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Samba Room - 51 Reviews - 1460 Larimer St, Denver, CO - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (720) 956-1701

Samba Room

1460 Larimer St (at 15th Street)
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 956-1701
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My husband and I finally got into this place for dinner and loved it! We sat upstairs in the dining room and loved the décor and atmosphere. It felt quaint and romantic up there ...


It is unfortunate how many of the big, good looking restaurants in Lodo are owned by huge corporations. In the Samba room, this is extremely apparent in the food. While the atmo...

A VERY Bad Dancer 7/7/2009

There's a tendency to take certain liberties with unfamiliar cuisines - on the theory that on one will know better - and I think that's what's happened at Samba Room. We went there Friday night, July 11th, 2008 with modest expectations. I love Cuban food but this was Denver, after all, a place even less likely than my home, Seattle, to offer anything more authentic than a passable attempt at such a niche cuisine. I've eaten a fair amount of Cuban stuff in the past and, as a chef, have made quite a bit. This stuff was nowhere on either spectrum. I ordered crispy chicken. The only thing ""crisp"" about it was the conversation around it. The whole thing was soggy, listless and vastly under-seasoned. The ""Gringo"" rice side that came with it was some jumbled, undistinguished mess of stuff that seemed stalled out between Cajun dirty rice and Spanish rice. The chicken sauce, described as a ""lemon-caper garlic sauce"", was wimpy and passionless and was almost overpowered by the aromas coming off the rice. My companions had a an Argentinian(?)-style skirt steak (Isn't this a ...Cuban restaurant?) with a Chimichurri sauce that tasted, basically, just like my lemon-caper garlic sauce. I suspect that, to save time, they actually ARE the same sauce, hold the capers for the Chimichurri - which is not even close to the truth for the two sauces. One of us also had the Pork Barbacoa which, to my palate, was tarted up beyond reason, with the basic cumin/ancho spices augmented with something herbal and a couple of other rather gratuitous spices that just muddied up the flavor. Any restaurant, of course, can take whatever liberties with their recipes and Lord Knows I've played fast 'n' loose with almost every recipe ever put in front of me BUT this meal didn't seem like the product of a guiding influence concerned with expanding and illuminating the experience of Cuban food. It seemed like what I used to do when I was twenty-three and just working as a full-fledged chef for the first time: being Different for the sake of being Different. And the result was a distinctly half-baked effort. This restaurant, I suspect, is like most of the other restaurants under the E-Brands umbrella: as much concerned with the sizzle as the steak...or in this case, with the wrapper as much as the fine Cuban cigar. The food tasted and felt mailed in; a half-effort merely intended to support a trendy young atmosphere and get by, rather than actually trying to put a great meal on the plate. And, you have to give them credit: the place was packed with exactly the sort of twenty-something, dressed-to-kill, upwardly-mobile young see-and-be-seens they've obviously built it for. So, maybe I just chalk it up to ""my bad"" for even setting foot inside a place that set off my BS detector. But, being the fan I am of Cuban food, I tried it. Lost. Expressed my disappointment to the server and maitre'd. Was offered NO compensation other than, ""Well, our other guests LOVE those dishes!"" That, in a nutshell, is the problem with places like Samba Room: when criticized, they argue..instead of doing what a truly great restaurant would do - try to make every guest leave happy. That's what you should expect when you're touring Denver and happen upon the Samba Room. If you're about food, DON'T. If you're young and pretty and just want to find atmosphere and other Young Pretties, dive right in. Pros: See And Be Seen (If you're into that) Cons: FOOD. atmosphere, service more

What a perfect date! 7/6/2009

My husband and I finally got into this place for dinner and loved it! We sat upstairs in the dining room and loved the décor and atmosphere. It felt quaint and romantic up there and we were immediately greeted by our server. We started with a sampler style appetizer and LOVED the teriyaki salmon. The timinig of all courses was perfect and our entrees were delicious. The service was great too and better than what we had received during crowded bar evenings there. I highly reccommend this place for dinner. It's a bit pricey but worth it for a special occasion. We would return! more

