We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Exquisite food and wine in an extraordinary setting”

The Papaya Lounge Restaurant
Ranked #7 of 19 Restaurants in Mal Pais
Price range: US$4 - US$18
Cuisines: Seafood, Costa Rican, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Bar Scene, View, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 3 August 2011

We were lucky enough to enjoy 2 dinners at Moana Lodge's Papaya Lounge and it is crazy that you are in a tiny town in one small part of Costa Rica. The first night, Aidan, the owner, Maitre 'D (I guess literally because he in fact is the master of the hotel) and bartender, recommended VistAlba Corte C, a lively red wine which we'd not had before and loved. We shared two fantastic appetizers, an octopus salad that was "to die for" and an Ahi stack with mango and avocado. Perfect. Anyone who has ever enjoyed the ahi stack at The Beach House in SoCal would find this every bit as delectable. We also shared seafood (local clams, calamari, fish, shrimp, and also mussels) in a wonderful broth. We have eaten all over the world and highly recommend this food. Aidan also makes a superb mojito (to compare, I just "choked one down" at the Intercontinental San Jose). I'm a cocktail connoisseur and artisan myself with quite a mojito following of my own and I hate to admit Aidan's is better - must be Los limones! Add to all of that how incredibly nice both Aidan and his "right hand man" in the restaurant are and you'd already be batting 1000. But this restaurant, up 90 steps (just think of it as justification for dessert!) sits above the jungle treetops right at the coast, with a perfect ocean view (I could check the surf at Playa Carmen). The howler monkeys, some kind of lemur thing, butterflies and the like grace your meal (not at your table!) we never planned to eat there 2 nights so we could experiment with other restaurants, but it was calling us back a second night and we were lucky enough to chat with Aidan, his wife and co-owner Vicky (equally friendly) and enjoy a great chef's special seafood stew and a salad with goat cheese fried in what appeared to be fine small potato latkes - all wonderful. This time Aidan made us Caprihanas, which were so good we each had 2. So you too will have to go 2x to have both mojitoes and Caprihanas!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank JobiH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (124)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

96 - 100 of 124 reviews

Reviewed 3 August 2011

We are costarricans and we travel a lot around Costa Rica, but last july we enjoyed the delicious Food and excellent service by Mr. Mike the bartender in Papaya place. Besides the best place in town to enjoy the view from your table and see the sunsets...100% Pura Vida.

Thank Gamboa01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2011

This restaurant has it all. We stayed right down the street and actually had dinner there twice. I cannot say enough great things about it. I agree with the other posts, you want to come and have a cocktail and watch the sunset before dinner. It is truly spectacular!

Try the mojito, it will not disappoint. The menu selection is varied and the food is great. The service is second to none. We had a mix up with the currency when we paid the bill (did I mention the mojitos?!) and the restaurant actually tracked us down at the private residence we were staying at to let us know we had overpaid. Now, that is above and beyond.

Please don't miss this Costa Rican gem!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Solanaymar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2011

This is the best restaurant anywhere! You can not go to Costa Rica without spending an evening watching the sunset and having dinner here! Unbelievable! The restaurant is quite high so you can see the ocean and the wildlife all around. This is a first class restaurant! We also had great service by Mike!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Jenn3031
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2010

We came here for the view and were even more impressed by the food!

This is the only restaurant in the area that didn't seem to have a crazy hill to drive up or down, and the parking lot was surprisingly very nice. After climbing 112 steps to the restaurant, the view is absolutely incredible! Come right before the sunset and enjoy a few mixed drinks before ordering. It's a very romantic setting.

The food was the most artistic-looking in town and very tasty! We hope to go back to the area in the next year with some friends... If so, this is the first restaurant we are bringing everyone to!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ScreaminSeahawk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed The Papaya Lounge Restaurant also viewed

Mal Pais, Province of Puntarenas
Mal Pais, Province of Puntarenas
 
Santa Teresa, Province of Puntarenas
Mal Pais, Province of Puntarenas
 

Been to The Papaya Lounge Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing