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 Pangas Beach Club

The hottest – make that the coolest – new beachfront spot is right on the Tamarindo estuary, where ocean meets river. The location is gorgeous and so is the hip, contemporary design, with well-spaced driftwood tables and chairs set on the sand, blending in perfectly with the unobstructed sea and sand view. As for the food, suffice it to say that innovative Executive Chef Jean-Luc Taulere, of Mar y Sol fame in Playa Flamingo, is in charge here.

The artistic fish-market display as you enter provides a tantalizing visual menu. Fish tacos, coconut shrimp, seared tuna, grilled mahi-mahi come with healthful and tasty sides: yuca, quinoa and exotic salads ($8-$25). Craft beer is on tap and sunset cocktail specials change daily. Come for breakfast, brunch or lunch in your swimsuit; there’s even a place to store surfboards.  In the evening, this is the place to see and be seen in your chic-est resort wear. Open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. North end of beach, about 150 meters north of Tamarindo Vista Villas. 2653-0024.