Luna Rossa Pizzeria

A real wood burning pizza oven!

Pizza is a universal food favorite. Puerto Escondido is no exception to that. There are numerous pie venues throughout our beach community.

The colonial Bacocho is at the western end of Puerto Escondido. Like our area, La Punta (on the far eastern end), there are two main entrances from the Coastal Highway. It has a history of and arguably thought to be the higher end properties of Puerto, although the roads are miserable (especially for a scooter). At the back end (southern) is a mile or so strip called The Rinconada. Think strip mall.

Here there is a branch of the popular Cafecito Restaurant on Calle El Morro along the Zicatela strip. There is a specialty beers store and an upscale market where all-things-Costco can be found. There are designer furniture stores and many restaurants. At the west end is one of the areas better restaurants “Paris”.  About mid-way along the Riconada strip next to Cafecito is Luna Rossa pizzeria. Arguably (pizza always is) the best pizza in town.

Luna Rossa Pizzeria

Luna Rossa changed hands recently. From a dining standpoint it was a seamless transition. New owner and Chef Bruno Agliatti a native of the Piedmont Region of Italy (think wine country), also arguably, serves the best pasta dishes in town.

Chef and Proprietor Bruno Agliatti

Arguments aside Luna Rossa is highly recommended from our perspective and taste buds point of view.

Scrumptious fresh veggies and cheese atop excellent pie crust

Menu Page 1 HERE

Menu Page 2 HERE

Menu Page 3 HERE

Menu Page 4 HERE

Luna Rossa Pizzeria is on calle Benito Juárez 8 on the Rinconada, next to the restaurant Cafecito. Open 2:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Closed Mondays. Call ahead and take out (954) 104 2181


Señor Salud in Costa Chica

Rock N’ Roll provided an early opportunity to become a home owner for me. My first casa was an older two story doll house in Laurel Canyon, in the Hollywood hills. I have stories…but I digress.

Down at the bottom of the Canyon right on Laurel Canyon Boulevard where I would turn up to my street was the now famous and historical Canyon Country Store. It was rather magical even then.

The Canyon Country Store Today

The Canyon Country Store has been the makeshift cultural center of Laurel Canyon for a full century. Immortalized in the Doors song “Love Street,” this deli-market is not a venue, but it’s got historical music importance to spare, and continues to be – as my long ago deceased friend Jim Morrison put it – the “store where the creatures meet.”

A few of my neighbors in 1967

Now here we are The Calypso Couple these MANY years later living at the bottom of Mexico, and we have such a store right here – really. O.K. calling it magical may be a bit over the top, but the fact that I am able to put the two places together in my head is good enough.

The Front of Senor Salud’s

This “canyon” store is in the flatlands far beyond the beach and in the heart of housing; casas built property line to property line. The lyrics from one of my Laurel Canyon neighbors swirls around in my noggin “They paved paradise to put up a parking lot with a pink hotel… oooh bop bop bop – Joni Mitchell’s ‘Yellow Taxi’” Our little ‘country’ store here in Puerto has incense, homemade cheese and handmade soap among other same products.  It is the closest thing to hippie that you will get here in terms of commerce.

The Menu is on the Doors

Today Mexico celebrates the Mexican Revolution of 1910 commemorating the start of the Mexican Revolution. There are parades which include political banners and placards relating to more current events. A good day to stay home for an expat couple.

Our new red scooter (still un-named) makes us more adventurous in that we can usually scoot around or at least to the front of any line of traffic. Of course we can always find a place to park. So in spite of safety concerns on this day we ventured out to get the best baked bread, bar none, in Puerto. This would be at Señor Salud’s little ‘country’ store over in the west end of town. Located in a colonia (fraccionamiento ) called “Costa Chica”.

Señor Salud carries nuts, cheese; coffee; natural tooth paste, soap mosquito repellant; homemade pasta, homemade bread and more. Placing our safety aside we go for the bread.

There is also a narrow window as to if and when Señor Salud’s have fresh baked bread. Currently get there around 9:30 AM and they could be sold out by 10:30 AM. Best to call before going there.

We have tried their excellent homemade cheese and their two varieties of fresh pasta. This comes in a ball-like mass; boil for 9 to 12 minutes depending on your texture requirement (we do the 9 liking our pasta al dente).

