LAS BÓVEDAS at Playa Ensenada

QUOTE: “It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat, at least once a day. That’s what human life is about—enjoying things.” ---Julia Child Las Bóvedas has slowly crept into the beach community and is rapidly making a name for themselves. Run by Chef Willoz and his lovely wife, Carolina, (of The Dragon Restaurant in the former Tryp Hotel in Coronado) the restaurant is breathtakingly refreshing.

Set at the beachfront and poolside at the lovely Ensenada Resort, you can partake of a beautiful view and sea breeze while enjoying Chef’s specialties. Chef Willoz learned his skill in Columbia and spent over 20 years as a Chef in Bogotá.

Their Happy Hour on Fridays has put them on the map, with local talent, John July providing the entertainment. As we understand it, there is a $17 menu with about three choices, along with sushi rolls. The $17 includes a glass of wine.

We have been to Las Bóvedas for lunch and dinner several times. The Bóvedas Salad, either alone or with added chicken or beef is excellent! The salad is composed of fresh greens, vegetables, and cilantro (not culantro) with a wonderful oriental dressing, artfully presented with a side sauce. The ingredients vary, depending on what is fresh. Recently the salad was accented with tasty pieces of grilled eggplant…a #10 in my book. They also offer an interesting hamburger with a red pepper coulis that is to-die-for, a club sandwich, along with other choices.
At dinner, we ordered yakisoba and the beef teriyaki. Both were superb: the yakisoba was an oriental-style pasta with fresh vegetables, sautéed with tender pork, and the teriyaki had the traditional beef, accompanied by tempura vegetables. Both were served hot, and fresh from the stove! Another favorite of ours is the stir-fried chicken. The food tastes as good as the presentations. In our experience, they are something you would expect to see in a popular food magazine.

The menu offers an excellent variety. Chef will tell you what the fresh fish is. He serves whole Red Snapper in three different sizes, along with corvina and langostinos. The menu contains barbecue ribs, filet mignon, and various spaghettis. The sushi menu has a variety of rolls along with gyoza, tartar and tataki. The salmon tartar is extraordinary: a lovely blend of salmon, cilantro, and scallions, served on a rice cake, accompanied by two sauces, a sriracha mayonnaise and a blend of rice vinegar, lemon, and red pepper…another 10. Of course, Chef Willoz has some secret weapon ingredients as well.

On a recent visit, the surf was up, and half a dozen surfers enhancing their skills on the ocean entertained us. The restaurant is a beautiful, tranquil environment. We often feel like we have our own private chef. No doubt that will change once word gets around AND dry season comes.

As we understand it, the restaurant is closed on Monday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, it is open for breakfast and lunch from 9:30-4:30. Thursday-Saturday, they are open from 9:30-whenever. And Sunday from 9:30-6:30. (The Sunday breakfast/brunch is a great menu and includes a mimosa.) As we mentioned, the Friday Happy Hour starting at 6:30 is THE HIT.

TIP: While the menu at Las Bóvedas largely has Japanese and Asian influences, it is diverse enough that you could certainly eat there several times a week (as we can attest to).

By: Epicurious Em

Epicurious Em welcomes your comments and suggestions. As always, the information in this article was accurate at the time of the writing, but restaurant owners have the option of changing prices, menu, and hours at any time. Feel free to e-mail me at