Had lunch today at Hola!, the new Mexican-Peruvian restaurant on Bend’s east side. They’re located in the Forum Shopping Center, in the old Mangia! Pasta! space between Safeway and Barnes and Noble.

Overall, I thought it was pretty good. The space is nice, if a bit tight (we sat at the bar), the service was good and very amiable, and the food was good and prompt. The traditional chips and salsa are served here with a twist: you get bread with it, and instead of a single bowl of salsa, you get a platter with three types of sauces: traditional salsa, a peanut sauce, and a mint pesto-type sauce. They were very good, but the platter was shallow, so we ran out of salsa fairly quickly.

The bar is small, but they have a nice selection of tequila, from what I could see, ranging from the cheap stuff (hey! I’ve got that at home!) to the top-shelf stuff.

The only complaint we had was that the lunch portions seemed a bit small for the price. Granted, they were only $8 and $9 and we didn’t leave hungry; I guess you just get used to some of the other Mexican places in town that serve up a huge amount of food for the same price.

Hola! has the credentials, though: the owner is the former chef from La Rosa (my current favorite). Hopefully the location that killed Mangia! won’t be a problem for them.

There’s another review of Hola! here, from last week. It’s pretty favorable.

Forum Shopping Center
2670 NE Highway 20
Bend, OR 97701

2 thoughts on “Hola!

  1. It wasn’t the location that killed Mangia Pasta, it was the crappy service and god-awful imitation of Italian Food. Charging for bread in that place was the last straw for us. We left saying that they wouldn’t be in business long, but it did take a year for the to go belly-up after we said, never again.

    The first owner had a going biz, but these folks didn’t have a clue.

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