Our first night’s dinner was at Restaurante Laja, one that comes highly recommended. It’s location is very difficult to find and there are no lights and the signage is very hard to see at night. Luckily we had driven by the restaurant during the daylight hours so we knew where we were going.
The evening was getting cooler so it was nice to be able to sit near the fireplace where there was a nice fire burning.
The ambiance of the restaurant is nice and not overly opulent.
Before we ordered we were given a basket of warm home made bread that seemed to be fresh from the oven. The olive oil was from Rancho Cortez, a small family run farm that we were planning to visit in the next two days or so.
The menu consisted of a four course tasting menu (you can go with the longer version but that was beyond our appetites).
Jo Ann started with the Oven Beet Salad, which was beautiful, colorful and very tasty.
We also also had the Warm Carrot Salad. The carrots were almost burnt but were outstanding.
The next course was the Salmon Tartar, which was actually bland but very well presented and colorful.
My second plate was the Burdock Ravioli, which is served in a consume with spinach, parsley and chives. The consume was excellent as was the Burdoc Ravoli. My only disappointment was the presentation was not very exiting. Overall it was outstanding.
The third plate was the Pan Roasted White fish, which was very tender, very flavorful. It was nicely cooked as the vegetables were crisp but tender.
The other third plate that we had was the oven roasted local quail was also excellent and very well presented. The quail was moist, flavorful with a nice rub.
We ended our meal with the Chocolate Cream with Cardamon ice cream and tulip pastry. It was absolutely wonderful.
For our wine selections we also went with the paired wines. Many of these were nice but not many we would have searched out. The only one that was truly good was the late harvest Chenin Blanc from Monte Xanic. We are already planning to visit this winery so I know that there will be some of these bottles coming home with us.
Serve seemed stiff and somewhat pretentious especially as the evening unfolded. Some times the wines would not be served with the meals and some plates came early or late.
Overall my rating for Laja was a 3.0 out of 5 with a price ranking of $$$. I don’t know if I would return to Laja.