Hola!, Bend Oregon

2007/05/07


Hola!

“Hola, is it me you’re looking for?” Yes, yes it is! Thank you Hispanic Lionel.

Quite a few people have recommended Hola since it opened about 4 months ago. The part owners of La Rosa left their gig there and started up their own restaurant on the east side of Bend. Eating at Hola! gave us the chance to see Anna again, our favorite waitress at El Caporal from back in the day. Sadly, Anna was not working that day but we’ll be back for sure…next time we go to Costco.

The other reviews that I have read on Hola! have all mentioned their unique take on chips and salsa.

Starting from the left we have your regular salsa, a type of hummus/peanut butter fusion, and some green stuff. All three were rather good. The salsa was your typical salsa, I still think El Caporal has the best chips and salsa in Bend. The hutter was decent for what it was but I left that mostly for the wife as I couldn’t stop dipping pieces of that roll into the green stuff. Someone tell me what that is please. HackBend called it a “mint pesto-type sauce” which I’ll agree with. And the roll? I’m lost.

When I get confused at restaurants I remember one of the rules from this great sushi place in Seattle called Mashiko (with the greatest domain name ever that I’ll never forget) – “Shut up and eat”. So I did.

I went for numero uno on the menu, the Carne Azada. Still working out the camera kinks so my photo did not come out. It was cooked to perfection and if you like steak, get it. Their rice is not your typical spanish rice mixture but a lighter more Japanese type of white rice, rather refreshing.

The wife made a great decision and got the apple bacon wrapped prawns:


The cheesy, heavy cream sauce smothering the prawns and veggies was awesome and is currently clogging my arteries perfectly. Who doesn’t like Prawns wrapped with Bacon slathered with cheese? Can I unsubscribe you from reading this?

Oh and of course the drinks! Expensive beverages but worth it and the alcohol numbs the pain when the bill comes. Dishes were around $11-$16 for dinner and drinks were around $8-$11 for margaritas. At least that’s what I remember. I LOVED that the bartender came out and took drink orders for all of us waiting for our tables. Although standing there with a Cactus Margarita in one hand and the freezing cold shaker containing the rest of my beverage in the other was a little awkward. The alcohol numbed that too.

Hola!
2670 NE Highway 20 Bend, OR 97701
541 389 4652
Open 7 days a week 11am to 10pm – Dinner Menu after 4pm
http://www.holabend.com/

Other reviews/mentions:
http://www.hackbend.com/2007/04/27/hola.php
http://www.thebendreport.com/archives/15 (called the green stuff a cilantro lime sauce but didn’t identify the Hutter)
Jen’s Yelp

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Chillable May 7, 2007 at 6:38 pm

My two cents says that the green salsa is indeed some kind of cilantro pesto. Note the salsa presentation is a “bandera”…mexican flag!
And I must put in a recommendation for the ceviche, it’s out of this world!

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Bend Oregon Restaurants May 7, 2007 at 7:02 pm

I forgot to mention your reco for the ceviche. Thanks for reminding me, Chillable!

I also forgot to mention the cool couple sitting next to us. I made a comment like “Look, a highchair” and motioned over to their adorable baby sleeping away in her carseat in the upside down highchair.

Of course it sparked up the conversation surrounding Baltazar’s. Such a neat ice breaker…try it, next time you’re waiting for a table, standing in line, or just anywhere say in a loud voice “Baltazar’s an (insert adjective)”. I bet you’ll get a reaction and a nice debate will ensue.

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Jen May 7, 2007 at 7:34 pm

Ooooohhhh… the prawns look amazing. Can’t wait to go back!

Did you skip dessert?

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Bend Oregon Restaurants May 7, 2007 at 7:54 pm

I didn’t catch your review or your comments on the other blogs about the dessert until today Jen. So yeah, we skipped dessert.

Going out to eat as often as we do gets expensive especially with drinks. We normally don’t get dessert but we will have to try the bananas on our next visit…I’ll try not to fill up on bread and Hutter.

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Anonymous May 8, 2007 at 3:40 am

A friend ate there last night and told me the green stuff is a cilantro sauce.

Also: El Cap has the best chips and salsa in Bend? No way. They’re decent, but they can’t TOUCH La Rosa. La Rosa’s chips are nonpareil.