Best food ever! 4/17/2008

I love this resturant, everyting about it was great. I have come for a romantic dinner date, and I have had a large dinner party. Both situations the food was great, the service was great, and the drinks are great. Best mojitos in town! Pros: Great Mojitos, Great Food, Great Serivce more

Great drinks, great location and the food is fantastic 3/2/2008

Try the Mojitos, you won't be disappointed! If you like something a little different, samba room is for you. I love cuban food and although this is more of a south american restaurant it is wonderful! Service was terrific and the location right off 15th near Larimer is easy to get to and close to Denver Center for Performing Arts, Larimer or a short walk to Lo Do! Pros: Drinks and Food Cons: None come to mind! more

Great sangria, romantic atmosphere, tasty and unique food 2/25/2008

We went to the Samba Room for dinner during Denver Restaurant Week (the $52.80 for two special). It was outstanding. We didn't have a reservation, but we came in at a slow time and were seated right away at the table of our choice (the second level is great for romantic dinners - the decor is outstanding and it's quiet). The waitress was really great and friendly, helpful with explaining the menu and helping us choose. Everything we tried was outstanding. Especially recommend the pumpkin soup. The salmon was great and so was the chicken. The plantains were something unusual but very tasty. Their sangria is great, and the desserts are also excellent. Really can only find positive things to say about this restaurant. Also loved the atmosphere and the decor - it was wonderful to sit at the table by candlelight and listen to cuban music playing in the background. Pros: Great ambience, tasty food, romantic atmosphere more

Check out the happy hour...... MOJITOS! 5/17/2007

Got off of work downtown on Monday and my friend and I went to Samba Room. Little did we know but they have the best happy hour in town, 7 days a week from 4-7!! 1/2 priced mojitos, sangria, margs and more. For sure get some of the $2 tapas (empanadas, yum...)or try the tapas sampler with alittle of everything. Great bar! Pros: Great happy hour, food awesome Cons: None that we saw more

Excellent Food and MOJITOS! 5/17/2007

My boyfriend and I went to the Samba Room on a Thursday night for some dinner as we had never been there before. We were greeted by a friendly young lady at the front door and decided to have a drink in the bar since it was happy hour (still at 6:30, love that). We each had a mojito and they were fab!!!! We moved into the restaurant and had a wonderful server who helped us choose our appetizer and dinner. We choose the empanadas, he told us they were homemade and they were definitely fabulous, loved the sauce that came with them. For dinner I had the skirt steak, soooo good and the flavors were wonderful and strong, love the seasoning on the fries. My boyfriend had the paella and absolutely loved it. We travel to Florida often and found out they have a restaurant down there as well, definitely going to check it out. No desert for us, just more mojitos!!! Thanks to the Executive Chef for all his wonderful creations!!! Pros: Great food and mojitos, prices great for Larimer Square Cons: Can be really busy more

Overpriced, unexciting food. 5/9/2007

First off when the waiter trys to talk me out of a dish I wish he talked me out of the restraunt. $150 for what??? Bad food. The food was bland. The timing was bad. The atmosphere was pleasant. But for the money you would be alot better off going to a different place to eat. If you like overpriced food please, go to the Samba Room. It would be a good place to go to for drinks before going out to eat at a different Restaurant. Pros: Drinks, Bar, Atmosphere. Cons: Price, Food more

