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Isla

4.1
4.1
61 Reviews
$30 and under
Caribbean
Isla in Austin, Texas serves Peruvian-inspired cuisine under the direction of Executive Chef John Lichtenberger. Starters at Isla include potato dishes like maki cuasa and papa rellena as well as other temptations like empanada de acelga and jalea. Antichucho (skewers) include beef heart, octopus, chicken thigh and more. Peruvian ceviches are made to order. From the fondo section of the menu, diners can experience lomo saltado, aji de conejo, arroz con mariscos, sudako nikkei, pollo a la brasa and arroz negro a lo macho. If you have a taste for Peruvian food, you will definitely find what you're craving at Isla.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


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Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Caribbean, Jamaican, Cuban

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner: Monday - Friday: 4:00pm - 2:00am, Saturday: 5:00pm - 2:00am Weekend Brunch: Saturday and Sunday: 11:00am-3:00pm Happy Hour: Monday, Thursday and Friday 4:00-7:00pm Tuesday and Wednesday- All Night

  • Phone number

    (512) 322-9921

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    John Lichtenberger

  • Neighborhood

    Downtown

  • Cross street

    Lavaca

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Wine

What 61 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.1
4.1 based on all time ratings
  • 4Food
  • 4Service
  • 4.1Ambience
  • 3.9Value

NoiseModerate

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  1. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 27, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We were delighted to find Isla. We've not had Caribbean food since we've been Austin (3 years). Great service and delicious food.
  2. W

    Wordsmith

    Austin

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 19, 2016

    overall3food2service4ambience4
    My date and I tried two different cocktails apiece, and they were delicious. Great vibe and music. I felt the food wasn't spectacular. We ordered the empanadas and three taco plate, and both were rather flat, flavor wise. The food definitely didn't match up to the creative drinks and atmosphere.
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 14, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I had one day to play a birthday brunch with 10 people. Where could I possible plan a birthday brunch that wasn't too noisy, great atmosphere, something different than any other restaurant??? A girl friend said she passed by a place called Isla. I looked online and saw their menu was definitely different and interesting. It was easy to book a reservation, so I did. When we got there, we greeted with huge smiles !! Our tablet was ready for us. The server was very informative on everything. The food was so tasty and so were the drink. The chicken empanadas and the sauce it somes with are so delicious !!! If your getting ceviche. The snapper is the one to go with. As my meal. It was Steak and eggs for me. I know it sounds bland, but trust me the potatoes they toss it in and cheese is so tasty. A great combination !!! Try this place out for yourself and see what I'm talking about.
  4. T

    Traveler16

    Washington DC

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 13, 2016

    overall1food1service2ambience3
    I was quite disappointed with Isla. After a promising start at the bar with Miguel, who was quite welcoming and made an excellent Paloma, things went downhill. Our appetizers were lackluster. The chef's selection of tacos was OK, but the marlin ceviche was middling at best, bland and lacking in flavor. But the grilled oysters were the lowlight. Small oysters were used, and the grilling shrunk them to minuscule size. One was literally the size of a large pea. At what I believe was an $18 price, the appetizer was a waste of money. My entree was a Cuban sandwich. I have eaten Cubanos around the world, at places cheap and expensive, and this one came in last. Very little meat and cheese, and non-descript bread. And it was accompanied by extremely thin French fries that offered no taste of potatoes. (I'd suggest replacing them with rice and beans.) Our party's other entrees were the chef's ceviche trio and a salad. The other cerviches, including the redfish, were similar in quality to the marlin. We passed on dessert. On the plus side, the tropical ambiance --- decoration and music --- was good. But at the end of the day, unfortunately, the food really missed badly.
  5. RW

    RWJJ

    Austin

    5 reviews

    2.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on August 6, 2016

    overall2food2service4ambience3
    Food was very average tasting. Limited menu and not well executed
  6. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 24, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We love Sunday brunch at Isla! The food is always delicious and drinks are even better. Charlie was our server this past go round and he was amazing and did everything perfectly. Can't wait to go back!
  7. CM

    ChristineM

    Austin

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 22, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food was very fresh and delicious. Would and have recommended to others!
  8. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    3 reviews

    1.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 14, 2016

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Overpricing food , very expensive restaurant and the food it's not even that good, also the waitress tried to steal 20$ from our tab saying that we gave her less money and it wasn't true
  9. JP

    JPinATX

    Austin

    13 reviews

    4.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on July 13, 2016

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    Bartender was extremely knowledgeable about his products (rum) and friendly, approachable. All staff was. Table service was slow enough that we ended up having to take our meals to go. But great ambience. Will definitely go back.
  10. L

