For a hip, hot restaurant where the gorgeous wait staff is attitude-free, the seafood is amazing, and the decor is evocative of dining in an aquarium, get thee to
Aguaviva (364 Calle Fortaleza, 787/722-0665, www.oofrestaurants.com , daily 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m., Mon.–Thurs. and Sun. 6–11 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 6 p.m.–midnight, $17–30), another of the OOF! Restaurants’ purveyors of contemporary cuisine. The space is drenched in bright white, chrome, and aqua, with glass jellyfish lights hanging from the ceiling. In addition to an oyster and seviche bar, dishes on a recent visit included grilled dorado with smoked shrimp salsa, grilled marlin with chorizo, and nueva paella with seared scallops. At the blue-lit bar, where seashells float in Lucite, sublime cocktails are prepared with fresh juices. Be sure to try the watermelon sangria.
Romance oozes from the patio of Ostra Cosa (154 Calle Cristo, 787/722-COSA—787/722- 2672, Sun.–Wed. noon–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. noon–11 p.m., $14–28). This lovely intimate restaurant in the back of Las Arcadas alley has just 11 tables on a red brick patio under a white tent surrounded by scores of tropical plants and orchids. The cuisine is mostly seafood, including grilled prawns, Alaskan crab legs, and cheesy crepes stuffed with your choice of fillings. For something unusual, try the smoked calamari salad, a refreshing combination of thin slices of tender pink calamari with bits of seaweed in a spritz of light ginger sauce. Accompany that with the house cocktail, the Spinoza, a bracing mixture of white rum and fresh-squeezed lime juice. There’s live mood-setting music on weekends.