I have walked past it at least 300 times last summer. Adorned with brightly-colored sun umbrellas, Copacabana seems to issue a siren’s call when the umbrellas pop out in the hot sun. Bolivian food sounds good on a hot day. Pair some seafood with a sweet sangria, and you’d have a great evening. Well, that may be, but Copacabana wasn’t the place for me.
On one of the hottest days this summer, I ventured into Copacabana with some family for a light dinner on a hot night. I can’t fault the restaurant for the heat, which was stifling. The sun’s heat couldn’t be dampened by the bright umbrellas, which were spread out all over the balcony. As the sun set, the umbrellas could be folded down to enjoy the view, which was spectacular.
The menu was fair. Prices were between $12 and $18 per entree. Portions looked generous. We decided to order light to save room for drinks and dessert. The server gestered vaguely about the size of the entrees, so we wondered if we’d need more food. Good thing we didn’t. She didn’t return to our table, even when the food was served. We walked to the cashier/manager to pay after we tracked her down to get the ticket.
I ordered the Spanish-style Paella. Another guest ordered a Bolivian beef dish. Both arrived in a timely manner. The beef dish was seasoned, but the flavors fell just short of zesty. The beef was tender. The paella was interesting. The mussels were the smallest I’ve seen, and I’m a cheap shopper. There might have been five, but I can’t be sure. The three larger shrimp were tender and cooked just perfectly. The tiny cocktail shrimp stirred into the chewy arborio rice contributed good flavor but were small enough to be missed. Too soon, the meal was finished.
We languished in the sun for a little while longer, waiting for our drinks to be refilled. After we were decidedly done enjoying the view and the heat, we tracked our server down, paid, and left. I was a little disappointed in the experience, but I should probably have had lower expectations. I’d spoken to a few people about it, and the conclusions had been similar: the food’s not worth it.
I agree. Enjoy the view, but eat and drink somewhere else.