The owners are a charming couple. He, best guess is Italian, and she Mexican. It is a friendly zone (as is most of Puerto) and welcome by we gringos that are made to feel a little more like home with the many healthy items and food available there. It is highly recommended. If you have any Doors tunes slide one into your player in front of Senor Saluds – it might just magically take you back to a better time.  PEACE.

El Señor Salud (Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca)

Avenue Costa Chica esq. con Triunfo 441

Fraccionamiento Costa Chica
Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca
Teléfono: 954 582 1581
Email (Correo electrónico):

Stay Tuned we are going to review a fantastic pizza place with wood fired oven.


A guitar string broke today – “E” of course (the skinniest one). Things rust here – including guitar strings. Humidity and oxidation are part of beach life.

We had very specific requirements in that we did not want to live at beach’s edge. Our friend Charlie does – yet he is 150-200 yards away which breaks the connection perhaps just enough..

Charlie’s Beach

That said, we like living close enough to hear the waves slapping land. Sometimes we can feel the waves slamming to earth. We realized what a great benefit that is – to hear and feel the power of the ocean without having to live right on the beach is quite the bonus.

We are four blocks up from the Point – lucky to be here.

Our View thru the palms

The Point from our point of view – Casa La Punta Es


“I wanted to feel, smell, hear and see, but not see with my eyes and my mind only. I wanted to see with Cante Ista —with the eye of the heart.”

~ Lame Deer, Lakota Holy Man

Stay Tuned!

Puerto Escondido Coming of Age

I woke up this morning bathed in a feeling of contentment. Puerto Escondido truly can be magical. Sun soaked days and balmy and breezy tropical nights are simply the best. Puerto Escondido is transitioning from a hidden little beach town visited mostly for its surfing possibilities to a full blown vacation destination. We that live here look for positive spin on that maturing process.

A new major highway project in full swing is scheduled to be completed in 2015. Major new hotels are going up right now. Excellent diverse new and existing eateries enhance vacation opportunities here as well as beautiful Pacific Ocean beaches and tropical nature. There is a lot to see and do in Puerto and the surrounding area.

November nearly a third over already is a major entertainment month with beauty, fishing, motorcycle, music and of course surfing contests as well as fine dining and fun tour destinations. There is an observable mix of old and new here at the southern end of Mexico. Enough options wherein there is something for everybody.


The Calypso Couple has a lot of experience living in vacation destinations from their Southern California roots to Ashland, Oregon; Prescott, Arizona; Ruidoso, New Mexico and everybody’s favorite place to not like Las Vegas, Nevada. We seem to follow the entertainment while being mostly home bodies. We have learned when to holdem and when to play when living in these popular venues.

We are about to embark on some major renovation and improvements at Casa La Punta ES! Time is wasting to take our little beach home to its next level. We are going to go after the view (read build-upwards) and add some design features wherein it would be possible to live here year round – stay tuned for all those changes.

So far Puerto’s growth has been palatable. Its improvements and expansions have worked thus far. A combination that can otherwise spell disaster (think Acapulco), but then its visibility as a vacation destination is in its early stages. Perhaps Huatulco sixty miles to the east will absorb the brunt of tropical vacation cities – Puerto to Huatulco like Akumal is to Cancun?

Time will tell. In the mean time we will enjoy all that is working here at the moment.

Stay Tuned!

Put On a Happy Face


We are a HAPPY Lot!

We are a bit UNHAPPY to have heard that the pump (a pump?) in the community water system was stolen and has left us without our tanks getting filled for 10 days with no fill-up in sight. The usual is twice a week the water comes on for one half day. We have three storage tanks that fill when the water comes on. Who steals a community water pump? (short answer some ladrones here in Puerto Escondido).

The Calypso Couple is good at conserving.  It is our norm. Actually a few days ago we moved up to DEFCON 1 conservation – break out the baby wipes! This is the first stolen pump story, but we have had a water delivery disruption for various reasons  every year we have been here (now in our fourth). One time we were without tank replenishment for 5 weeks (conservative yes – we had to buy a fill of water from a truck that time). Dare I suggest those delivery truck people might be complicit – no.

Regardless of who the thieves are while we are a dry community we can raise our glass (beer more available than Scotch and WATER) to a new report from the Pew Research Center that declares Mexican people the happiest in the world!

