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La Doña Brings Mexican Mastery to Sawgrass Mills

La Doña, an exciting new restaurant concept by elebrity Chef James Tahhan and Michelin Star Chef Patrick Baloup, is brining fresh and authentic Mexican cuisine to Sawgrass Mills.

“Selecting Sawgrass Mills as the home for my first venture in seven years was a strategic decision driven by the desire to introduce a unique Mexican experience to the South Florida community,” said Tahhan. “La Doña’s commitment goes beyond flavor, delving into the traditions that define Mexican culture.”

Meaning "The Lady," La Doña pays homage to the influential women who have shaped Mexican cuisine. The dishes combine authentic Mexican gastronomy, featuring tastes from a variety of regions, with seafood specialties.

The Menu at La Doña

At La Doña, Tahhan and Baloup skillfully blend authentic recipes with fresh creations from the sea, embarking guests on a culinary journey through Mexico’s diverse regions, where flavor takes center stage, and each dish is presented with a unique touch. 

Entradas, or appetizers, kick off the flavorful menu at La Doña, where guests can expect staples such as the Guacamole de la Casa prepared tableside; Jicama Shrimp Tacos with thinly sliced jicama, butterhead lettuce, rock shrimp, chipotle mayo, thai basil and fresh pineapple; Octopus Carpaccio in light habanero vinaigrette, creamy avocado, spicy mayo and fresh tomatoes; and the Lobster Taco in a garlic guajillo butter and Mexican cheeses blend in our handmade flour tortilla.

Their salads and soups offer a lighter yet flavor-packed option, including the award-winning Tortilla soup; Mexican Caprese with fresh slices of organic seasonal tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and sliced avocado with balsamic dressing; and Watermelon and Mango Salad with fresh watermelon, mango and dragon fruit cubes dressed with a mango-passion fruit vinaigrette, agave honey, passion fruit pulp, crumbled feta cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds.

The extensive entrées are carefully categorized by “From the Sea”, “From the Grill” and specialties. Fresh seafood dishes, such as the Snapper Ranchera made with grilled snapper loin over Ranchera style white beans, topped with pork rind cracklings and crispy leek, are highlighted on the "From the Sea" section. Alternatively, meat-based dishes like the juicy Ancho-Rubbed Rib-Eye, a 12 ounce Angus Steak in a lime-mezcal butter sauce served with oven-roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts are found on the "From the Grill" section.

The specialities act as a tribute to Mexican heritage by showcasing the beautifully rich and unique flavors that represent the culture and cuisine. This includes the Carnitas Estilo Michoacan, a slow-cooked pulled pork confit served with crumbled pork crackling, onions and cilantro with a fresh tomatillo-avocado salsa, or Birria de Res,  highlighting slow-cooked beef ribs in a flavorful ancho and pasilla pepper broth and a side of salsa guajillo-chipotle. Explore the menu further with Pescado Estilo “Yucatan,” a dish made of achiote and guajillo-rubbed red snapper paired with pickled red onion and cilantro-lime rice, or Roasted Salmon, a wild-caught delight with mango pico de gallo and cilantro-lime rice.

Chef's favorites, such as the Grilled Octopus, a fusion of lemon-cilantro grilled octopus, arugula and baby potato salad, guajillo chipotle sauce and avocado pomade, are a full-proof way to ensure you're tasting can't-miss dishes. The Diabla Shrimp introduces bold and spicy flavors, with marinated three-chili adobo and garlic butter served with cilantro-lime rice, while the Puebla Tenderloin is a grilled beef filet artfully placed over creamy sautéed poblano pepper and corn relish. 

To top it all off, diners can pair their meals with an option from the wine list, which was thoughtfully curated to accompany the cuisine. Since La Doña is a traditional Mexican restaurant, of course there is an extensive tequila and mezcal collection available, with over 100 Agave spirits.

The Culinary Powerhouses Behind La Doña

La Doña is the brainchild of two culinary masterminds, award-winning Chef Patrick Baloup and celebrity Chef James Tahhan.

Baloup, originally from Paris, boasts a diverse resume with experiences at Pasticceria Marchesi in Milan, Italy; Negresco in Nice, Résidence de la Pinède in Saint Tropez, France; and Louis XV in Monte Carlo, Monaco. After living in Mexico for 20 years, Baloup developed a deep passion for Mexican cuisine. Baloup, who's earned a monumental 21 Michelin Stars throughout his impressive career, has found the perfect culinary blend by drawing inspiration from his experiences with French, Italian, Mediterranean, and Mexican gastronomy.

Tahhan, a prominent figure on Telumundo's hit morning show Un Nuevo Día for over a decade, has gained the trust of millions through his public exploration of global gastronomic cultures. With his massive culinary influence, Tahhan expanded his reach in 2020 by co-founding the restaurant Sabores in Miami, and launching Foodiescuela, a cooking school teaching people to cook like professionals. Currently, Tahhan shares his passion through La Doña, as well as various projects such as co-hosting BELatina on Lifetime and appearing on popular shows like Chopped, Top Chef Middle East, Worst Cooks in America, MasterChef Latino and Rachael Ray

The Ambiance at La Doña

The 5,418 square-foot space at La Doña draws patrons in through its vibrant decor inspired by various regions from Mexico. The 224-seat open-air dining room offers a lively and entertaining atmosphere, featuring a large fish tank with glowing live jellyfish on display. With the goal of transporting diners to Mexico, the restaurant has meticulously sourced colorful decor, pink florals lush greenery to create an atmosphere that honors Mexico's rich cultural heritage.

“We aim to elevate the dining experience through an interactive menu where culinary artistry unfolds at each table – like homemade salsa and guacamole prepared before guests’ eyes,”  said Baloup. “This hands-on approach caters to passersby, creating a dynamic space for locals seeking a go-to Mexican restaurant or a vibrant night out and shoppers looking to savor a margarita while enjoying the Sawgrass experience.”

About La Doña

La Doña is located at 1800 Sawgrass Mills Circle, Sunrise, FL 33323. It is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit or follow @LaDonaRestaurants.

By ML Staff. Images courtesy of La Doña


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