Isla good? Isla bad?
La Isla Uptown is a Cuban Restaurant located at 25 12th St, Hoboken, NJ 07030, serving up traditional dishes in an upscale location. To find the parking for this restaurant was a nightmare. Its located right next door but for some reason on that day I could not navigate that tiny corner. They also validate parking for up to three hours which is $7.00 but with the validation is goes down to $5.00, so more like a coupon. Like many restaurants in Hoboken, its ambiance caters to the young hip crowd. Its modern yet shows its heritage just enough to make it trendy.
This is the CUBAN APPLE PIE containing: Licor 43, Rumchata, Leopold NY apple liquor, dash of lime juice, graham cracker rim. This drink tasted just like an apple pie and it packed quite a punch! The grahman cracker rim was nice touch, but the grahamn cracker became soggy from the water on the outside of the glass. I think adding some brown sugar to the mix would help bring the whole drink together.
These are the beef tacos with caramelized onions, pico de gallo, avocado and beef served in a corn tortilla. The tacos were interesting. I don’t necessarily thing the caramelized onions fit well in the dish. It didn’t add anything to flavor, but rather tasted bland in comparison to the pico de gallo and the texture of the onions along with the cheese sauce, clashed with the crispness of the lettuce. The avocado became the star of the dish.
This is the Bistek de Palomilla, it is, Sirloin steak pounded thin, seared and topped with caramelized onions, served with fries. Overall the meat was nice and tender, but for me the overwhelming amount of onions was off putting. The fries were crispy though.
This is the Lechon Asado served with white rice and sweet plantains (what a cleaver presentation btw). The pork was seasoned perfectly and nice and tender, so easy to pull apart. The rice was nicely cooked and the plantain added the perfect level of sweetness to complete this delectable meal. It was a little off putting that the Lechon Asado is only available on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, it is a special. I just feel Lechón is a staple in Cuban cuisine. Good thing I coincidentally decided to go on that day or I would have been utterly disappointed. I was not a fan of how the left overs were packed to go. They put everything into one container which caused the rice and leftover port to become a paste from the juices.
Here’s this cute little GIF. Also pictured on the side is the Paella de Pollo, it was very good, everything you’d expect from a paella! It was perfectly well balanced in all its flavors. I will definitely be back to eat that!
Over all I would give this place a 3.5 out 5. It is beautifully put together and definitely reaches the vibe it is trying to achieve. But it’s original location is better in taste, and the parking situation at this location is harder than it needs to be. The service was just okay, actually it was slow.