A gray snapper is split down the middle so perfectly and precisely that, after the spine is removed, the fish lies flat, flatter than any flounder. It’s arranged skin-side down with nothing but white flesh exposed, then covered in onions and a creamy, mustardy chile sauce before it’s baked into something you’ve never seen or tasted before.
The feeling inside La Isla, on Bridge just west of the river, is laid-back and celebratory. Western fantasy, Dances With Wolves-style paintings of animals and the men who wrangle them hang on the walls, along with Old West photos and framed news clippings. There are plants (real and fake), suspended paper bells that look leftover from Chinese New Year, and some painted globe chandeliers that might have come from a midcentury diner. An exterior roof façade crowns the kitchen, making it seem like you’re outside while the kitchen is in a little cabana on the beach.