It's not uncommon for guests to lose their ability to speak when they reach the hostess stand of Terraza Dos Amantes, a worthwhile trek up two flights of stairs that lead you high above the softly crashing waves below Two Lovers' Point, putting you at eye level with the sunset and taking your breath and words away in the process.
For a bustling restaurant often filled with families and large groups, Terraza is a surprisingly serene eatery: The open-air concept lofted high above the ground is reminiscent of a tropical tree house, only this tree house comes with a full bar.
Perhaps the only things that could make a location like that any better are good drinks, good food and great friends, said operations manager Mark Borja, who also runs Three Squares in Tamuning.
The spacious wooden tables are perfect for families, groups of friends or even business meetings, Borja pointed out, while tabletops fit for two line the restaurant's perimeter, offering a stunning setting for your next date night.
Terraza opens bright and early at 8 a.m. for private parties or meetings, opening to the public by 10 a.m., just in time for the first tour buses to start rolling into Two Lovers' Point. Borja said guests are welcome to stop in for a quick drink and a snack before continuing their island tour – perhaps a cup of coffee paired with the chef's homemade mini banana loaf? When available, Terraza even uses local bananas.
As the sun begins to fall, customers can opt for savory lunch and dinner dishes, including the special-turned-staple Sunset Burger, a huge 1/2-pound patty loaded with pulled pork, cheese and barbecue sauce, topped with a sunny side up egg and served with a side of dinanche mayo "because you've gotta have some heat there, too," Borja said.
Bringing the heat
Speaking of heat, Terraza specializes in pepper-based ingredients, Borja said.
"We do a lot of stuff with peppers," he said. "Our dinanche mayo, our homemade coconut dinanche, as well as our fresh dinanche. Everything's made in house. ... All of those are locally procured, all the local donne'."
While Borja said Terraza tries to choose local produce as much as possible, he said it can prove difficult at times, particularly when the island is hit by storms – and crops are ruined – during typhoon season.
The Terraza menu is packed with other local favorites including shrimp and chicken keleguens, tinala katne with coconut dinanche, and loco moco. Borja described the dishes as having a "bit of a twist," combining American cuisine with local flavors.
"You've got to have barbecue items," he said.
Borja's favorite part of the menu, however, is the full bar, which features 12 beers and one cider on draft, along with a slew of cocktails, including Terraza signatures such as the Green Flash and a pomegranate cocktail that goes great with the fried ikagesu, or calamari.
Kids can opt for frozen treats like a mango smoothie, which Borja said can be spiked for an adults-only version.
And when your meal comes to an end, remember that the kitchen, housed in a stationary food truck two stories below, means your server isn't just getting you food - they're getting a good workout in, too. Tip accordingly!
Coming back to Terraza
Borja said that Terraza tends to be on tourists' radar more so than locals, but he hopes that will continue to change.
"A lot of locals don't realize that this place exists," Borja said. "Me included, until a few years ago. I've been so used to coming here on some school bus when we're kids and not experiencing Two Lovers' Point the way it is now."
Two Lovers' Point was transformed in recent years when Calvo Enterprises, the park's parent company, added a lookout tower and retail and restaurant spaces to the already legendary site.
Popular with both tourists and the military community, Borja hopes more local residents will revisit this new Two Lovers' Point, the grown-up version of many a childhood field trip.
"It's a great place to bring family and do your own little staycation," Borja said. "Or if you're looking for a place after church on Sunday and just enjoy the air, enjoy the breeze."
Off the beaten path
Located a bit off the beaten path, Borja said being away from the "hustle and bustle of Tumon" is one of Terraza's greatest strengths.
"There's no other place on Guam like it, hands down there is none," Borja said. "I mean I've worked here two years now and ... every time I still come upstairs it doesn't matter. It's breathtaking. It's unreal."
Before you take your seat, catch your breath and take in the view around you: Look closely and you may even spot a playful sea turtle or two bobbing in the surf below, or maybe a group of jewel-colored jet skis, dancing through the waves like a school of exotic fish.