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We ate Bob Marley’s Natty Dreads

Natty Dread Vegetable Patties – Two housemade pastries filled with sweet potatoes, red beans, spinach, carrots, onions, coconut milk. Yucca fries, smoky ketchup $9.95

We were hungry for dinner early on Saturday afternoon with lots of sunny, sweaty park walking behind us. Bob Marley: A Tribute to Freedom on the Universal Studios CityWalk was just opening for dinner and after a few minutes of waiting around we were finally able to get a seat “inside”. The interior is much bigger than the tiny reception kiosk and walk-up bar let on. It’s also an open air venue with a stage so it was still pretty warm inside as we were sat out of the range of the wall mounted air conditioners.

Having already had one mediocre veggie burger earlier that day I was excited to try something different. But I really didn’t know what to expect from the description above and kept picturing a veggie burger with no bun. Was this some kind of carb thing? Was Bob Marley really into carb counting?

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Nevertheless, we ordered it and were repeatedly surprised as we dug into our meal. Oh, Pastries! I completely missed that descriptor and was happy to see the sour yellow, half-moon shaped pockets dusted with spices and piping hot. The mix of veggies inside and the crispy edges of the pastry made for a great taste. Crunchy, sweet, savory and a little spicy all at once. We pretty much devoured them but did take time to try a few of the hot sauces on the table. One hot, one smoky, they were both nice but covered up the subtle spices of the patties.

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The thick triangular Yucca fries were also hot, crispy and tasty but I think they’re a little confused on the spelling. Yucca is a fruit-bearing shrub while Yuca are potato-like tubers. We were definitely not eating a shrub and the taste was potato-y with a slightly mooshier consistency. The perfect vehicle for the smoky-hot ketchup.

I joked on Sunday that we should just go back to Bob Marley’s but truth be told, I wasn’t kidding. It was a tasty and filing meal especially for a single person. Unique flavors and ingredients have kept it on my mind and I think it was my favorite meal of the whole trip.

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