Eastsiders can officially welcome back a familiar name in Puerto Rican cuisine. The critically-acclaimed mini restaurant chain La Isla Cuisine is now open in Redmond after shutting down its initial location in the neighborhood last fall. The new spot is not too far away from the original, at 7330 164th Ave NE in the Redmond Town Center, and will have its official grand opening Thursday. Diners can expect a menu with a wide variety of Latin American items, including halibut ceviche, chillo frito (fried red snapper), and pastelón (a plantain and cheese-filled lasagna), while the grand opening celebration will have live music from 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
La Isla Redmond general manager Luigi Valenciana tells Eater Seattle that the restaurant quietly opened to the public last month, and has been trying out new food and drink specialties. There will be a daily happy hour from 3 p.m.-6 p.m., with flavored mojitos, caipirinhas, and spiced pina coladas. The spot will also serve as La Isla’s headquarters.
Meanwhile, the restaurant’s location in Ballard — which has been around for 14 years — is about to change things up. By the last week of September, the location at Northwest Market Street will be rebranded as La Isla Lounge, and will focus more on live music, catering, and some tapas, rather than a full dine-in menu. That particular outpost has appeared on Eater Seattle’s guide to first-class Caribbean restaurants in the past, notable for its camarones stewed in a spicy blend of habanero, coconut, and garlic sauce.