So, yes, La Isla isn't exactly "authentic" Puerto Rican food. The flavors aren't quite what one would find in Puerto Rico, but regardless, the food is still awesome! I live a few minutes away and I don't come here nearly as often as I should.
Empanadillas Pernil $3.99 (Only $2 at Happy Hour!)
The Empanadillas are amazing. Super crispy shell stuffed with your choice of fillings. I chose the Pernil. Pernil is pulled pork that is marinated for days and slow cooked. It's fall apart tender and full of great flavors. The Empanadillas are served with Ajilimojili sauce, which is kind of like a garlicky mayo. It was ok. I preferred the Mojito Flamboyan sauce made of roasted red peppers, garlic and rice vinegar. This sauce was tangy and sweet and chunky.
Carne Frita Dinner $15.49
This is possibly my favorite dish - La Isla describes the Carne Fritas as bone in pork "wings". It's hard to see by my picture, I'll try to take a better one soon - These little riblet things are fabulous! The pork is crispy on the outside, almost as if a shell has formed from the cooking and frying process. Inside, the meat is extra tender and full of flavor. It's served with Caldo sauce of onion, garlic, pork bouillion, oil and vinegar. The Caldo sauce is light, not too flavorful, so I ditched it and went for the uber garlicky Mojito sauce. If you are a garlic lover then this sauce is for you! It's super strong, fresh pureed garlic and oil. Hopefully everyone in your dinner party likes garlic because your breath will be HOT after you eat this stuff. But it's sooo good. It goes really well with the Carne Fritas. If I had to complain about one thing, I could have left the rice and beans. The rice was kind of soggy, and I just didn't like it. Next time I think I will just order the appetizer sized Carne Fritas ($7.49, $6.49 during Happy Hour!) and Tostones on the side. I don't really need the rice and beans.
Tostones are good, but I think I prefer mine a little softer. Tostones are green plantain chunks that are "smooshed" down into flat circles and fried. Green plantains don't have the same qualities of ripened plantain. The green ones are more like a potato, light in flavor, starchy. Yellow, or ripened plantains are sweet and soft, like a banana. I prefer the green, especially with garlic sauce!
I think the best dishes of this place can be found for less during Happy Hour, and they have two Happy Hours!
2320 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107
Hours: 11:30am - 2:00am
Happy Hour: 3:00pm - 6:00pm, 10:00pm - 12:00am