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The new native Puerto Rican cuisine is represented at Casa Lola since it opened its doors seven months ago in the Condado area in San Juan.  The Boricua traditional flavors prepared in style make the restaurant, "the epicenter of the native cuisine movement," to Roberto Treviño, chef and proprietor of Casa Lola. "We achieved it with the effort needed to represent the new native cuisine with traditionally Puerto Rican flavors," he said. 

In the culinary world, restaurants tend to keep growing and in order to accomplish that Treviño wanted to evolve and change the menu at Casa Lola.  And so, he created new dishes and integrated them into its already diverse menu. "We have created a new menu that is more amusing and creative, which is I love to have in all my restaurants. Traditionally, all the menus that I prepare always have a twist that links them to Puerto Rico," Treviño states. 

One of the dishes that people requested and now is part of the menu is the ceviche selection.  "For example, now I prepare a vegetable ceviche that has radishes and chayote. I also have octopus ceviche with red pepper and tuna ceviche in which we marinate vegetables with salt and vinegar," he describes. 

Another new dish that guests enjoy a lot is the 'chuleton-ton,' which gets its name from a big pork chop served with potatoes and onions.  Now they also have risotto with ‘chicharrón’ (fried pork rinds), a dish that everyone expected; tamales with ‘ropa vieja’ and 'chop chopia' salad featuring ‘chicharrón,’ fresh local string cheese, sweet plantains and avocado.  "We have many new appetizer dishes.  I love to give people what they want; I cook for them. They are giving me the position of chef and they are the reason why I own restaurants.  That is something that I never forget," states the famous chef, who admits that what’s more important in his profession is not to lose the essence. "I have to be humble and keep understanding the responsibility that I have towards the profession and my employees."

Twenty-five years ago, Treviño became part of the Boricua gastronomic industry and his philosophy has always been to think that guests should always get the best. "If they choose to come to my restaurants, they deserve it," indicates Treviño who owns Budatai, Casa Lola, Bar Gitano and El Barril, restaurants that excel for providing a particular type of cuisine. "I have to give my best as a chef, the best quality in our products and an excellent service. It wasn’t easy to achieve it at Casa Lola because it’s a big restaurant, but we are now working at ease. I’m happy with Casa Lola, because it has the essence of the native cuisine. Tourists come here because we have the rice and beans and boneless pork legs; dishes that grandmothers prepare, and I serve them at the restaurant."

About his personal experience, he feels proud of his restaurants and the conceptualization he has created around them. “It’s part of my achievements as a chef. The day-to-day dynamics is quite inspiring, the Latin American spirit, our love for the Island… This is all I need to be creative and run my restaurants," Treviño concludes.

Casa Lola Restaurant is located on 1006 Ashford Avenue in Condado and opens seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. For reservations and further details, please call 787- 998-2918 or visit www.ootwrestaurants.com.


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