Located on the lobby floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel in Westshore, Mojito Restaurant and Lounge is a contemporary Cuban restaurant and bar well versed in living up to the quality it advertises.

We learned this eventually after a laid back lunch and some drinks at this chic eatery earlier this week, which pleasantly surprised us with a sense of flavor, balance, and uniqueness that easily makes it a cut above its Cuban restaurant peers in Tampa.

Step into Mojito and you enter an upscale environment complete with cool lighting, a sleek, stone bar, massive glass waterfall, and some of the coolest, well, only, snakeskin seat covers I've ever seen.  The menu follows suit with a contemporary assortment of traditional and forward-thinking Cuban fare for lunch and dinner.

We kicked things off with a fried plantain and guacamole appetizer which did its job well.  The guacamole was fresh, kissed with just a hint of salt, and all the more delicious atop the sweet/salty flavor of the crispy plantain chips.

Lunch entrees at Mojito are mostly taken up by their sandwich selection which features a fresh grouper sandwich, skirt steak Cuban, and a traditional Cuban, which immediately called for me from the menu.

And, it didn't disappoint.  The highlight of the traditional Cuban is Mojito's use of thick-cut, gourmet deli meats like salami and roast pork which give the sandwich a much more prominent, hearty taste than its contemporaries.  I could see how a Cuban sandwich purist might not go for this thing, but if you've got an indiscriminatory palate, it's quite the sandwich.

Check out Mojito Restaurant and Lounge in Westshore and see if you agree.  Then, give them your own rating and review on the Mojito Restaurant and Lounge 813area business listing.