Nicaragua - People and places

Ants are everywhere

Ants are everywhere in Nicaragua, especially when you leave a piece of fresh fruit (like what is left of this juicy, yummy mango).

Layha Bistro in Managua


I fell in love with Managua cuisine all over again tonight. I had been waiting to try Layha Bistro since the day I read about the chef, Arlen Siu Sánchez, in a local magazine. We had a great experience. Great wine selection, great Nicaraguan-International fusion cuisine on the menu. There were so many interesting dishes that it was hard to decide. 

For starters, check out the avocado and chicken egg rolls. Delicious. Later, we decided on two dishes: one was pork loin in an oriental sauce with risotto and a plantain a la Rosemary. The other was Toetellini Carolina (spinach pasta filled with squash and cheese) and a salad. I have to say that the pasta won the 'unique flavor' award. The pork was flavorful but a tad dry for my liking (lean cuts, in other words). 

For dessert, apple pie a la mode, a winner as well.

The servers are helpful and sincere...probably being trained but humble and very pleasant.

The decor of Layha Bistro is amazing. 

What a treasure downtown Managua has seen born.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 9.

Address: Del Tip Top Los Robles 1c. SO, 1/2c. E (o de la Cocina de Doña Haydee 50 vrs al lago)
Phone: (505) 2267 3170

Crevettes by La Casserole

Well, in my quest to try something new and exciting, we ventured over to Crevettes by La Casserolle in El Viejo Santo Domingo, which I guess can be glassified as fusion cuisine. It's a small, cozy restaurant with a candlelight indoor 'patio' and a main dining area with a capacidad of about 40 persons.

The menú is somewhat limited but includes duck, a few beef selections, seafood plates and pasta.  Dishes range from $16 - $30.  Portions are small.  I liked that...I felt satisfied but not overly full.

The Thai Crevettes (first picture) consists of 6 medium shrimp in a pineapple y coconut soup like sauce. Very tasty!  It was garnished with petit pois and sofrito flavored rice.

The Entraña was an excellent cut of very tender steak...just one pass of my knife and it was cut through and through...and might I add very well seasoned.  It was served with greens with a honey mustard dressing and a potato/yucca pastel, also very tasty.  I washed it down with a cup of house wine (Frontera if my memory serves me well).

Finally Xocolatl for dessert...ok but not that impressive.  Presentation was good but it wasn't so tasty.

The attention and service were good...our waiter seemed a bit unnatural but he knew the menú and offered both solicited and unsolicited suggestions.  Good wine cellar.  Varied water selections.

Managua has quite a few fine dining offerings now.  I don't think Crevettes is a place I will fall in love with, probably because of the limited offerings.  There are only a few things on the menu that I think I would be interested in trying.  The chef does have some original ideas but nothing that grabbed on to me and shook me.  First impressions can, however, be deceitful.  Even so...

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 7.5.  It would gain a half point if the price/value ratio were a little higher.  You will pay a premium here for something good but not awesome.  You can see prices here.  

Crevettes by La Casserole
Plaza Mi Viejo Santo Domingo