One of the first places we ate in San Juan was the Latin Star, a mom & pop type restaurant located a block away from our hotel. In our quest to eat authentic Puerto Rican food, we scoped out a handful of places dotted along Ashford Avenue, but a few were crowded until we spotted this little place. Sandwiched between a souvenir store and an internet cafe, the restaurant offered outdoor seating with overhead fans to keep clients cool while they wait for their food.
We were served by Maria, who recommended a few items to try on their list. I started out with the calamari salad drenched in some mysterious, but unbelievably tasty sauce and garnished with lime. I liked the freshness of the calamari and its tender meat. It didn't taste rubbery or overly fried at all. We also ordered a chicken tenders basket for my son while my husband had their Cuban sandwich. While we were waiting for our meal, Maria served us some warm toasted bread with a garlic spread that we finished within minutes. I guess it's an "all you can eat" bread basket because Maria had to come back twice to give us more bread. Also, there are a number of Puerto Rican dishes in their menu, but I wasn't ready to try the mofongo just yet. For those who are slightly picky, you can find basic sandwiches and a few chicken dishes that don't sound too exotic. They do have a decent appetizer menu and a relatively good selection of seafood and meat dishes.
The only downside I could find with the Latin Star are the prices of the meals. Since they're in the Condado area, meals seem a bit overpriced at $12 - 22 for main dishes and $8 - 10 for appetizers. Bottled water will cost you $2 and drinks are around $6 and up. A good thing about the restaurant is that it's opened 24 hours and if everything on Ashford Avenue is packed (which is common), you can always drop by here.