Mal Pais must be an acquired taste, but it's best restaurant is easily The Papaya Lounge and Restaurant. Located at the top of the Moana Lodge complex, the restaurant juts off a mountainside and provides some amazing views of the ocean. Designed and decorated in a contemporary manner, it seems like a fish out of water amongst its neighbors.
I stayed at the Lodge, and breakfast was included in the room rate, so I tried 3 different breakfast items. My favorite was the french toast, which was prepared with home-made banana bread. It was amazing!
Not many other nearby restaurants were open in the off season, so I ate there twice for dinner. The spicy tuna stack with mango and avacado is the best of their appetizers, though the shrimp & spicy chorizo was a close second. The main course menu seems to change often, so I'm not sure if its worthwhile to mention specifically what I ate. But I can tell you that it was fantastic.
The prices were about slightly above average compared to many other restaurants in Costa Rica, but it's well worth it. And the staff were friendly and attentive, and offered advice about the menu as well as the area in general.
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