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Bend Oregon Restaurants May 8, 2007 at 4:57 pm

El Cap’s salsa is the best in town by a mile. La Rosa is overrated.

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Anonymous July 6, 2007 at 2:59 pm

B.O.R.,
Oh golly. My hubby and I went to Hola last night for dinner, and we were disappointed. I must disclose that we are big fans of La Rosa (and El Caporal, too, actually).

The server was working on being too cool for school. She barely looked at us, let alone talked with us. She was a flitter. She held court with other servers behind the bar, or with other customers seated at the bar.

Next, the portions were ridiculously small for the entrees’ prices. The kiss of death? The ingredients are VERY similar to La Rosa’s (whose portions are much better).

We say, after last night, if you want good ‘cuisine-authentic Mex’ go to La Rosa. Why go all the way over there (cuz it’s so far) when you can get great food, decent portions, and great service at The Rose?

“Some say love…it is a river…”

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Brewerman July 6, 2007 at 6:22 pm

So the wife and I took the long trek over to the Eastsieeeeeed specifically to go check out Hola!. I have to say that I agree with Anonymous (seriously though … you can’t sign up for an account to let us know how to virtually hunt you down for your disparaging comments? Put yourself out there!). The portions are small, and the service was minimal. The water guy gets mad praises though. He kept our glasses filled, and our table bussed. Meanwhile, our server was flirting with a table of two stoned twenty-somethings with a pitcher of what looked like trashcan punch. To her credit, she did ask if we were OK … once … over her shoulder … while staying firmly planted by the stoney punch table. We had to get someone else to get our check. The staff was friendly, busting out the obligatory “Hi”, “Welcome” and “Thanks for coming”. Still, I want friendly with a standard baseline of quality service.

In fairness to the food, it tasted pretty good. I enjoyed the green salsa … different, but mac-a-licious. My wife got a char-broiled tuna dish that was pretty tasty, and I ordered the chicken mole enchiladas. I prefer La Rosa’s mole, but it was very similar (probably same recipe, different chef). It was good, but I wanted more food for the money.

And the Salsa Wars between El Cap and La Rosa … they will rage on forever and ever. Both are excellent … but El Cap rules … Oh snap!

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Suzy October 26, 2007 at 4:01 pm

anonymous, and brewerman wouldnt know good food if it came up and bit them, try the Peruvian food!! dahh.. it’s the only peruvian in Bend.. also for these clueless people that think the green sauce is salsa, it’s cilantro sauce.

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J Arcane January 21, 2008 at 7:21 pm

I can confirm, having actually discussed it with the staff, that the green condiment served with the chips is, in fact, a cilantro-lime pesto.

It’s also very fantastic.

I must also whole-heartedly agree with the assessment of the bacon-wrapped shrimp. Everything in that dish is absolutely incredible.

I must also implore the lot of you to try the fresh caipirinhas. It is, quite simply, the greatest cocktail in the world, and everytime I drink them, a part of me starts making plans to move to the beach in Brazil and sit around drinking them all day long.

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iamhalcyon April 8, 2008 at 10:56 pm

I agree – la Rosa is way over-rated. Maybe they can live up to their inflated rep in the new digs supposedly open this May. I love Hola! The ceviche is AMAZING

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Anonymous October 28, 2008 at 2:29 am

My wife and I ate the other night at Hola on a whim. We were just looking for something different. We are definitely fastidious types when it comes to wait service and food. And we have been to many mexican restaurants. It was the Peruvian feature that attracted us to Hola. Well, I must say that it was one of the best meals we have been served in years. The ambiance, service, and food selection was great. The chiclets delivered with the bill was a nice finish to the parade of flavors. My only complaint was they were out of the Peruvian beer. My wife, a vegetarian, had great choices, and my meal was exotic, beautiful, tasty, and filling – even though I don’t recall the name of the dish. We will be back soon!

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Heather April 17, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Recently I went to Hola with a friend so she could break her fast after a trip to the doctor. Since it was mid afternoon the place was pretty empty, so the service was excellent. Not being that hungry, I ordered a cup of their chicken soup (think tortilla soup meets mom’s cold cure). It was really good, the chicken was seasoned perfectly and mixing all the toppings in made it fantastic.

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