My friends and I went out to Lua in Hoboken to celebrate my friend, Marian’s, birthday. Lua is a hip and trendy restaurant situated along the Hudson river’s edge offering breathtaking views of New York City. We were all pretty excited to check out Lua for its ambiance, spectacular views, and food. If I could describe Lua I would say this place is Miami meets NYC, or something like that. 🙂
1300 Sinatra Drive North
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Here is the view from outside as you are entering Lua. I believe the Empire State Building was lit up in green in hopes the NY Jets will win tonight’s football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Well, I don’t watch football at all, but GO JETS! 🙂
As you walk in there is a Buddha-like statue to your right.
The circular bar area is HUGE. It got packed around 10 pm.
I loved the pink and yellow colors all around. This place makes a great first date spot.
Here is a shot of the dining area. If you look closely, you can see the Empire State Building lit up in green.
Bar Scene, Couples, Groups, Romantic Dining.
Latin-Inspired, Tapas Bar.
MENU – $$$
Lua Menu. For dinner – Appetizers/Starters/Salads range between $6 – $15. Big Plates & Pastas are pricier at $24 – $34. Sides come in at a standard price of $5.
Brunch at Lua seems really good… I would love to try the Huevos Rancheros or the Venezuelan Eggs if I have the opportunity to dine here again.
We ended up going for a tapas style dinner and sharing appetizers & sides.
Dinner for 3 people:
3 Cocktails + 4 appetizers + 2 sides = $103 (including 19% tip)
RECOMMENDED HEALTHY EATS… choices below are based on my knowledge of food and nutrition. In general, when dining at a Latin establishment, if you are watching what you eat, avoid anything fried, and opt for grilled veggies, grilled meat, and salads. There is no online nutritional information available for Lua, please use your own discretion when making a decision.
|FOR THE TABLE|
|Three Bean Hummus|
|SALAD w.Dressing on Side|
|Goat Cheese Salad|
|Bronzoni Clasico Ceviche|
|TACOS, AREPAS, QUESEDILLAS|
|Avocado & Chicken Arepa|
|Sweet Corn Salmon Arepa|
|Goat Cheese & Spinach Quesedilla|
|Shrimp a la Plancha|
|Mr. John Salmon|
|Rice & Beans|
Let’s start with cocktails – everyones favorite. The drinks were all very good, but we all thought the drinks were not strong enough.
I ordered some kind of Mint flavored drink with Frangelica and Cruzan Vanilla Rum. This wasn’t a mojito, but I forgot the name of this drink – sorry! My drink was pretty good, but it wasn’t as strong as I had hoped.
Marian, the birthday girl, ordered a Passion Fruit Mojito which she said was good, but not strong enough.
Jhiane ordered a Chocolate Martini made with espresso and topped off with Whipped Cream. This was good, but definitely a very filling drink for dinner. Quite frankly, I felt the whipped cream was unnecessary.
We started off with Empanada Trio which came in 3 flavors – Beef, Chicken, Spinach & Cheese. We each had 1 empanada and thought they were really good… I absolutely loved the Chicken and Spinach & Cheese flavors. DELISH!
Marian ordered the Plantain Crusted Shrimp which almost looked like a fried satay. Marian said her dish was good, however my friend’s (Jhiane) shrimp was better.
Jhiane ordered the Spicy Buffalo Shrimp which I thought were really good and they surprisingly served a good amount of shrimp. This dish was basically battered fried shrimp tossed in a buffalo hot sauce – YUM! I felt as though I was eating Boneless Buffalo Chicken – it was really good, but then I’m biased towards Buffalo Hot Sauce.
I ordered a Chicken Quesedilla made with a jalapeno jack cheese, corn, and black beans. This was pretty good, but there certainly was no wow factor here.
We also ordered 2 sides which I thought were pretty average.
First off, the Yucca Fries! OMG – what did I order here? I’ve tried Yucca Fries at Cafecito in NYC and they looked like french fries. Honestly, I don’t know what these were and what’s worse is they didn’t even serve a sauce to go with it. Terrible!
We also ordered a side of Tostones which came with a side of buttery garlic sauce. I thought this was mediocre in comparison to tostones I’ve had at other Latin establishments.
VERDICT – 3.5 / 5
Lua is a trendy upscale restaurant that would make a good first date spot with its good drinks, good music, and ambiance. In terms of food and service, I’m not so sure. The food was good, but it really wasn’t anything special. For a place that claims themselves to be so called Latin-Inspired, I would expect a lot more, uhmm… flavor. NYC offers much better and more ethnic Latin food then Lua. In addition, the food isn’t worth the amount charged. These guys are charging NYC rates and lacking the Latin flavor I was looking for. And regarding service, H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E! I can’t stress this enough. Be prepared to wait here, FOREVER, whether you are waiting for your drinks, or your check. Although the food here is decent (not amazing) and I gave this place a 3.5, I don’t see what the hype is about besides the view and ambiance.
TELL ME: Have you been to Lua, if so, what did you think?