“We put the time and care into our drinks,” said Salvador Jaimes, store manager of La Luna Café in Sioux Falls.
The family-run coffee and espresso bar was featured in the March Bar & Restaurant Issue of 605, which turned out to be poor timing due to the arrival of COVID-19 in the United States, along with the rest of the world.
“March through April it was almost always empty in here. It was so weird,” recalled Salvador. “Everyone had a hard time through COVID, so we were trying to figure out what to do to stay open.”
Along with an extensive drink menu, the restaurant offers an assortment of food options. The team came together to dissect the needs of its customers and figure out its next steps during the pandemic.
“We had a lot of meetings to sit down and figure out, ‘What do people want right now? What can they justify spending on in these hard times?’ And that’s when we came out with a lot of our meals,” said Tatiana Jaimes, general manager and social media coordinator.
The business, which is located on the main level of The Cascade at Falls Park, came up with items like the Burrito Bowl and Fajita-Rice-Bowl.
“We figured these are easy items you can order to-go and you can pop in the microwave if you don’t want to eat them right away. They’re so filling and flavorful,” said Tatiana.
And 605 got a glimpse of the Fajita-Rice-Bowl, with lime-cilantro rice, a choice of chicken, pork, or steak, house-made fajita mix, and a topping of mixed cheese. La Luna also started offering Tacos, made with corn-flour tortillas filled with either pulled pork (carnitas) or carne asada, topped with red onions and cilantro, and served with a side of house pico de gallo and salsa.
“Our tacos are authentic; my mom seasons them from scratch and it’s a whole process the meat goes through before we serve it on a plate,” said Tatiana.
Quesadillas also joined the lineup, and so far the new additions have been a hit. So much so, the family says that people crave them any time of the day.
“Sometimes people come in and they ask if it’s too early for a quesadilla,” said Salvador.
“I’ve had a taco order at 10 a.m.,” laughed Tatiana.
A lighter new feature is the Yogurt Bowl with a vanilla Greek yogurt base, topped with granola, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and honey.
“We say we like to hang it up on our walls, but we also like to have art on our plates.” -Tatiana
“People think it’s an aÇai bowl just by how it looks,” said Tatiana. “But we just focus a lot on the artistic side of the business. Anything we create we take into consideration the color and the textures and the movement, because when we create a plate we want to replicate it every time to give people the La Luna experience.”
Along with coffee, the eatery is known for its waffles, toasts, and pizzas. The personal size Bacon Sunrise Pizza is still popular, along with the Nutella Waffle and Caprese Avocado toast.
The popular dishes also are mixed up with seasonal options, like the Pumpkin Pie Waffle and the Apple Pie Waffle.
+ BLACK DRIP
+ FRENCH PRESS
+ CAFE AMERICANO
+ AY CARAMBA!
+ HORCHATA LATTE
+ JUNGLE JAM
+ GREEN EGGS & HAM!
+ BASIL PESTO
+ PORK BELLY PIZZA
+ CHICKEN FAJITA & RICE BOWL
+ AVOCADO CHICKEN SALAD
+ BACON WAFFLE
+ HORCHATA WAFFLE
“Those have been fan favorites,” said Tatiana. “We brought back the Apple Pie Waffle. It literally tastes like you’re biting into an apple pie.”
There are also seasonal drinks, like Caramel Chai, Apple Cider Steamer, and Pumpkin Spice Chai. While they only have a few specials drink-wise, the team says they work hard to perfect what they do best.
“Our idea behind coffee is we want to keep it simple and exciting,” said Tatiana. “Our lattes aren’t switched up as much simply because we want to keep up our quality and flavor, because we’re very consistent.”
The company, which celebrated its one-year anniversary last spring, also celebrated the new launch of pastries. While they had baked delicacies before, now they’re all made in-house. A few highlights include Butter Cookies and gluten-free options like the Alfajor.
An Alfajor is an Argentinian cookie made with corn flour.
“We really emphasize the coffee aspect of the coffee shop. We put the time and care into our drinks.” – Salvador
“The cookies have a citrusy hint. We take two of them and sandwich them together with dulce de leche, then roll them in coconut shavings,” said Tatiana.
As the pastries are made from scratch, La Luna asks patrons to pre-order so the team can prepare for larger batches.
The restaurant plans to further expand the bakery side of the business, Salvador says, and to continue to bring the community together with art of all sorts.
As the 605 team was about to put the camera away, Salvador walked over with a to-go cup and a smile and said, “Also, I’ve gotten pretty good at latte art in a to-go cup.”
This family business seems to have constant innovation and ideas for even more expansion during a pandemic. La Luna should be on everyone’s list to have a coffee or breakfast meeting, for weekend brunch, or to simply treat yourself for some quality solo time.
Great natural light through the windows and bright white walls are always a win. Just add local art and it’s even better. But the best part is being able to watch the Jaimes family at work with their creativity.
Such a great quality of food for such a reasonable price. Most items are under $15.
The food and drinks are beautiful to the eye, but are just as good to the stomach. Trust me, I ordered pizzas to go as I wrapped the interview and photoshoot.