Skip to main content

La Sierra Restaurant (Pato/Duck)

In Santa Cruz, Bolivia, you grow up knowing about certain places and they become mainstays. There is less competition since the population is so small and little communities form to help each other out and their businesses. For example, the Korean community in Santa Cruz is so tight-knit that it's easy to identify them based on which church they go to and if they don't go to church, which church they are affiliated with (where most of their friends and family attend). This idea stretches to other types of communities of people who live in Santa Cruz.

On our last day in Bolivia, we went to our church to say goodbye to our community and an unexpected trip to eat duck was devised by a few family friends. "¿Quieres comer pato?" - "Do you want to eat duck?" exclaimed Mrs. Yoon.  We were about to head out to Cotoca, a neighboring city so we turned her down. Have you ever tried turning down an adamant Korean lady? Needless to say, five minutes later we were caravaning down a really long road to eat duck with three Korean families.

Traffic on the way to eat duck. Street Vendor selling corn.

In the parking lot of La Sierra Restaurant, there is a cage filled with monkeys.

I'm pretty sure there was a sign that said not to feed the monkeys.

 It was one of the most crowded restaurants we visited in Bolivia. 
This place was the place to be on that particular Sunday.
The restaurant staff knew Mr. and Mrs. Yoon (I guess they come here a lot)
so we got seated pretty fast and had attentive service all throughout the meal.

 The salad is simple and yet delicious because of all the fresh ingredients.
Tomato slices, big lettuce pieces, sliced onions, salt, vinegar.
You bring it to your plate and cut it into bite-size pieces before eating. 
Don't be a caveman and eat a whole lettuce.

 I don't know what kind of crack Bolivians put in their rice but it's to die for.
Moist, buttery, diced veggies and just enough salt. 
I can eat a whole bowl of this.

We ordered the Carnes a la parilla, which basically means grilled meat.
Sausage, tomatoes, beef. Smoky and delicious. 
My favorite part of the skewer is always the juicy tomatoes.

 Finally, what we came here for - the Fried Duck.
The skin is so crispy it just crackles inside your mouth.
It comes with fried plantains and fried yucca.

 Check out the duck - see how crispy it is? The inside meat is still juicy.

 The dessert was this cornflour consistency cookie/candy. 
It kind of reminds me of Necco wafers + Tums. 
Not the most appetizing dessert but who had room after all that amazing duck?

Our favorite non-alcoholic drink in Bolivia is SIMBA,
the best tasting Guarana ever.

When it comes to restaurants, you can ask any local where the best place for ____ is and they can rattle off the handful of restaurants that specialize in it. It's a totally different feel from the LA restaurant scene, where many restaurants open and shutter within a year. In fact, when I went back this time, not only did I see most of the familiar restaurants still thriving, but many of them have now become franchises. Even when trying to write this review, a simple question on facebook about the name of the restaurant had four of my ex-classmates chiming in to identify the restaurant.

If you're ever in Santa Cruz, this place is a MUST VISIT. You won't regret it. I still have yet to have better duck than this place in the last five years and I've eaten at some pretty swank places before.


Especialidad en Patos, carnes a la parrilla 

(Specializes in Duck and Grilled Meat)
Km. 23 Doble Vía la Guardia

Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Tel: 384- 0009

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


"Cuñape" is the best cheeseballs in the world, and it’s from Santa Cruz, Bolivia. These gooey and addictive cheese balls are similar to the Brazilian "pão de queijo" or the French "gougères" or the Colombian "pandebono" but all of these are different from each other as well. Gougères are lighter and more airy while the Brazilian ones are chewier but drier on the outside. I would say the pandebonos are closest in taste and texture to the Bolivian cuñape but it is slight more bready.

In Bolivia, we use mennonite cheese (farmer's cheese) for this recipe and honestly without that cheese it will never be exactly like the original but you do what you can. I've been hunting down a similar cheese in the U.S. for ages but the closest I can get to it is to use the queso blanco or fresco and add some more salt (or even mix some feta into it).

The history of the cuñape is very interesting. It is a Guaraní word that means "a woman's breast&…

Donut Friend & Town Pizza - York Blvd, Highland Park, CA

First, Donut Friend - a DIY donut house. They also have some on their list that are already made. I like ordering off their menu because well, they spent a lot of R&D money to make sure some of these ingredients work together. When left up to my demise, the donuts I create end up tasting off. 
My favorite off their menu is the Jets to Basil and Nutella Vision. This one below is neither of these. I don't even quite remember which one this was but it contained reese's pieces and it wasn't as good as the two aforementioned donuts.

You end up ordering at the cash register but the setup looks almost like you order it when you walk up to it and follow the donut maker to the cash register. That is not how it works here. You just order at the cash register and someone makes it for you (and you're allowed to watch this person make it for you). Yes, it is a confusing set up and I get annoyed as well. 
Another place we go to frequently just because it is convenient and becau…

Making Mocochinchi

I get really excited when I can think of a food or drink that is solely Bolivian. I admit there isn't too many Bolivian dishes that are not influenced by the many countries that it borders. Even the Saltena, Bolivia's most famous empanada looking pastry comes from a woman who came from Salta, Argentina, to Tarija, Bolivia. 
So when I'm researching Mocochinchi, my favorite childhood and now adulthood drink, made from dehydrated whole peaches, sugar, and cinnamon, and I find that it's a "Bolivian"drink, I get really really excited. Bolivia Bella goes on to describe regional favorites. 
In Santa Cruz, you can buy the dehydrated peaches in the open markets. I snag a pound of dehydrated peaches because you really can't find these in the U.S. except maybe in Miami or Virginia, where there is a huge population of Bolivians. Using sliced dehydrated peaches don't really work for this particular drink because the fun is eating the reconstituted peaches afterwa…