While the wealthy who live in advanced economies say they are happier with their life situation, those living in emerging economies are close to the same level of satisfaction, according to a new Pew Research Center report.

The survey asked respondents of 43 nations to measure their happiness on a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents the highest rung of life’s ladder. Those who answered between 7 and 10 were counted as being happy.

Mexico, a country plagued with crime and corruption, had the overall highest score in the survey, measuring in at 79% satisfaction in life.

Mexico’s response represents a shift in what The Economist called a “fraying link between happiness and income.”
On average, people residing in countries with advanced economies like Germany, France, Japan, and the US answered with a median of 53% of having a comfortable and gratifying life. Of the 10 countries with advanced economies, Israel is the leader of the pack at 75%.

Half of Mexico’s counterparts, like Venezuela and Brazil, weren’t too far behind by listing their lives as highly satisfying. Meanwhile, people in countries in the Middle East, including Tunisia, Jordan, and Egypt, said they were the least satisfied among the emerging nations. The Pew report also noted that few Ukrainians were happy, which may “reflect the considerable turmoil in their country.”

Representing the developing economies, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya were the most dissatisfied with their lives out of the 43 nations sampled.

Here is the full list of all 43 surveyed countries:

We Are Numero UNO!

So know we are a happy lot down here. We will have water again – soon we hope.  Stay Tuned!

Viva Puerto Magazine
Viva Batman Italika

In the what-have-we-been-up-to department: Well mostly living LARGE in the Mexican Beach Colony known here about as La Punta (The Point). This is a community within the Puerto Escondido city that is located at the southeast end of Puerto Escondido. It is in fact at a point at the southern end of the about 5 miles crescent cut into the southern coastline of Mexico. You can see it from Space.  We cannot hide even though our name would lead one to believe we are hidden – far from it.

We coined our very clever house Casa La Punta Es! (Our House IS the Point) I know…you have to first entertain yourself before you can do that to others – what is it, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”?

In the news a new tome of Viva Puerto Magazine (and E’Zine) is on newsstands and many public locations around Puerto. It is also available right here by just clicking the link HERE.

Our community is lucky to have such a professionally produced and information packed periodical. It comes out every two months during our high season. The editor in chief is a friend of ours. This revelation should in no way taint our promoting her mag – really we are being quite objective when we praise it. There is also a supplement insert that is produced every month keeping us all informed of what bands and other sources of entertainment our happening in our fair community; again a most useful contribution – thank you Barbara.

Please take the time to checkout Viva Puerto. There is something for everyone in there – even if you are land locked in say, Las Vegas, Nevada or Poughkeepsie, New York ;-)

We have now owned our Italika scooter GS150 (still un-named) for one month as of yesterday. Our first scheduled service was then or 500 kilometers whichever came first.  We were just nudging 400 KM, but felt plenty ready to get the fluids changed. During manufacturing there can be small to tiny metal fragments that should not be swirling around in the lubricants. We have already had an unscheduled visit to replace the turn signal flasher.

Our experience with Batman Italika Service Center continues to be great. While it is just a honeymoon at this point – wow it has been such a pleasure as compared to our service history in Coatepec with our Cruise Azul Zanetti 150 scooter. These folks are the real deal. Attentive, knowledgeable and quick response are fitting adjectives to go along with friendly and understanding.

“Understanding”? I am the first to admit I am NOT the easiest customer to deal with. Oh I am always friendly and slow to anger, but I am also demanding and cruising around with just enough knowledge to be dangerous.

To wit: For our first scheduled warranty service visit we brought our own lubricants. Rest assured this raised some eyebrows in the very professional garage. I peeked in as customers are not allowed in the service area, as is typical of warranty dealerships. I was happy to see one employee and then another actually READ the bottle of Valvoline 100% synthetic motorcycle racing oil. In fairness they do change oil with an equal standard mineral oil (read high quality), but I am a stickler for the slight edge I perceive getting from synthetic oil. They being designed for race engines at a cost near double more conventional oils. I have been using ONLY synthetic oil in my vehicles for years and the motors have never let me down. Our six year old Zanetti scooter engine is as tight and responsive as the day we bought it – maybe even better.

