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“One Pina Colada and a Flashlight please...”

La Playita Restaurant & Bar
Ranked #9 of 46 Restaurants in Isla Verde
Price range: $7 - $27
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed February 24, 2013

Not sure how to reconcile the disparity in the reviews at this place--love it or hate it. But it may be that there's a daytime version and a nighttime version of La Playita.

We sampled the latter, and it was poor across the board. The food was mediocre at best. They only cook two fresh fish, fried dorado listed as mahi mahi, and a red snapper that is also fried but you can request broiled. EVerything else is frozen. They are not alone in cooking the life out of fish in the Caribbean, but that doesn't make it any better. A shrimp & avocado salad that was billed as spicy actually was simply overpoweringly sour. We skipped dessert. There are so many comparably priced or less expensive places to eat in metro San Juan that it's disappointing to sit down to a standard menu that is unsatisfying at this price level.

Personnel are unfailingly nice, from the floor manager to the wait staff. They don't function all that brilliantly but no one is looking for speed or efficiency particularly here, which you can find more readily in NY or Berlin. They do give them selves an automatic 15% tip for parties under 6, 18% for more, which by NY or Berlin standards, they don't much deserve. But as I said, they're really, really nice.

Finally something I rarely comment on, but what may be tolerable over a coconut drink with a sea view at lunch is unacceptable at the nighttime Playita. The patio is unlit--no lights, zero, nada, zippo anywhere. Each table is lit by one candle in a glass. Besides no lighting, management has also made no investment in comfort: little round cocktail table for two are routinely used to feed four. Chairs are plastic stackables and are uncomfortable--particularly for the time it takes to get food to the table.

And to top it all off, they have alternating balladeers on guitars, first a man, then a woman somewhere off in a dark corner you can't see, pouring their guts out into a microphone about their individual heartbreaks--which isn't hard to see how they ended up alone in a dark corner. But why here?

Stepping back from the experience, it was like being at a bad wedding: outdoors in a nice spot, a whole bunch of people sitting in the dark waiting for poorly prepared food they can't see, much less each other, and listening to wedding singers wail about the futility of love. Which may be a good thing when you're at a bad wedding.

Just not when you're paying for it.

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Thank talkcineman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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535 - 539 of 705 reviews

Reviewed February 21, 2013 via mobile

We came here for dinner about 8:15. We waited over an hour for our food. When we saw people being served who came after us we took off. We left before we got served. They didn't even come back within the hour to ask if we wanted another drink. Very disappointing.

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Thank beagle33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

The food here is delicious, but the coco loco is the main attraction for me. I have celebrated two birthdays in a row here now and can't wait to be back again!

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Thank Genya123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

We really enjoyed being outside by the water. This place has a great vibe, but not too crazy. I got the crab salad, which was delicious.

Thank MariaD513
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013 via mobile

Bad food. Bad service. Only good is beer in dis place........................... . ..................

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Thank camacho555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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