Great place for a date! 4/18/2007

I had a first date this past Friday and I really wanted to impress! I have been to the Samba Room many times before; their happy hour and mojitos are great! I just never tried their food, and I figured this would be a great time to give it a try; my only regret is that I didn?t try it sooner! Upon arrival a very courteous concierge (who to my surprise, greeted me by my last name) and said that our table was ready for us. The table was upstairs, away from the busy bar scene, in a quieter section of the restaurant that over looked the rest of the dinning room. Our server was very professional but personable as well, making my date and I feel very comfortable. I hadn?t eaten there before so our server walked us through the variety of exotic dishes on the menu. I chose the servers recommendation, the skirt steak and my date went with the chef?s feature, a plantain crusted mahi mahi. He also recommended a pino noir to go with the two dishes. We snacked on the ceviche of the day while our dinner was prepared. Let me just say: The food and service was outstanding! The flavors, the portions, the wine and the atmosphere, all combined for a terrific night. I would highly recommend the Samba Room to any who want to make an impression, business or pleasure. Fine dinning service with a great price! Pros: Mojitos, Service and Food! Cons: Very busy on the weekends. Reservations are a must. more

Great service, delicious food, and excellent cocktails 3/20/2007

We recently had the great experience of dining at Samba Room. The new wine list was spectacular and we especially enjoyed the wine flights that they offer on the new list. It lets you try three different wines. We had the skirt steak and the sea bass for dinner. The steak was cooked perfectly and the french fries that come with it have this great seasoning. The sea bass was light but very tasty, it came with a tasty shrimp orzo. The services was by far the best service we have experienced in and around Denver for awhile. Our server was prompt and extremely helpful. He knew the menu very well and was quick to point out specialties. Our food was brought out hot and timely. We had mojitos after dinner, the cocout one was by far the best cocktail that I have tasted very minty and smooth I could see getting really drunk sucking those down. We had creme brulee for dessert it was yummy and coconutty as well. All in all I would strongly reccomend this restraunt to anyone looking for a nice evening out. Service is exemplary and the prices were very reasonable for Larimer Square. Pros: best mojitos anywhere, kick-butt service Cons: can be a little crowded more

Uninspiring food. 3/11/2007

It is unfortunate how many of the big, good looking restaurants in Lodo are owned by huge corporations. In the Samba room, this is extremely apparent in the food. While the atmosphere is lively and comfortable, when the food arrives, you are reminded that you are ingesting the product of a very large corporation. The food is uninspiring and bland. Also, I don't know why every appetizer we ordered (3) had a mayo- based dipping sauce. (the empanadas tasted like something you'd find in you grocer's freezer). Certainly not worth the $$$. To be fair, I would probably go back for the amazing mojitos and the above average fried calamari (drinks and apps only). Pros: Great atmosphere, mojitos Cons: Food more

Definitely the best mojitos! 12/17/2006

If you want great mojitos and great food check out this place right in Larimer Square. Went for happy hour which is 4-7 every day of the week and loved it. Try the tapas sampler (coco shrimp, empanadas, mussels, arepas and satays) YUUMMMMM ...... Have been for dinner as well great service, great dinners, definitely have the skirt steak and banana spliff for desert! Pros: Mojitos and food! Cons: Can be busy... which is a good sign :-) more

Latin Food? - NOT HERE! 10/1/2006

My husband and I went to the Samba Room on a Saturday night. The atmosphere is nice, but the food is far from Latin and not really that good. My husband is from Venezuela, so his standards are quite high for what people call Latin food. We ordered the triple ceviche special and had to douse it with lime ourselves. There was virtually no flavor. We orderd the Argentinian steak with chimichurri sauce and the scallops. Again no flavor. My husband asked for extra chimichurri sauce and pushed aside the sauted onions which shouldn't be on this style of steak anyway. We also couldn't get over the fact that the steak was served with fried shoestring potatoes. Not black beans and rice. My scallops were tasteless and don't even deserve mentioning. This is of course after we wated forever for our entrees, only to discover our waiter forgot to put our order in. He didn't offer to comp our appetizer, offer a dessert, or even a drink! \r We were also not impressed by the variety of the menu (not much to choose from) and the fact that most of the stuff on the menu isn't really what would be considered latin food. By the way, the menu on the website is NOT what is actually offered by a long shot.\r We will definately not be visiting the Samba Room again. If you want great Latin Food stick with Sabor Latino. Pros: Good bar area Cons: Food, Service, Prices more

