When I heard that a new Latin chicken place had opened outside the loop, I decided to check it out. Situated on Del Monte off of Voss, hOla offers a variety of Central and South American dishes. Calling it a “chicken place” is to unfairly pigeon hole it.
Owner Jerry Mancuso, who is also the owner of Mancuso's Italian Table, told me that he hired several Latino chefs and asked them for their best “home-style” family recipes. It is those recipes that are featured on hOla’s menu and, based on my first sampling, there are several home runs.
The Costa Rican-style chicken has a citrus and herbed marinade and I choose three sides; black beans, guacamole and sweet plantains. The chicken was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside and the half-a-chicken serving combined with the sides possibly could feed two people. The guacamole was as good a version as I have ever tasted and the accompanying house made salsas should be bottled for take away.
Next up was the Guatemalan enchilada. Glutinous rice was stuffed with fragment pork and steamed in a banana leaf. It was served alongside arepas and fried yucca. My first non-corn enchilada was a hit.
The final dish I tried (and shared with a friend).was the Peruvian ceviche. I’m excusing the missing corn and sweet potato in Mancuso’s version because the flavors were spot on and the portion was generous for the price.
Speaking about price, the quality and quantity add to making it a terrific value. The counter service is friendly and welcoming and hOla offers a drive through and delivery. Another bonus: until it gets a liquor license hOla is offering free beer, red wine, sparkling wine or Costa Rican Sangria (limit is three glasses a person) after 5 p.m. until close.
Mancuso's hOla: 6565 Del Monte, 713-781-4652