Warehouse District restaurant Isla shifts to Peruvian cuisine

Julio-Cesar Florez first brought his Peruvian food to Austin via a trailer downtown. He now serves as the executive chef at Isla in the Warehouse District. (Credit: Ralph Barrera AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Julio-Cesar Flórez first brought his Peruvian food to Austin via a trailer downtown. He now serves as the executive chef at Isla in the Warehouse District. (Credit: Ralph Barrera AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Isla is getting a South American upate. The Warehouse District has dabbled in the flavors and style of the Caribbean since owner Rob Pate (Peche) took over the space formerly occupied by Pleasant Storage Room about two years ago, but it is turning its sights toward the flavors of the South American culinary capital.

Chef Julio-Cesar Flórez, a Peruvian native who is the chef behind Llama’s Peruvian trailer downtown, has joined the restaurant to redirect the menu. Peruvian cuisine takes influences from across the globe, and the new menu reflects that, with dishes grilled meat and veggie skewers, ceviche with leche de tigre, squid ink risotto, and rotisserie chicken. Flórez, who has also worked at Gusto Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar and Hyde Park Bar & Grill, most recently served as the chef at the now-shuttered Malaga.

Pate said the bar program, which be led by Shane Paule, will have an “island-inspired vibe,” with obvious nods to the popular pisco drinks of South America. Isla (208 W. Fourth St.) is open for dinner Monday-Saturday, with happy hour starting at 4 p.m. on weekdays.

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