven and features a well-rounded team focusing on bringing a higher standard of creativity and food quality, and looks forward to serving the residents of Miami. Loba restaurant is the kind of place that leaves you thinking that you might have perhaps just indulged in the most delightful burger of your life after walking into the restaurant as hungry as a wolf. The most delightful burger of your life? Is it that good? Indeed.

Jessica Sanchez, the person behind the vibrant Loba eatery, was on the path that most first-generation Americans follow. She was born in Miami, Florida, to Colombian parents and had spent most of her life helping her parents run Patacon, a prosperous restaurant chain. Growing up in the 1990s in a family-owned restaurant, Jessica Sanchez recalls her folks coming from Colombia and sharing stories about how America was a land of opportunity, and how the only way of getting ahead in America is through hard work. Jessica paid attention to these words every day of her life and worked hard. She joined college, where she studied economics and later pursued the lucrative Master of Business Administration, which landed her jobs in real estate and private banking. At the time, Jessica thought that what she had witnessed her parents do, growing up, was not suited for her. Spending approximately 20 hours a day, cooking, standing, and managing a restaurant was something that she did not find very appealing. She wanted to take a different route–the stable, non-risky corporate route.

As Jessica was making her way up through the corporate ladder, she started to realize that although it provided her with a sound living, it was not particularly exciting. She wanted to launch her own restaurant, like her parents. Jessica’s mother, Libia, who was all too familiar with the demanding life of a restaurant business, was also hesitant at first. Jessica’s parents used to tell her that she just can’t hide from what was meant for her and that it would always come to her. When Libia saw how invested, and enthusiastic Jessica was about the project, she decided to help her carry the tables, bricks, and anything else she needed.

Together Jessica and her mother found a location in the growing Mimo District of Miami where they would launch the Loba restaurant. Loba’s menu integrates Colombian cooking with Southern comfort and a pan-Latin vibe. Libia joined Jessica in the kitchen, where her collection of famous secret sauces and the Patacones, her Bandeja Paisa, became some of the most popular selections at the restaurant. Jessica has left some dishes the way her mother made them while giving others an American twist. Jessica was born and raised in Miami. Consequently, she is a great lover of ribs and cheeseburgers. However, she’s from a Colombian background, so she would integrate some things from her Colombian background into American cooking. The English translation of Loba is a she-wolf, which Libia says best describes her fearless daughter.