The Dining Guide LCM #34 – Page 4

Hacienda El Coyote Restaurant & Tequila Lounge

You would expect that any restaurant that puts “tequila” in its name would skew toward an adults-only clientele, but the atmosphere at Hacienda El Coyote is decidedly family friendly—and effortlessly sophisticated. Think of it as what you would experience while dining at the elegantly appointed house of a dear friend…in México. The attentive service and well executed menu make for an always-enjoyable experience. There’s a gorgeous palapa, as well as patio dining and an indoor air-conditioned dining space. Chef Sergio Jimenez expertly prepares traditional Mexican specialties like cuitlacoche, tacos, tamales, and enchiladas, as well as chicken en mole. Fresh fish and seafood is available, including Azteca shrimp sautéed in chipotle lime and tequila sauce and lobster crepes with goat cheese, squash blossoms and roasted tomatillo cream sauce. Another heartier option is beef tenderloin roasted with agave and served with chocolate-chile guajillo coffee sauce and mashed potatoes. Finish your evening on a high note, with a traditional Mexican dessert of churros (sugar-coated donuts) you can dip into melted chocolate. Children are welcome at Hacienda el Coyote; there is even a special menu and play area. Valet parking. Cabo San Lucas Street and Marina Boulevard, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 146-7776, Nightly 4 p.m.–midnight. All major credit cards and vouchers. $$–$$$ S.B.

Imomo Sushi

To visit México without sampling some of its traditional cuisine would be a sin, but you’d be equally remiss should you leave without having explored Los Cabos’ vibrant sushi scene. Despite the thousands of miles that separate Cabo from Tokyo, the two seem intrinsically, culinarily connected. Rich seas propel the art of sushi forward in both cities, and patrons here in Los Cabos reap the benefits. Imomo Sushi House is a cozy den on the Cabo San Lucas Marina that’s brought to life with its bold red-and-white decor and a menu that ranges from safe, kid-friendly sushi to downright daring. Begin with spicy baby octopus and a mixed sashimi salad. On cool nights, you can’t go wrong with an udon or wanton soup. For a taste of Mexican sushi (by that, we mean the inclusion of cream cheese), opt for the Mexico Roll or Philadelphia Roll. Our favorite is the Volcano Avocado Hot, a baked roll topped with spicy shrimp and eel sauce. Marina Golden Zone, Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 145-6011, Major credit cards and vouchers accepted. Daily 7 a.m–11 p.m. $–$$ A.A.

Jack’s Bar & Grill

Who knew Captain Jack was a gourmand? If you weren’t already clued in, you can figure it out by visiting the silly yet somehow sophisticated Jack’s Bar & Grill on the Cabo San Lucas Marina. The restaurant and bar is a treasure. Enter its front doors, and you’re transported to the Black Pearl. A gregarious pirate Jack greets and chats with patrons who then peruse a menu that combines the must-haves (nachos and fried calimari, natch) plenty of kid-approved fare like tacos and enchiladas, and several revelations, including the Azteca beef fillet stuffed with cheese, onion, and poblano pepper slices then served with a chipotle sauce. Perhaps the best dish, though, is the hot shrimp spiced with garlic, onion, soy sauce, and peppers, then topped with avocado. Marina Golden Zone, Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 145-6011, Major credit cards and vouchers accepted. Daily 7 a.m–11 p.m. $–$$ A.A.

Jazmin’s Restaraunt

Entering through the doors of Jazmin’s is like stepping back into México’s vibrant history. The walls are made of rustic red bricks, and the tables and chairs are crafted and painted in eye-catching enamel colors. The walls are a veritable shrine to Pancho Villa and heroes of the Mexican Revolution. The exhibition kitchen, though, is anything but a museum piece. Guests can watch—and inhale the kitchen’s rich aromas—from the shade of the canvas-covered patio as the chef busily works his magic. Before the Jazmin’s-style scallop appetizer arrived, I could hear the sizzle and almost “taste” the sweet onions, basil, butter, and scallops sautéing. The flavor is the perfect marriage of sweet and savory. Jazmin’s specialty pairs sweet, starchy fried bananas with a succulent and spicy seafood–stuffed chicken breast. This dish joins the rich savory flavors from the sea with the sweet abundance from the land. The mosaic of tastes is brought to life under a creamy blanket of chipotle sauce. To complete a perfect meal, try the flan. It’s remarkable, and I say this as an individual who is not normally a big fan of flan. The custard is firm and eggy, with just the right amount of sugar and a nice, rich caramelized top. Morelos between Zaragoza and Obregón, San José del Cabo, (624) 142-1760. Daily 8 a.m.–11p.m. MasterCard, Visa and vouchers accepted. $–$$ W.A.

La Panga Antigua Restaurant & Bar

Every morning in Los Cabos, fishermen venture into the waters of the Cabo San Lucas Bay in little skiffs that are known in this region of México as pangas. At La Panga Antigua Restaurant & Bar in San José del Cabo, chef-owner Jacobo Turquie celebrates the tradition with a locally sourced, seafood-rich menu of contemporary Mexican cuisine. The tuna-and-avocado tartar with cilantro oil and a chilled seafood medley prepared with basil oil are perfect examples. The seafood bisque is crafted using a blend of spices, making each bite even better than the last. The popular seared North Pacific butterfish is served with a creamy risotto. There is a sophisticated wine selection. For dessert, order the molten lava cake, which exceeds all expectations. Come early for the recently launched lunch service to enjoy a three-course meal starting at around $20 U.S. Choose from options such as an organic field green salad mixed in a roasted cherry tomato vinaigrette, chilled gazpacho, chicken enchiladas in a mole sauce, and skirt steak fajitas accompanied by flour tortillas. Zaragoza No. 20, San José del Cabo, (624) 142-4041, Daily noon–10:30 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. $$$ L.G.

Las Marías

Hacienda Encantada’s on-site restaurant, Las Marías, specializes in gourmet Mexican cuisine, including breakfast favorites such as chilaquiles and huevos rancheros and dinnertime delicacies like Acapulco-style ceviche, enchiladas, and chiles rellenos. The menu offers something to please every palate. Steak lovers will enjoy prime cuts like the filet mignon with mushroom sauce, while vegetarians may sample a variety of healthy salads and rich pasta dishes. Decadent desserts and children’s options are also available, and the expansive wine list features some fine selections from Baja California’s Guadalupe Valley, as well as quality bottles from Argentina, Chile, and the United States. A menu showcasing delicious dishes from the restaurant’s new mesquite grill debuted in January; so did additional terrace seating overlooking the Sea of Cortés. Las Marías is not open for lunch. Hacienda Encantada, km 7.5 on the Tourist Corridor, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 163-5555, www Daily 7 a.m.–noon, 5 p.m.–11 p.m. All major credit cards and vouchers accepted. $$–$$$ C.S.