I also brought some very high quality gear oil. The changing of gear oil is not part of their standard routine at this juncture of warranty service. I explained I would like the gear oil changed anyway using the same logic as the need for an early quick change of the motor oil.

The service guys explained the level of gearbox oil was fine. Anita explained that her husband would prefer it be changed – if that is OK. They were totally accommodating and did not charge extra for the unscheduled additional service – in fact they deducted the retail cost of their engine oil as they used mine – Pretty darn accommodating I would say.

Our Italika Service Center Even Gives Riding Lessons

Without sounding sexist did I mention that our first and main contact at the service center is very pretty. OK maybe this is not PC, but facts are facts. Not only is Pricilla lovely but she is very knowledgeable. She makes us feel like we are special customer, but I am guessing it is pretty much standard operating procedure to be great. And in fairness her father (also good looking) is equally attentive and responsive. In his off time he is very much involved with off-road motorcycling (On Any Sunday), always a good sign that motorcycles are his passion.

Priscilla Signs A New Rider Up – Batman Italika Service Center

We were in and out in about an hour. Service included a wash (I did bring it in clean by the way). If you are considering a moto in Puerto – realize having these people in the Hood is a great advantage. Also they explained that they service all kinds of motorcycles – so Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and even Harley owners do not let all the Italika signs divert you from a great place to get your ride attended to.

Some new restaurants have opened in Puerto – look for some reviews soon!

Stay Tuned!

Bargain Reneging Mexican Style

A common experience in Mexico is an agreement changed.  Take the other day for an example. We hired a crew of hombres to take down a couple of palm trees. One had died and another was encroaching onto our driveway wherein I could no longer get the car in. It was past time to get the obstructions removed.

Probably not the best place to plant a tree – next to a wall in the driveway.

Took less than 4 years for that palm to become a problem.

Roots were cracking the cement and trunk was now past the edge of the drive-in width.

Smaller palm in foreground was dead and also pushing against the wall. Drip system water pipe was STUCK in between wall and palm trunk.

Our small Jetta just fits between the opening.

Our neighbor had a crew harvesting his coconuts – a seasonal occurrence.  Anita seized the opportunity to ask if any of them knew people that could take down our palms – they offered up their service- “When?”

“Just as soon as we finish here; and after lunch”. They came to our casa a short while later. We negotiated a price. It was a bit high in our estimation, but we were not in a position to haggle. We did bargain to the extent of being reassured that the palms would be taken clear down; all remnants would be removed and it would be level or below the driveway surface – agreed!


Coming Down.

Cleaning up.

The two palms came down pretty fast; and hard. There always seems to be more rubbish to haul than in their original form. There were three trips made to remove everything; and they still managed to fill our two garbage barrels. After about an hour and a half they announced they were done – obviously ready to be paid.

We inspected the work. There remained large humps (stumps). These were considerably higher than the agreed terms of leveling them. We balked and they balked back with a final volley that they did not have the proper tool to get the stumps down and further that they would soon dry and then shrink – hmmm – that would be a lot of shrinking.

I decided to pull this line from my arsenal of arguments as it has been used by mordida police on several occasions. “Senor you obviously do not respect our agreement. This is not right.” Mid-excuse this seemed to stymie the jefe. We looked each other in the eyes. I explained I would not pay until our agreed upon conditions had been met.  I did this politely without raised voice or any sign of anger – however FIRM.

Anita interceded asking what tool they needed – a long pry bar that could…. “Wait! We have one.” I retrieved ours and now their argument was completely quenched. The truck driver that had only watched left. The supervisor that had barely been involved removed his shirt and got to work; and of course the major working drone dove in.

An hour and a half later again it was announced they were finished. We agreed and paid them.

And Even Some Spare Room!

During all the work at a point when the jefe and truck driver were off loading remnants we struck a deal for the worker to come back the following Tuesday to do some general gardening (recall our gardener had taken his life a couple weeks prior).

As promised the hombre arrived on the day agreed upon. He went to work. I supervised and did grunt labor alongside. Work was mostly standard gardener clean up this weed and trimming that plant. We had a LARGE Bougainvillea plant that was a growing invasion actually bending the bars on one of our security window grates. And the thorns on those things are BRUTAL. We decided to remove it.

