Now that we have our car, we’re getting out a lot more. One of these outings recently took us to La Hola Beto’s, a local chain of seafood restaurants. We’ve actually been twice in recent weeks: the first time with our friends who drove us, and the second time on our own with my friend Vanessa who was in town from DC for work.
Tiki-bar-style patio seating at La Hola Beto’s.La Hola Beto’s food, drinks and ambiance are that good that we decided to return. In fact, my entrée was so delicious the second time we were there that I forgot to take a picture of it (and I had my big camera with me).One of the best things is that La Hola Beto’s carries beers from Brew Revolution, El Salvador’s first American-style craft brewery. I wanted to try the Venus Wit, but an ordering mishap resulted in my accidentally getting the Mercurio IPA during our first visit, and they were out of the wheat beer during our second visit so I opted for the IPA again. I also tasted Kail’s Nyx Black Ale, which was good.Brew Revolution’s Mercurio IPA.There’s lots of outdoor seating on the tiki-bar-style patio, which has a nice view of Zona Rosa, an area of San Salvador with lots of restaurants and a couple watering holes.Upon being seated, diners are served a complimentary michelada, which Kail describes as “El Salvador’s bloody mary,” a cocktail of beer, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, hot sauce, pepper and maybe a couple other ingredients I haven’t identified yet.The Michelada: El Salvador’s Bloody Mary.Ceviche is huge in San Salvador, and La Hola Beto’s offers a few different kinds. The first time we had traditional ceviche camarones (shrimp ceviche) and the second time we tried ceviche camarones con jalapeño (with jalapeño) for a little kick. Both were deliciously refreshing and perfect for a warm Salvadoran evening.Shrimp ceviche with jalapeño.Kail and I shared the traditional paella during our first dinner at La Hola Beto’s. It’s a dish for two and includes tons of shrimp, mussels, chicken, sausage and all sorts of different mariscos and meat. I was too busy eating to identify them all, but I did remember to take an Instagram photo:Paella.When we returned, I wanted to try a dish that one of our dining companions ordered our first visit: arroz con calamar en su tinta (rice with squid in its ink). ¡Qué delicioso! This is the one I forgot to take a picture of because I straight gobbled it down.Kail ordered Salvadoran paella, which seemed the same as its traditional cousin save for a slightly darker sauce. My friend Vanessa got the pizza con camarones (shrimp pizza), which she said was pretty good.We’ve yet to venture to La Libertad for seafood (which I hear is The Place to get seafood) but La Hola Beto’s has great seafood and drinks, good service and a nice atmosphere. Plus it’s close to home and we know how to get there and back, which at this point is the most important factor when deciding where to dine.The Details: La Hola Beto’sAddress: Avenida Las Magnolias y Boulevard del Hipódromo, Colonia San Benito, Zona RosaPhone: (503) 2223-6865 o (503) 2245-0553Website: www.laholabetos.comPrice Range ($-$$$$): $-$$ (Pretty inexpensive, with most entrées ranging from $8-15 USD depending on what you get)Good for Kids: Not for dinner, possibly for lunch, as the ambience (at least of the Zona Rosa location) is more of a bar atmosphere. And unless your kid is a big seafood eater, there isn’t a lot on the menu for picky appetites other than pizza.