La Isla is a Puerto Rican restaurant in Ballard we frequent for one of the best mojitos around and on lazy afternoons or Sunday evenings, some domino games, as playing all fives and drinking mojitos is a great combination. We have been going to La Isla for four or so years. They just recently expanded their restaurant to accomodate all their fans, which is great, because now there is even more room to sit outside, have a drink and watch the movement of Market Street. There are a few things that must be tried when eating and drinking at La Isla. First, get a basic mojito, of course (although even classics like daquiris are still time-honored here and their unfortunate reputation what with blenders, mixes and too much sugar is thankfully corrected). Our favorites on the menu are the pernil sliders, although when these arrive at the table they should be lifted from the plate as soon as possible, as all the juices can make the bottom bun soggy. Next in line would be the cheese empanadilla, which is really a ton of melted cheese in a little fried pocket, which of course is delicious. Finally, we’d choose the prawns with the Isla de Fuego sauce, which is spicy as hell and great with the fresh mint mojitos. Many of the items on the menu are tasty, but it’s hard for us to resist these staples every time we go. We had the great pleasure of meeting one of the owners, Alfonso, whom we recognized from a picture on one of the walls and also as the author of the weekly email updates, which are helpful in gaining exposure to fresh specials and events. He so kindly bought us both a glass of one of his favorite rums, which was thoughtfully received, and proof that this restaurant and the patrons mean very much to him, and one of the reasons we will always go back.