We worked together. When a lot of machete pounding against our outer wall happened I stopped the action and brought out the battery operated Dewalt reciprocating saw. Down the plant came. The gardener wrapped the bundles of cuttings with wire including a package of potential firewood for any neighbor wanting to haul it away.

Finally rocks were removed and cleared to accommodate the wider driveway – a short job of relocating some rocks.

A half hour or so before ‘quitting time’ we thought we had done enough and ended the day. The gardener decided he had worked especially hard and demanded a 50% increase in pay. We were taken back as it seemed to be an average workday for us and the previous gardener – not for this hombre he demanded more money. It should be noted it turned out that he lives quite a ways away and had to bus in and back – so we voluntarily paid that additional cost both days. But his rudely exclaimed argument was an unreasonable after-the-fact demand. and threatening.

We said no. We would again pay his travel costs and the agreed upon salary. He sat down as if he was a one man strike – refusing to move. We were leaving and demanded he leave. He said he would return tomorrow for the rest of his money. We suggested that would be a waste of time and expense to come back out here as we had no intention of paying this money. It was all a bit ugly. But not untypical.

Of course we did not see him the next day.

The lesson here is make your deal in advance and stick to it., If mid anything there is a change such as “I don’t do windows” then at that point, BEFORE any work, get the situation resolved. Know that you might be aggressively challenged to up the ante.

We have encountered this situation on several occasions – again recommending getting terms of work and compensation well defined. There are more reality checks coming – so Stay Tuned!

Batten Down the Hatches

We are in our fourth year here at Casa La Punta Es in Puerto Escondido. Before that we had vacationed here several times. Up to this visit which started a month ago Sunday we had the same purr-fect weather day in and day out from October to the end of April. Sunny skies with highs in the mid 80′s and lows in the low 70′s! – spectacular and consistent weather!

In the last month we have been here we have had at least 10 – 12 inches of rain – some almost every day here. Half of that came in the last 24 hours. Now we are watching tropical storm Trudy about 75 miles off our southern shores moving slowly along heading to land here tonight – yikes!

Here is the 4 am update from the NHC

Tropical Storm Trudy

Last Updated 10/18/2014, 4:00:00 AM (Central Daylight Time (Mexico))
Location 16.2N 98.8W Movement E at 2 mph
Wind 95KPH Pressure: 999 MB

Microwave imagery and radar data from Acapulco suggest that Trudy is
intensifying. The cyclone has recently formed an inner core, and
the nascent central dense overcast (cdo) is quickly becoming better
defined. A 10 to 15 N mi eye feature within the CDO has also closed
off and become more circular within the past few hours as seen on
radar imagery. Dvorak intensity estimates are generally increasing,
and the initial intensity is raised to 50 kt, slightly above the
latest UW-CIMSS ADT CI value. Trudy is embedded in a very moist and
light-shear environment over 30 deg c waters, all of which favor
continued intensification. In fact, the SHIPS RI index indicates a
nearly 70 percent likelihood of a 30-kt increase in intensity
during the next 24 hours. The only inhibiting factor is the
cyclone’s proximity to land, which would end the current
intensification phase. Given the current trend, the NHC intensity
forecast is increased significantly over the previous one and is
much higher than all of the available intensity guidance. A major
caveat to the forecast is that the predicted intensity could be too
low should the cyclone remain offshore longer than anticipated.
Radar imagery shows that Trudy has been drifting slowly eastward,
with a rather uncertain initial motion estimate of 080/02. The
synoptic pattern suggests that Trudy should generally be steered
very slowly toward the northeast or east around the northern
periphery of a mid-level ridge located well to the southeast during
the next day or so. The NHC track forecast has been adjusted to the
east of the previous one and is farther east than the HWRF and GFS
ensemble mean on the eastern side of the guidance envelope, with
landfall predicted in roughly 12 hours.
Based on the revised track and intensity forecast, the government of
Mexico has issued a Hurricane Watch from east of Acapulco to Laguna
de chacahua.

It is Worth emphasizing that the primary threat from this system is/will be the torrential rains, which will likely produce flash flooding and mud slides in portions of southern Mexico during the next few days, especially near areas of elevated terrain.

