La California, San Jose, Costa Rica
NileGuide Expert tip:
Karaoke night is every Tuesday.
Across the street from a cinema in the neighborhood known as Barrio California, El Observatorio is easy to miss if you don't know where to look for its incognito entrance, but it's worth the careful search. Its owner is a filmmaker and is a local celebrity, so it is naturally about as hip and trendy as it gets in Costa Rica. The decor is largely influenced by film and movie themes, and despite the small entrance the place is large and airy with high ceilings that never gets too smokey despite the scenesters puffing away inside. There are often live music performances, film screenings, and creative events-like stand up comedy- to spice up the night, but regardless of the calendar the bar itself with its lengthy menu of cocktails, appetizers, and entrees to suit any palette, plus a good dessert menu to satisfy a late night sweet tooth. In addition the website, El Observatorio has a facebook page with regular updates to see what's happening inside: https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Observatorio/113045575388333