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“Ask the locals first.”

Vista de Olas Restaurant
Ranked #11 of 18 Restaurants in Mal Pais
Price range: $12 - $20
Cuisines: Barbecue
Good for: Bar scene
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Ask the locals first.”
Reviewed January 4, 2013

There are some pretty heavy caveats on this restaurant you should be aware of if you're considering a visit.

The road up there is truly the worst road in the country. Seriously. If you have anything other than a true off-road vehicle such as a Landrover or ATV, you're going to have some problems getting there. It's really dangerous and can really mess up a rental car. I really can't stress this enough. It's (expletive) insane.

The view up there is quite spectacular. Grab a piña colada and swim to the edge of the infinite pool and enjoy the sunset. Enjoy conversation with the amazing wait staff and relax. As soon as the sun goes down, finish your drink and get the (expletive) out.

The meal is one that you have to make yourself. You choose your meat when you make your reservation and it's brought to you raw. There's one grill on site where everyone is expected to grill your own meat. The pork was pretty good. The "locally raised, grass fed beef from a private butcher," an acquired taste. It did not taste like any rib-eye I've ever had.

Post meal, there was no dessert but there was an aggressively hostile altercation with Heidi (co-owner) who continued to harass us AFTER the expensive sub-par dinner we paid for. Was she drunk? Was she on some kind of drug? I would guess absolutely.

The road is no better on the way out.

Overall, a waste of a night. Would I recommend this to anyone visiting the area? No chance. Santa Teresa/Mal Pais has much, much better to offer.

Take this review with grain of salt but do yourself a favor and ask the locals first. Who better to give you an accurate review?

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank stuartacampbell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DodgerMalPais, Owner at Vista de Olas Restaurant, responded to this review, January 12, 2013
You dont need to ask the Locals because they will recommend our Restaurant to you. Roger
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    31
    7
    3
    6
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A Disappointment”
Reviewed January 4, 2013 via mobile

Top 5 reasons NOT to go to Vista de Olas.

1.) The road. It will literally break your car it's so bad - they could either warn you about it first so you don't drive your rented Yaris up there, or invest just a teensy bit and make it a little more manageable for their customers.

2.) The "hot tub" is not a hot tub. It's just disguised as one.

3.) One of the owners, Heidi is horrible. There is a long backstory to this but needless to say you don't want to interact with her. She's a bully, rude, and appeared intoxicated.

4.) The meal was overpriced. We had our New Years dinner, and while the drinks and wait staff were lovely, the actual meal was sub-par. Not even close to the quality you'd expect from a $50 meal (per person).

5.) You will be met with hostility should you have any criticisms expressed to either of the two owners.

Vistas de Olas has a beautiful setting - spectacular view of the ocean, an infinity pool to enjoy an amazing pina colada served up from a lovely group of servers. Should you go, that should be the extent of your experience there.

Shame on the owners for their behaviour, and lack of regard for their customers.

Helpful?
3 Thank marcella c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DodgerMalPais, Owner at Vista de Olas Restaurant, responded to this review, January 12, 2013
We are truly sorry that everything is not what you wanted it to be. Roger
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Vista de Nightmare”
Reviewed January 2, 2013

A few years ago I got E. coli food poisoning at a Greek restaurant in Toronto and needed to be hospitalized for a week. It was a horrible experience, but still better than my experience at Vista de Olas.

The problem is Heidi, one of the two owners.

My first encounter with Heidi took place on a path leading to what may have been one of the hotel villas or possibly her home. I don't know. Guests are asked to rinse off before using the pool, but given that I'd never been to Vista de Olas, I first had to find the showers.

With narrowing eyes, Heidi asked me where I thought I was going. I answered and she pointed me in the right direction, clearly not believing my story.

As hard as it may be to believe, my friends and I had gone to Vista de Olas to spend New Year's Eve, not to commit a burglary. It was supposed to be a special night - watch the last sunset of 2012 from the infinity pool and enjoy a delicious dinner & bottle of wine. Instead, I rung in 2013 with a spongy steak and a bottle of what tasted like balsamic vinegar.

Rather than ask for the wine to be taken off our bill, we simply ordered new drinks. Moments later Heidi appeared at our table and told us that we were wrong, that the wine was fine and that there was nothing to complain about. We weren't about to argue, so we just waited until she left. She was weirdly aggressive and made us all uncomfortable.

Heidi's husband, Roger, is a much more personable fellow and although he did initiate an unnecessary conversation about the quality of my steak after seeing that I'd hardly touched it, he managed to remain friendly. He wanted me to know that my steak was of top quality and that it came from a grass fed cow, etc. I told him not to worry.

The total for our meal with service charge included came to $200 cash, which we paid with a smile. On our way to the car, however, we were literally ambushed by Heidi, who appeared to be drunk. Rather than apologize to us for a horrible evening, she launched into an incoherent tirade about the wine, the food and the private sign on the path to her home that I should have seen and obeyed.

I don't know why she attacked us like this. It occurred to me that she might actually be mentally ill.

The best thing about Vista de Olas isn't the view, it's the treacherous road you need to take in order to get there. It's so uneven, rocky and steep that it makes the place all but inaccessible to anyone without a big SUV - and anything that keeps people away from Heidi, Vista de Olas and a miserable evening is a very good thing.

Book a table at Koji or Al Chile Viola instead and consider yourselves lucky.

(note, the guys behind the bar making pina coladas were great and our young waitress was lovely. had Heidi not interfered with our meal, the service rating would be higher)

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank wallacepmw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DodgerMalPais, Owner at Vista de Olas Restaurant, responded to this review, January 12, 2013
I have never had anybody ever complain about the beef being to tender before. But i guess there is a first time for everything. How can two couples just be so unhappy about everything on New Years Eve. Good Luck this year hope its going to be a better one for you. Roger
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Cartago, Costa Rica
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“Excellent”
Reviewed January 2, 2013

La comida fue increíble
Comimos pescado fresco fresco con ensalada y recomendamos el coctel de sandia con hierva buena fue delicioso!!!!

The food was amazing
We ate fresh fish with fresh salad and watermelon cocktail recommend with good boil was delicious!!

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Mauseq S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DodgerMalPais, Owner at Vista de Olas Restaurant, responded to this review, January 12, 2013
Thank you so much for writing a review. We have fresh fish everyday from our local fishermen.
best regards Roger
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stuart, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“You've never had steak like this before!”
Reviewed December 10, 2012

BBq'ing your own food adds a new twist to your vacation. The steak is so fresh and REAL, not like the over processed, unnatural beef we eat in the U.S.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Jeanetta T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DodgerMalPais, Owner at Vista de Olas Restaurant, responded to this review, December 24, 2012
Yes we are very happy to be the only Restaurant in Costa Rica to be delivered from our private butcher shop. Our Beef is grass feed and hung to age the way it should be. All our cuts are 450 grams or (16oz. cuts). Thank you for the nice review. Best regards Roger
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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