Sunday, 3 June 2012

Raw Sushi + Martini Bar

 What a view from our table.

In Bocas there is a restaurant bar that we were always drawn to. It happens that one of our friends back home knew someone who ran a restaurant here in Bocas, Raw Sushi and Martini Bar, the bar we were always drawn to. The restaurant has a Caribbean Japanese vibe with some very cool art on the walls. It is clean, well kept, and a great ambiance hits you immediately after entering. The vibe inside was chill, we picked a small table right next to the water, and right under the fan, cool and comfortable.

 What we like to call a dynamite roll.. pretty fancy!

We met Britney, the owner who knew our friend. Originally from Ontario, she came down here and saw there was nowhere to get a good martini, and despite the abundance of fresh seafood, no Asian cuisine. When we got our food, it looked 5 star. Coming from Vancouver where we get all you can eat, high quality sushi, for $10; we were a little shocked at the price. Definitely for the area it is priced as a specialty item, and after talking to the owner and how difficult is is for her to get Asian food supplies here the price makes sense. For our budget, it was a little high at around $7 a roll, and $10 an entre, however they were worth it. The food looked exquisite, and the martini Jennie tried was amazing. For most cruisers, it is still cheap, and at $3 to $5 a martini still better priced than all other Caribbean destinations.

A couple sundowners

It was great talking to Britney, who gave us a good sense of Bocas, and doing business in Panama. Panama has too much red tape and easily bought officials, corruption is very high. Here in Bocas, crime is mostly done by local natives, they steal from you and then sell it back to you. Not a lot is done about it. We are glad we have Dexter, as natives are afraid of dogs, and especially mean looking loud ones. The feeling we get from Bocas is it is a beautiful place which everyone takes advantage of: locals commit petty theft and B and E's, there are a lot of ex pat Americans down here who treat the place and people poorly and have massive drug addictions, and the transient backpackers who treat the whole place like a night club. Really it feels like a drug users haven. Not many here seem honest or straightforward, Britney was a breath of fresh air in such an environment.

If you plan on cruising down to Panama, Bocas is a handy spot to resupply. Do not miss Raw Sushi and Martini Bar, as it might be the best restaurant you go to in Panama. However, Bocas is not cruiser friendly yet, the cruising community is cliquey, the locals are nice, but the natives steal stuff, and the majority of North Americans you find down here are high, drunk, or rude. Despite the great ambience and chilled vibes of the locals, the same problems are effecting life here as in North America, drugs and poverty, mostly of the hostility is the result of how North Americans treat Panamanians currently and in the past.. There is also no wind, which makes life for us gringos difficult. Britney's restaurant is awesome, though a special occasion place if you are on a tight budget like Jennie and I. I would definitely recommend it to anyone stopping in at Bocas, Raw Sushi and Martini Bar.

Too much sun = Raw Gringo (I forgot to put sunscreen on my face...oops)


Bettie del Mar said...

That sunburn looks rough! Sorry to hear that Bocas isn't the best spot to cruise. We were planning on spending a couple of months in panama, mainly because it's so expensive to check in and it's out of the hurricane zone.

Nice pictures!

Dave and Jennie said...

it's not a bad place, so much as it is not much of a cruising ground. You can't go venturing off the beaten path or you will likely get robbed, there is no wind, and the san blas are a day away where you find relative safety, wind, and many off the path cruising gems.