High-energy La Yuma restaurant brings Cuban American cuisine to Lutz

The decor and theme reflect the journey to freedom Cubans took to reach the U.S.

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click to enlarge Inside the newly opened La Yuma during its Jan. 7 soft opening in Lutz. - Courtesy of La Yuma
Courtesy of La Yuma
Inside the newly opened La Yuma during its Jan. 7 soft opening in Lutz.


Lutz has a new destination for Cuban American food in the family-owned La Yuma.

Located at 16411 N. Florida Ave., where Twisted Rooster Bar & Restaurant used to be, La Yuma opened with lunch, dinner and weekend live music on Jan. 7. The high-energy, indoor-outdoor restaurant is owned by civil rights attorney Thania Diaz Clevenger, her husband and U.S. Coast Guard veteran Ashley Clevenger, her mother and restaurateur Tania Diaz, and her father and chef-restaurateur Pepe Diaz, who those familiar with Key West may already know. Pepe also owns the island city’s El Meson de Pepe.

click to enlarge A loaded plate of Cuban nachos. - Courtesy of La Yuma
Courtesy of La Yuma
A loaded plate of Cuban nachos.

The phrase “la Yuma,” which the new eatery’s name, theme and decor reflect, refers to the journey to freedom that Cubans took by sea and air to reach the U.S. Guests at La Yuma choose from Cuban dishes that feature beef, chicken, pork and seafood, including gambas a la plancha and Cuban nachos, plus items like tres leches cake and café con leche for dessert.

Other highlights include two full-service bars, which whip up cocktails such as the classic Cuba Libre and mojito. Takeout orders, private parties and to-go catering can also be accommodated.

La Yuma operates 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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