Exotica Restaurant, located in Ojochal, Costa Rica (just south of Dominical/Uvita), is one of those places you’d pass by in your 4×4 and not make much note of… but upon entering this serene, candle-lit bungalow, you are greeted by one of the most beautiful French-Canadian women this side of the northern border and one of the best bowls of pho east of Hanoi. Be sure to sample the locally-sourced ceviche, the pineapple and avocado starter salad, and, of course, the pho.
Did I also mention the coffee desert? I can’t remember what it’s called, but the staff will surely know what you’re talking about -- worth every bite. On weekends and busy times of the year, be sure to make a reservation (tel. 2786-5050) as there are, thankfully, only nine tables available.