Home Food + DrinkBrunch Brunch in the Boken: La Isla Downtown

Brunch in the Boken: La Isla Downtown

by Jennifer Tripucka
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I’ve been to La Isla countless times…however, NEVER for brunch. Having heard great things, I decided to try it out with a few friends of mine not too long ago. Now, if you haven’t heard, La Isla is kiiinda famous. Since 1996, La Isla has been serving Cuban fare at 104 Washington Street under the direction of its chef and owner, Omar Giner. It was featured on the Bobby Flay Food Network show for one of its dishes {which we’ll get to a bit later}.

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What appears to be a hole-in-the wall from the outside, turns into a packed house on the inside. At all times.

Okay, first things first…if you’re looking for brunch and easily served alcoholic bevs, this is not your place. BUT, it’s BYOB…and that includes allowing champs for mimosas. Plus, the food definitely makes up for it — as do the non-alcoholic brunch bevs {Batidos!}. I ordered the Morir Soñando — frappé made with fresh orange juice, evaporated milk and sugar. Soooo yum.

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My Morir Soñando

On the bev menu, there are more Batidos, made with milk or just blended with ice — included banana, coconut, mango, papaya, and a bunch of other refreshing flavors. One of my brunch dates ordered the banana, and loved it. I also recommend the cafe con leche, which is adorably served in one of their Nõ mugs.

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So, the entrées.

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Golden Door Dispensary

Maduro, Spinach & Queso Blanco Omelette which is a sweet plantain, spinach and white cheese omelette served with home friesSimply presented, and absolutely delicious. And, great home fries!

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This was a special on the menu {above}, but honestly, I can’t remember for the life of me what it was. It looks like some sort of egg/plaintain combo, but it could also be their infamous fried mashed potato stuffed with ground meat, cooked crispy outside and soft inside. Either way — YES. You need to order that.


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The Famous French Toast.


The moment you’ve been waiting for…the infamous {or just regular famous} Stuffed French Toast! Pullman style egg bread filled with strawberry/guava cream cheese, dipped in cinnamon batter and coated with corn flakes and almonds. Yeah, it’s gooood. The outside bread is a bit crunchy instead of regular mushy french toast, but still delicious — especially with the guava filling.




Overall, La Isla’s brunch is muy bien — and just an FYI it ends at 3pm. It is quite affordable, with most dishes around $9-$12. The ambiance is casual, tight {it probably seats 25 people max, possibly less} — and home-y. Kind of like Diana’s {tears!}, but with a “busier,” more fast-paced, Cuban vibe. It’s good to know brunch is just as good {if not better} than dinner — and that just means we have more of an excuse to come back sooner!


Have you been to La Isla for brunch? What did you think?

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