We searched high and low for La Paz’s best dining experiences, and Jardín de Asia definitely made it on our list. Lindsay actually saw a picture of the restaurant in a magazine before coming to Bolivia, and was intrigued by the basket-like seating pods inside the restaurant (see them above? Aren’t they special?). We were happy to spend an evening there, and even happier with the fact that all aspects of the restaurant thoroughly impressed. The windows are partially covered in thatched straw, giving the restaurant a beachy feel, and there’s even a Corona-sponsored bar attached that is one of the classier (while still being relaxed) atmospheres we encountered in the city. All design elements come together in an enticing way that make you wonder what’s happening inside, inviting you to experience Jardín de Asia for yourself.

Once you cross over the water moat that surrounds the restaurant, entering through the front door to the lobby, we’re confident that you’ll appreciate all of the details that make this restaurant unique amidst its counterparts in La Paz. The restaurant’s ambiance is comfortable and sophisticated without being pretentious. The walls are swathed in deep purple, the lighting is romantic, the seating pods are comfortable (and everything Lindsay hoped they’d be), and the indoor plants meet the darker, sultry decor in a way that’s truly relaxing and pleasing to the senses. In addition to the atmosphere, our waiter, Angel, was one of the most attentive, knowledgeable and gracious hosts we’ve ever had. It was like being served in someone’s home, and since Lindsay and I have been away from our homes for a while, it was a welcomed delight and made for a cheerful experience.

As the restaurant’s name connotes, Jardín de Asia offers Asian cuisine made with Bolivia’s best and most prized Amazonian and Andean ingredients. To me, the Bolivian fare took the spotlight, and it was more like Bolivian food with an Asian twist. Either way, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Jardín de Asia, making it, for us, one of the best restaurants in La Paz, Bolivia. Here’s what we loved most:

Best Restaurants in La Paz: Jardin De Asia

Batayaki de Mariscos: Paiche (a bonytongue variety native to the Amazon), octopus, scallops, crab, all marinated in Singani (a Bolivian brandy), Moscato wine, and leche de tigre (ceviche marinade).

In addition to the great flavor of this appetizer, this delicate dish had a great mix of textures from crunchy to chewy to soft. The leche di tigre marinade, mixed with the fragrant and fruity Singani liquor, made for a refreshing starter. I love that this single, small, seafood bite offered so many different textures and flavors all in one.

Best Restaurants in La Paz - Jardin De Asia Reviewed by The Glutton's Digest

Inca Maki: Shrimp tempura dipped in yucca flour before being fried, topped with trout and trout caviar from Lake Titicaca that’s been marinated in leche di tigre and sriracha.

Wow. Lindsay and I loved this sushi dish. It was well-balanced between rice and raw fish. Trout is a mild fish, making the vinegary and lemony leche di tigre marinade stand out most. The trout caviar added the right amount of crunch and saltiness, while the shrimp tempura was a nice surprise as we bit into the sushi. I love how effectively Bolivian trout is substituted for salmon in this dish.

Best Restaurants in La Paz: Jardin De Asia

Warm paiche ceviche marinated in leche di tigre and aji amarillo (spicy yellow pepper), served with fried yucca that’s been boiled in star anise. 

The paiche ceviche was surprisingly one of my favorite ceviche dishes of all time. Loving Peruvian ceviche, which is served cold, I wasn’t sure what to expect with a warm ceviche. It was truly perfect; the middle wasn’t warm, but the outside was. The temperature makes the flavorful ají amarillo stand out during the initial bite. It’s not overly spicy, but has a nice piquant yellow pepper taste. The fried yucca was also some of the best I’ve had. The star anise was a showstopper and and star ingredient of the dish. {Pun intended.} The yucca was moist, flavorful, crunchy on the outside and delicate on the inside. We loved it!

If you’re headed to La Paz or Santa Cruz, Bolivia, we recommend trying Jardín de Asia for a culinary dining experience you’re sure to love.

Image Credits: Jardín de Asia