Monday, 2 March 2015

“Pura Vida” at La Luna

I recently made my first visit to Costa Rica, in the little surfing town of Nosara, where life truly lives up to their mantra “Pura Vida” (translated to "Pure Life"). I was fortunate enough to travel there with two of the best yoga teachers in Vancouver, as well as the finest group yogis one could ever hope to share the week with.   The Nosara Yoga Institute and its adjoining resort, the Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort (see here for more details), provided the perfect sanctuary for our yoga retreat, with its lush landscape, salt water pool, outdoor hilltop yoga studio and, very importantly, three delicious buffet meals per day.  

Although the food at the resort was phenomenal (I giddily piled my plate high every night with the freshest of local ingredients), we decided on our second last night to branch out and enjoy some local cuisine.  Fortunately, our super-organized yoga teachers had made us reservations at one of Nosara’s finest- La Luna. 

La Luna is notoriously awesome for a number of reasons as we would come to find out for ourselves.  The first, and the reason why every visitor to this precious little town should visit La Luna at least once, is its spectacular views.  Located right off the beach at Playa Pelada, it offers views of the most picturesque and awe-inspiring sunset I have ever seen.  I highly recommend walking to the restaurant about an hour before sunset like we did, right along the water’s edge, and taking in the multi-colored sky as the sun sets beyond the horizon (be sure to have your camera handy!). 

Then, with a full heart and an empty belly, you can make your way up the stone steps to the quaint and welcoming façade of the restaurant itself.   If you are visiting in the dry season like us (from December-April), I highly recommend dining al fresco, as the air stays pleasantly warm even when the sun goes down and provides a welcome break from sweltering daytime heat (average daytime temperatures are above 30 degrees all year round!).   The darling outdoor setting, with its wooden tables right on the sand, provides a casual yet mesmorizing atmosphere that will remind you that you truly are in paradise.

And next comes the time to talk about the next trick that La Luna has up its sleeve- its delicious food.   Although many flock to La Luna for an evening drink to watch the sunset, I consider it a shame to leave without trying some of La Luna’s wonderful dishes.  A drink is, of course, a great place to start.  You have your pick of cocktails from quite an elaborate list (the passion-fruit cocktail and the mojito were especially well-received), as well as decent wine and beer lists.   As you imbibe in a drink (or two or three), take a look at the dinner menu, with its great selection of appetizers and mains, including wood-fired pizzas, steaks, seafood and few nightly specials.  You can feel free to take your time, as the service, in true Nosara-style, is very friendly and laid back.  It is very evident that their main priority is that you enjoy your experience to its fullest.

Here is a snapshot of the food and drink enjoyed around our table.   As you will notice, portions are very generous but do not let this discourage you from ordering an appetizer and a main as you will want to sample at least a few dishes.  Also, be sure to leave room for dessert as the ones enjoyed at our table were raved about for the rest of our trip.  Unanimous table favourites included the fried calamari (rumoured to be the "BEST EVER"), the ceviche with plantain chips (some even indulged in a second round!), the steak (great marbling and cooked to perfection), and for dessert, the nutella-banana pizza (even more delicious than it sounds!). 

Our night at La Luna was truly unforgettable from start to finish. There is so much to cherish- the best-ever sunset, the warm breeze, the silky sand beneath my feet, the friendly local staff and the delicious food and drink.   To get to share this with 16 amazing new friends in a beautiful new country is an experience that will surely stay in my heart forever. 

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