I discovered Paladar Vegetariano on Happy Cow and it immediately piqued my interest. A home cooked vegan meal in not-so-vegan-friendly Puerto Rico!
I called the number listed and spoke directly with the owner/chef Geronimo. He was extremely friendly, and so we picked a day (the last night of our stay) for the meal, and he said he would call me when we arrive in San Juan to discuss the meal.
As promised, Geronimo called and we discussed our food preferences and any potential allergies. He told us what was in season, and we picked a four course meal (soup, salad, entree, and dessert). He also was very quick to offer non-touristy destinations and activities throughout the island, which was awesome.
Now, to the meal... we arrived at a beautiful house in a gated community in the Ocean Park Neighborhood, and were greeted by Geronimo and his waiter/friend Joe. They sat us down on the covered porch and after some quick conversation and some very refreshing aqua fresca (with watermelon and star fruit), our soup arrived. It was some sort of roasted squash and garlic puree, and was absolutely delicious. One of the tastiest soups I've had in years.
Next up - an unbelievably tasty salad of freshly picked watercress (among other lettuces), carrots, pumpkin seeds and amazing coconut vinaigrette... again - plates licked clean.
Then came the entree - a vegan twist on the classic Puerto Rican dish Mofongo: mashed and fried green plantains. Geronimo prepared this topped with sautéed summer squash, carrots and assorted other veggies and herbs, and it was so good. On the phone we said we liked things spicy, and he said that Puerto Rican food is not generally spicy, but he would kick it up a bit. And he did. And it was amazing.
For dessert, Geronimo presented us with some sort of avocado/mango/banana sorbet over a nut crumble/brittle situation. Not sure how to describe it exactly, but it was the perfect end to an incredible meal.
To sum it up - everything was amazing. The dishes were extremely well thought-out and so fresh. Geromino actually showed us the freshly pulled from dirt carrots that he would be using in our meal (that he picked at his friend's farm earlier that day). HIGHLY recommended for a one of a kind VEGETARIAN meal in San Juan!
Cons: None to speak of.