La Isla just has a good feel to it. The vibe is right on, with friendly staff and good music. I'm not the biggest fan of Washington Avenue in Hoboken, but this is welcome respite.
Another charm (read: perk for cheapsters) is that they serve no alcohol, but let you bring in whatever you like from outside. Grab a six-pack and take a seat somewhere in the restaurant that is divided between tables on one side (mostly seating only 2) and the long bar with stools on the other.
The ceviche de camarones ($8.50, above) tempted me off the appetizer list, but was ultimately a little dull. The onion-cilantro-lime mixture was not heavy enough on the lime or something, and the shrimps were a little chewy for my liking.
The sandwiches are well-priced, but downright boring unfortunately. I have said this before, but a Cuban sandwich is not rocket science, and is either good of bad. The Cubano here ($8.50, above) is the latter. No sauce, no pickle taste, thoroughly dry. Also dry is the choripan ($9, below), which comes with rubbery chorizo and a bed of little crisps which actually provide most of the taste.
The entrees section of the menu is possibly trying to shine too brightly, or maybe it is just my general distaste for all things fancy. The pechuga rellena ($17, below) is certainly interesting, but doesn't live up to it's artful design and price, which would also put it out of reach for this blog's purposes.
Almost a work of art.
Hmmm.... I have not said much that is nice here. But I leave the restaurant very happy, and that is key. And for Hoboken, it certainly shines out from most on offer.