It should be noted that there was a full blown category 2 (2.5 really) here in Puerto in June of 2012 before we arrived here that year. Our friend Charlie came by the Casa and took photos and reported on the condition of things. Now I am Skype’ing with Charlie about conditions here as he is in the U.S.

Huge forest fires, earthquakes, tropical storms and hurricanes have been part of our adult lives – throughout. So we are sort of prepared for whatever Mother Nature is about to throw at us. Boldly written, each time is still a concern, even a fear. We are buttoning things down (three bungeed down plastic tarps cover the new scooter. Our vintage palapa has some small holes and loss of fronds from previous storms – so we cover our bed and have strategically placed a bucket or two.

Downstairs on the south side of the casa we have installed plastic bags over the screens and applied a tarp over the large window there. We had all this tested in the last 24 hours as well as more than 5 inches of rain – all a precursor to Trudy.

Yesterday we cancelled plans with Ron and Roxanne to try the one Puerto Chinese Restaurant near the HSBC bank in the middle of downtown due to the weather. Good decision because it was blustery and drenching during our cancelled arrival time.

It is not daylight yet (around 7 AM) and calm. We will work on still tighter preparation for Trudy throughout the day today and keep watch on satellite displays of what is going on out there beyond the beach and out at sea.

Seldom a dull moment – but if there is one to come today the hammock awaits.  Otherwise the flashlights are readied and I have a Thoreau Reader hard copy in case the power goes off like it did last night for an hour. And the Kindle is charged and loaded with books. We will make it an interesting day in any case. Stay Tuned!


Hire an In-Home Chef

Here in Puerto Escondido we have Diane help out a half-day once a week; occasionally a full day. She is young, pleasant and much attached to her cell phone. We think she likes the fact we have Internet access, which apparently enhances her phone’s capabilities.

Anita is pretty fussy about the way things should be done – the title home engineer immediately comes to mind – she has finely honed skills at all things relating to caring for a home. She has been working with Diane to get beyond the rapid-clean-sweep that is typical of the Mexican Maid. Diane has been slowed down and shown the finer points of cleaning. Some of the learning did not come without some questioning, even disparaging looks. Trying to get on your knees in a tight pair of jeans – well you get the picture.

Diane follows Anita down to market central – Puerto Escondido Mercado

We try and go out to eat a couple of times a week to relieve Anita of kitchen duties – but darn if she is not so much better than the commercial establishments, meaning going out helps but not so much to my liking. I came up with a solution.

It turns out that Diane is a pretty good cook – mama taught her well. I suggested we have her cook here once in a while on those days we have her work a full day.

When talking menus the ladies decided a trip to the Mercado was in order. Diane would get the ingredients she knows – and she knows just where to find them.

Diane selects smoked fish for Fish Tacos extraordinaire!

We picked her up at the bus stop not far from our casa and headed directly to the Mercado.

The Ladies discuss the finer points of vegetable selection

We slid right by one of the many carne (meat) counters

Fresh Fish sales spill out onto the street in front of the Mercado


Shopping complete we stopped at one of our favorite cocina economicas for breakfast (two meals Anita is spared from preparing this day ;-)

Entering Restaurant Economic Las Juquilenas

Las Juquilenas Menu


Cooking Area Operation – Masks but no surgical gloves

Sopes hot on the grill – yum!

During the morning Diane did a lot of chopping and preparation for promised fish tacos. This included shredding the smoked fish we had purchased at the Mercado. Also chopped cilantro, onions, tomatoes and cabbage sliced in shreds as well as preparing a tasty salsa all topped off with crumbled goat cheese. Yum good stuff!

The end result was scrumptiously delicious! The three of us enjoyed Diane’s cocina talents. She is going to make her boyfriend (soon to be fiancé apparently) a fine homemaker between Anita’s cleaning training and her mom’s cooking – lucky hombre! And for the moment – Lucky Us.

In the U.S. the Calypso Couple could not afford to hire a junior Rick Bayless or Diana Kennedy. But here in Mexico it works and is easy on the peso purse.

I will answer this before it comes up: I do not relieve Anita of kitchen duties on occasion because I am NOT allowed in the kitchen. Let’s just leave that at that. ;-) I can bring a pizza home and just recently learned of a Chinese restaurant right in downtown Puerto – perhaps Chinese takeout is in our future – Stay Tuned for that review.