    Lollingsworth

    Austin

    6 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on July 9, 2016

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    I saw Isla on an eater article for best brunch spots so my boyfriend and I decided to check it out on Saturday. It's great that they offer brunch on Saturday since a lot of places only have it on Sunday. I had sweet potato biscuits with a chorizo gravy and they were delicious. It was enough for two people but my boyfriend got the black bean cakes which were also delicious. They have happy hour Tuesdays and Wednesday's so I'm hoping to go back and check that out!
  11. LP

    LauraP

    Jacksonville

    45 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    45 reviews

    Dined on July 3, 2016

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Drinks were outstanding and brunch was very unique. Goat fundido is a standout!!
  12. A

    Atxdiner

    Austin

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2016

    overall5food5service2ambience5
    Great dishes and wonderful drinks - you can't go wrong.
  13. GV

    GladysV

    Austin

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 22, 2016

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Visited Isla for brunch and was pleasantly surprised. The brunch menu is small, but well-thought out. Both meals we had were spectacular. Innovative, tasty, perfect-sized portions. Not your stereotypical Cuban fare, but incredibly balanced flavors. Definitely will be returning!
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 15, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Isla was so good! We went for the brunch and loved everything we ordered, especially the grilled vegetables! The atmosphere is cool and laid back. Mimosas and bellinis were okay but the food...to die for!
  15. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 15, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    "I love the feel of this place – music playing just loud enough to hear but not too loud to interupt your conversation. The johnny cakes with shrimp was the perfect mix of salty and sweet... the Chicken Fried Pork Chop was so juicy and tender and the coating had a great crunch to it! Of course everyone loved the brisket and egg taco and the bananas foster french toast!!! SOOOO GOOOOOOD!!!! I definitely would return to try more dishes. Service was well-timed and friendly."
  16. AW

    AmyW

    Austin

    26 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on May 13, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    We had the shrimp tacos which were delightfully marinated and oh so tasty served on freshly made tortillas (yum)! And the pork chop special. The meal was wonderful and incredibly tasty. We have been here several times and the menu always has new yummy surprises in store.
  17. FE

    FoodElite

    Los Angeles

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The ambiance is awesome!!!
  18. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 7, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had the jack cakes with grilled shrimp. Excellent! We also had the pulled pork on biscuits with habinero sauce. It was also excellent. The waitress was attentive and kept us well filled with coffee.
  19. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    2 reviews

    1.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 16, 2016

    overall1food1service2ambience3
    I went to brunch with two other people and all I can say is I will not be back. The food was not even hot. It seemed like they just warmed up the components and put them together. The waitress while nice did not ask if everything was okay. I think she knew it was not good. Avoid!
  20. CD

    CamD

    Los Angeles

    24 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on April 9, 2016

    overall4food4service3ambience3
    I love the fact that Isla added brunch to the weekends as it is a welcome addition to the brunch world in Austin (e.g. this is probably the best ceviche you can get for brunch in town!). One word of caution: if you don't see the price next to something, ask. We ordered a few drinks and while all of them were delicious, some were $8 and some were $14.
  21. m

    momof3teenboysplus1

    Austin

    28 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    28 reviews

    Dined on March 31, 2016

    overall4food4service3ambience3
    Great ceviche and the mussels were a pleasant surprise.
  22. d

    dine2live

    Charleston

    12 reviews

    3.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on March 25, 2016

    overall3food4service4ambience3
    It suited our night out. The menu is limited, but even as vegetarians, whatever we had was good. There could be more choice, though, and more flexibility. The service was good, but the bar and their take hype on rum and the carribean feel is precisely that...hype. The 'pina colada' was quite tastelessly watered down. Not very crowded on a Friday night in a great location downtown. But we now know why.
  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was great and our waitress was awesome!
  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2016

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    We dined for brunch and enjoyed a variety of types of mimosas. All of the food was excellent (ranging from French toast to empanadas). Our waitress was very attentive, the ambiance was cute/romantic, but quiet enough to have a conversation. We enjoyed speaking with the owner as well! Hidden gem for brunch especially for the foodies out there! (Prices of some items was a little high-But looked very fresh!)
  25. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    1 review

    vip
    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 5, 2016

    overall2food2service3ambience3
    Apps are good. Sweet Potato fries and empanadas have great flavor, but petite. The chicken tacos are nothing but salt, and lack toppings and sauces. Same for fish tacos. Snapper entree was the size of a happy meal. Skipped dessert because we didn't want to ruin what was left of our appetite.
  26. DW

    DeborahW

    Austin

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on February 5, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We went here for my birthday, the service and food couldn't have been better!
  27. W

    William777

    Charlotte

    8 reviews

    2.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on February 5, 2016

    overall2food4service1ambience4
    It took over an hour to get our food. The restaurant was less than half full. Brief apology, but no effort made to make it right.
  28. GG

