Puerto Rico native chef José Mendín was born to foodie parents. However, he did not tap into his passion for cooking until he went off to college and began preparing his own meals. It was then that he realized the joy he brought to others through his cooking. He was hooked for life. Chef Mendín went on to graduate from the Johnson & Whales in Miami with a degree in Culinary Arts. He was part of the opening team for Nobu Miami and Nobu London with chefs Mark Edwards and Thomas Buckley, respectively. He honed his skills while staging with Chef Jesus Ramiro in Valladolid and Chef Juan Felipe in Madrid at the Michelin starred restaurant El Chaflán. He was also the executive chef of SushiSamba in Miami Beach. In 2010, he partnered up with Andreas Schreiner and Sergio Navarro and founded the Pubbelly Restaurant Group. Chef Mendin’s experiences with various cuisines paved the way for his first business venture Pubbelly. The Pubbelly Restaurant Group went on to develop various culinary concepts to critical acclaim such as Pubbelly Noodle Bar, Pubbelly Sushi, and Pawn Broker, just to name a few. Chef Mendín’s ability to intermix various cuisines and techniques have won him several accolades. Most recently, he has been semi-finalist for Best Chef South by the James Beard Foundation for five consecutive years (2012-2016)
The Pubbelly Restaurant Group’s latest business venture takes Chef Mendín back to his roots here in Puerto Rico. The opening of PB Ysla back in April 2017 was part of the group’s expansion to the Caribbean. The group recently debuted a Pubbelly Sushi Location at Casa de Campo Resort in the Dominican Republic. The upscale casual eatery features a diverse small plate menu. Each dish showcases Asian flavors, European techniques, and Puerto Rican ingredients and flavors. We visited PB Ysla shortly after the restaurant opened and went with low expectations since typically during the first month is when a restaurant is trying to work out its kinks. This was not the case for PB Ysla, since it proved to be a stellar experience from start to finish. Amazing dishes perfect for sharing, great cocktails, and incredible service.
We highly recommend the succulent Short Rib Tartare, the Pork Belly Dumplings, the Duroc Pork Belly, the Tripleta Bao, the Short Rib, and the highly addictive Pork Belly Kimchee Fried Rice. For that sweet finish get the Choco Coco, a dessert featuring an incredible mix of textures and flavors that will leave you wanting more. They also have brunch on Sundays from 11:30am-3:00pm with unlimited mimosas and bloody marys. If you are addicted to bloody marys like we are then you will love their Bloody Mary Station.