Discovering quality food in La Paz, Bolivia has been quite a challenge for the last few years - until I came across 'Kalakitas' on Sagarnaga Street.
Offering Delicious Mexican food and drink, I can attest that the food is stellar and the atmosphere is authentic. Try one of their many types of Margaritas with a plate of Nachos and stumble happily home at a non-touristy price!
It took only two months for Kalakitas Mexican Restaurant to reach numero uno on Trip-advisor, the biggest worldwide travel website. "Out of over 200 restaurants in La Paz, that's overwhelming," say owners and partners Daniel and Lise.
"We basically started Kalakitas as a fun project. We both had the opportunity, found the space, and jumped on it. It all happened very quickly. We chose a Mexican theme and went totally authentic with the decor which sets us apart from our competitors."
"We wanted to have fun with the project so we chose the name which comes from Mexico's Day of the Dead. The name Kalakitas means 'skulls' and we think it's amusing and memorable, and who doesn't like Mexican food" adds Lise.
Though it was a challenge finding the proper staff and then training them to give great service, "the dedication and sacrifice has paid off" exclaims Lise, an International Business Graduate from the Netherlands
"Other obstacles were funds" states Lise. "We were running out of money, so we needed to open quickly to pay our staff and ourselves."
Along with Daniel's extensive experience managing restaurants in New York, the key to their success is taking care of their customers personally and focusing on great service.
The best part of running our business is the "compliments we get from our guests, who come from all over the world. It motivates you and you realize, hey we are doing things right!" says Lise.
Daniel admits "You have to be dedicated and passionate. We both miss free time since we work 14 hour days, 7 days a week."
The young couple works as a team doing everything from cooking, entertaining guests, making delicious Margaritas to cleaning and paperwork, and the pair are now planning other side projects in the city.
Kalakitas is located on Calle Sagarnaga #363, between Illampu and Linares (go upstairs to the second floor), La Paz, Bolivia,