Brought my parents to La Isla since they never had Puerto Rican food before.
I had been to La Isla long time ago at the Ballard location, and the new one in Redmond just opened under a year ago.
Taking into account of preferences and dietary restrictions, we ended up getting empanadillas, ceviche, tripleta sandwich, a seafood soup and maduros on the side.
The seafood soup was a hit for my parents, surprisingly with my Dad since he was generally a “meat-kind-of guy”.
The soup had plenty of salmon and shrimps, bright lime flavor and probably cilantro as well.
Once I tasted it, I knew why my Dad loved it — it was sweet!
The soup had a nice sweet, salty and tart tastes, and quite addictive!
The tostones, green fried plantains, had firm texture, starchy with the fantastic Michael sauce.
My Dad’s favorite had to be the Tripleta.
It had lots of meat; chunky grilled ham, marinated steak and most importantly, the pernil — the long-marinated, slow-cooked pork shoulder.
With light cheese, the sandwich was delicious and serious meat load.
The bread was ok; it was a little on the soft side for me and I wish it had a little more substance to it.
The maduros were tasty!
Lovely riped fried plantains were sweet and melted in the mouth.
The super garlicky mojito sauce was a perfect companion to the maduros.
I ordered the empanadillas with the pernil.
There were 5 kinds of fillings to choose from, ranging from meat to cheese to potatoes.
The outer layer of the empanadillas were crispy fluffy flaky dough, which was a surprise to me.
I expected more doughy and dense layer similar to the ones I had encountered in Peru and Argentina.
Perhaps this flaky dough was authentic Puerto Rican style?
I welcome any feedback from my blog readers! I need some Puerto Rican education!
Back to the empanadillas, the pork shoulder was fantastic, and the flaky though was a delicious compliment to the pork filling.
The rice and beans on the side was extremely tasty — once again, a little sweet; even my non-vegetarian father was happy to consume it.
Lastly, the ceviche.
Nice zing from the jalapenos and habaneros, coupled with the fresh lime flavor and tartness, the ceviche was really firm in texture.
The menu said they used rock fish, which might explain the firmer texture of the fish.
Every bite was flavor explosion of all the fresh ingredients including bell peppers and red onions as well.
While I appreciated the delicious food, I noticed with my limited exposure at the restaurant, Puerto Rican food seemed to contain lots of meats and fried food.
I was not sure whether we were having the Americanized version of Puerto Rican food.
I supposed I would need to make a trip to Puerto Rico to experience the real food for myself!