Used to love it 7/4/2006

We used to love to eat at the Samba Room, but sadly we realized that their menu is stale and really overpriced. $32 for seared tuna?! We were there last Saturday and the place was DEAD. I think others are also begining to realilze that the Samba room is overrated and there are much better places in Denver. Pros: Decent Mojitos and Happy Hour Cons: Overpriced, boring entrees more

Great Happy Hour at Samba 5/31/2006

I went to Samba with my friends for happy hour and great deals 1/2 off the mojitos and sangrias we loved them! They also have a great $2.00 tapas menu! Definitely check it out. Oh and if you want dinner try the skirt steak, fab! Although my friends tried some of the other entrees and they were also great, great PORTIONS, great PRICES! Pros: Good Food, Good Prices, Great Drinks more

User review by wrightjoseph 5/22/2006

If you like undersized portions at oversized prices you will like Samba Room. Our waitress basically steered me away from any thing I ordered. The only thing she would reccomend was our appitizer which was larger than my entree. What we did eat was decent but for the price I would not reccomend. more

This Samba Falls Flat 4/16/2006

It's not a good sign when your waiter basically disses everything you order. Sangria? Not recommended. $28 bottle of Pinot Noir? Not drinkable, but he'd suggest the $52 bottle. Chilean Sea Bass? ""Very heavy."" Not sure why I still went ahead and ordered this last item. Who puts a pile of thick red sauce on a piece of delicate fish? Two of my dining partners had the paella, and Samba doesn't even get this ""signature"" dish right. $280 for 4 people left me feeling hugely ripped off. Samba elsewhere, Denver diners. Pros: Ambience, Bar Scene, Location Cons: Expensive, Poor Food, Odd Wine Selection more

Sensational Samba 3/5/2006

I've been going to Samba Room pretty consistently for years now. I've run into a few problems, but they've always been handled so quickly and with such genuine caring by the staff. Everyone there always seems so happy and the atomosphere is so festive! I would highly reccomend trying the South Beach mojito- it's AMAZING! This place is also open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, and dinner is served until MIDNIGHT on the weekends, so I can always satisfy my cravings for the Paella! Pros: Great Music, Atomosphere, Service Cons: Parking, Small Bar more

Thank you 2/24/2006

Myself and a couple of co-workers had lunch at the Samba Room before heading to the airport. When walking in I could clearly tell it was busy. We were quickly seated and within a few moments we were greated by our server. He introduced himself as Tarell asked if we wanted bottled water or ""Denver's finest"". We joked with him and he responded ""it comes in a pretty pitcher"". We were in a rush and had never been there before, he gave us a few suggestions that were great and quick. To my point, it was very nice to come in on a busy day and still get great, quick service in the time of need. Pros: Great food, great service, pretty pitchers more

What a great restaurant 2/12/2006

I stop in at the Samba Room for a mojito or two since happy hour is the best deal from 4-7 every day even on the weekends. Then my boyfriend and I decided to come back and check it out for dinner. LOVED IT!!! The prices are reasonable for downtown and the food and service was outstanding. I thought the coconut shrimp appetizer was great and loved the caesar salad. If you love steak the argentinean style skirt steak is great (loved the chimichurri sauce). Our waitress was great and she suggested fabulous wine and really knew the menu. I am definitely going to come back and check out lunch, our waitress told us about the box lunch they offer it includes salad, cup of soup, empanada, desert and choice of steak, salmon or 1/2 of a cuba nove sandwich. What a great idea..... Pros: Great food, Great service more
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Menu for Samba Room

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  • In Short
    Crowds nestle among the smooth curves of the downstairs tables and bars, stirring mint or mango mojitos with sugar cane. A long staircase takes patrons to a quieter dining room...

  • 6/9/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon-Wed 11am-11pm Thu-Sat 11am-12am Sun 11am-10pm
  • Payments:

    American Express, Discover, Master Card, Visa