    GGK33

    Austin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 24, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, service and atmosphere. Beautiful brick building. Lovely place to have brunch.
  29. J

    Justin806

    Houston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 16, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    From the time we walked in until the time we set foot out the door, the service was outstanding. Everyone was very friendly/ knlowedgeable and the food was amazing. We went during brunch, so we took advantage of the $5 mimosas and Bloody Mary's.
  30. RW

    RovingWerther

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 9, 2016

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We ordered the lime cast-iron chicken and red snapper. The food was expertly presented and the flavors were bright, savory, and very clean. Portions were ample (Isla is not a small-plates place). During our visit to Austin all our meals were excellent. But this was the best.
  31. k

    kaygeeaustin

    Austin

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 9, 2016

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    While it has a full menu, Isla feels like a bar with food, not a restaurant. The food was okay, but the place was pretty deserted and quiet, which was okay by me but not a fun vibe as a bar either.
  32. MG

    MarissaG

    Washington DC

    18 reviews

    3.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on January 8, 2016

    overall3food3service3ambience2
    The rum map on the flip side of the menu -- or the main side, depending on your priorities -- is truly impressive! The chef's ceviche was a hit but the others so-so. And while the lime roasted chicken was worth a return visit, not so the market fish. The service was friendly and sincere and made an effort to help with selections, although at least one of the party would have liked someone more knowledgable about the list of spirits. The restaurant was also surprisingly bright; its sister restaurant next door, Peche, had a much better vibe. Next time I'm in Austin, I'll try Peche.
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    11 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2016

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    This was my first time to Isla and it will not be my last. I can't speak highly enough of the service from everyone at Isla. From the time we walked in to the time we left we were treated first class all the way and everyone there was so nice and took time to talk about the drinks, food and just really made us feel welcome. The food was excellent and was beyond expectations. If you have never tried Isla you are missing out.
  34. KG

    KatieG

    Charleston

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 2015

    overall3food4service1ambience3
    My date and I had awesome food and drinks but the service was bad, our drink glasses were empty a lot and it felt other tables recieved priority over us even when we had reservations.
  35. K

    Kris

    Austin

    16 reviews

    4.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on December 23, 2015

    overall4food5service3ambience5
    Visited Isla with a large group on an off night during the week. The food and drinks were outstanding. The bartender was super gracious and remade a drink (just too strong for my taste) and went out of his way to make a teen in our group feel special. Everything about our visit was awesome, with the exception of the wait service. Although friendly, our waitress was not good at all, and I'm guessing she was probably the hostess acting as a waitress because it was such a slow night. The entrees in our group came out in 3 different batches with extremely long periods in between. We either couldn't eat as a group, or we were eating cold food. In addition she removed drinks and plates that we were not finished with...just swooped them right up. The high quality of the food deserves a better level of service.
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 17, 2015

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Good drinks in cool glasses.
  37. o

    outatown

    Dallas

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 13, 2015

    overall3food4service4ambience4
    Food was very good. Drinks were okay. There are not enough wine & beer choices- not everyone wants a cocktail. Food was delicious, & unique;. menu small though.
  38. AD

    AlDiner

    Las Vegas

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on October 23, 2015

    overall4food4service4ambience3
    The drinks are definitely the star of the show here, we got a giant bowl to share with everyone. I forget the name but it was perfectly tropical and unique. Food was pretty delicious as well, I definitely recommend getting ceviche, and the shrimp/mango wontons (they were on special). Only complaint was that when a band started playing in Cedar Street Courtyard, that music was loud but Isla still kept their own music on, creating a sort of mash up of distracting noises. I'll definitely be back, probably for happy hour drinks and ceviche/apps.
  39. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Dallas

    1 review

    vip
    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 7, 2015

    overall2food2service1ambience2
    We were so excited to try this restauarant. However we were very disappointed - it took 3 hours to enjoy 2 drinks and dinner. The bar is slow and not only did it take over 30 minutes for our bill but the bill was incorrect.
  40. CD

    CamD

    Los Angeles

    24 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on August 1, 2015

    overall4food5service4ambience3
    I love the ceviche at Isla and tried out their arepas this time, which were amazing (I went with the pork ones). The drinks are also 100% delicious and unlike the "island" drinks you can find elsewhere in town...Isla's are authentic and made with real ingredients!

FAQs

Isla is rated 4.1 stars by 61 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Lavaca

  • Neighborhood

    Downtown

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner: Monday - Friday: 4:00pm - 2:00am, Saturday: 5:00pm - 2:00am Weekend Brunch: Saturday and Sunday: 11:00am-3:00pm Happy Hour: Monday, Thursday and Friday 4:00-7:00pm Tuesday and Wednesday- All Night

  • Cuisines

    Caribbean, Jamaican, Cuban

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    John Lichtenberger

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Wine

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