The Chronicle’s Brandon Watson commends Peche’s Rob Pate’s ability to turn the former Pleasant Storage Room into the tiki-centric bar and restaurant Isla so quickly and successfully. First, the cocktail program, where rum drinks run small and classy to big and boozy:
We tried the flaming Luau Scorpion Bowl ($26); served by three (enabling) seahorses, it combines gold rum, cognac, gin, and possibly the potion from Death Becomes Her. It's not the sort of drink one sips in a maple-paneled library, but the kitschiness does not overrule some small sophistication.
Then the restaurant’s take on island-inspired cuisine, which centers on being spicy and refreshing, are excellent for soaking up the damage done from the bar:
[T]he curried lamb ($15) and chicken ($13) were both lavished with the kind of spice that clings to the cheeks. And yes, the traditional method of ceviche-making is just a starting point. Cucumber added a nice crunch to the mildly astringent shrimp and scallop version ($18), while coriander oil gives a subtle floral note to the marlin ($19).
THE BLOGS: Foodie is the New Forty goes through her regular order at The Peached Tortilla, Forks Up feted the end of the school year at Josephine House, Lazy Smurf found vegan tacos in North Austin at Fork and Taco, and there are more and more tacos for Mike Sutter.