If you’re local and on Instagram, odds are you’ve heard of Bocas House or seen their larger-than-life milkshakes. These decadent desserts are always popping up on social media, and the restaurant’s 100,000+ following is a testament to their popularity. But here’s what you might not be as familiar with: the rest of the menu.
Yes, the milkshakes will get you in the door — they’re worth every penny — but you’ll stay for the Venezuelan and Peruvian fare.
Bocas House is clearly doing something right. Having just opened in February of this year, long lines out the door are a frequent sight at the restaurant. We dined on a Tuesday night, and it was somewhat full; the rain probably kept some prospective diners away. However, on other weeknights with clearer weather, we’ve seen lines wrapping around the building; 2-hour waits are not unheard of.
Our advice is to come right when they open or at a less popular time (e.g., 3-5 p.m. for a late lunch) to snag a table. Otherwise, you could find yourself in line with everyone else. Once you do sit down, though, get ready for a smooth dining experience. The first thing you’ll notice: The menu is hugeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. There is literally something for every person here: your picky partner, your comfort food-seeking abuela, your friend who’s only here for the milkshake … Bocas House has something for them all.
… And then some. Massive portions are not the exception here — they’re the norm. Here’s an example: the $47 ceviche sampler. That may seem steep for ceviche, but once you see the plate taking up most of your table, the price makes more sense. That’s an extreme example, however. You’ll find most items priced in the single digits, -teens and $20s and still large enough to appease your pangs.
Among our favorite lighter bites: the tequeños and cachapa. Cheese in stick form is always a crowd pleaser, so it’s no surprise that the restaurant’s tequeños with gouda cheese were a hit. The same goes for the cachapa aka Venezuelan corn pancakes — we left nothing on the table. If you’re really hungry, there’s the Mac and cheese; get it with yellow pepper, bacon powder and crunchy onions for a distinct Bocas take on the classic dish.
Aside from being known for shakes, the restaurant is known for its signature tomahawk steak. Should you order this monster, it’s probably all you’re going to eat. It’s big enough to split for a table — we shared it among three people easily — and you get a shirt to go with your tomahawk experience. We loved the meat and the char on top; throw in some tasty truffle fries, and we were ready to go to bed.
But we couldn’t because milkshakes. There are three permanent shakes on the menu: cookies and cream, tres leches and Nutella. We had the pleasure (and self-hatred) to get the first two from that list. If you think these shakes are huge on social media, they’re even bigger in person. Of the duo, our favorite was the tres leches. Everything about the shake was a home run: the ice cream (made in-house), the tres leches … it was all good. We were visibly bummed when we slurped our last slurp.