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