The owners of Daikoku—a relatively new addition to the local dining scene—have brought with them not only the flavors of their native Japan but also its tradition of creating a Zen atmosphere. Guests are greeted with a feeling of tranquility as they enter the space, where the owners have used natural elements to create a beautiful Japanese garden. Enjoy a creative lunch or dinner alfresco or opt for the air-conditioned dining area, where you will walk over a Zen garden created three feet below the glass-bottom floor. A square-shaped sushi bar offers 60 choices, while the dinner menu is filled with all manner of delectable items from the Land of the Rising Sun. Japanese-born chef Taka’s dinner menu becomes available at 6 p.m. Myriad soups, salads, fried rice, noodles, beef, chicken, seafood, and fresh fish await the hungry palate. Try the tempura of shrimp, squid, fish, or veggies—or a mixture of all. Other items include baby squid filled with crab pâté and red chile pepper, as well as thick and thin slices of sashimi. There is a full bar, plus a wine cellar with a variety of international wines, plus Japanese beers and a selection of sake, including sparkling. For dessert, try tempura ice cream or the Japanese-style flan. Plaza Nautica, Blvd. Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-4038, www.daikoku.com.mx. Daily noon–11:30 p.m. MasterCard and Visa accepted. $$–$$$ S.A.B.
De Cortez Mezquite Grill
Its close proximity to the beach and the opportunity to watch gigantic waves crash onto the shore—not to mention its stellar menu—have long made De Cortez my favorite place to dine. When Hurricane Odile struck in September 2014, it covered the restaurant in sand and caused major damage. So it’s a wonder that De Cortez is not only up and running at full speed but also doing so with a new roof, new tables, new chairs. On the night of our visit, chef Gonzalo del Pino presented us with a sampling of the menu, which changes every few months. Each dish was paired with the appropriate wine served to us by sommelier Adolfo Vidaca. We started with a crab salad chockfull of lump crabmeat and bathed in a pineapple and vanilla oil vinaigrette; it was paired with a sauvignon blanc that surprised us with just its teensy bite of jalapeño. We followed it with a green gazpacho made of cucumber, asparagus, spinach, and avocado in a base of yogurt and a touch of mint paired with an Argentine wine called Torrontes. Our main course was a new rendition of New York strip steak cooked to perfection and laid on a cauliflower puree accompanied with caramelized eggplant in port wine. The La Chuza cabernet sauvignon from a boutique vineyard in Baja California’s Guadalupe Valley was the perfect accompaniment. For dessert, we enjoyed a “Chocolate Texture” composed of different chocolate delights including a mousse roll. Red wine goes nicely with chocolate, and our dessert was paired with a Nebiola varietal also from La Chuza. Live music nightly. Sheraton Hacienda del Mar, km 10, Tourist Corridor, Cabo San Lucas (624) 145-8000 ext. 4087, www.decortezrestaurant.com. Nightly 5 p.m.–10:30 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. $$–$$$$ S.A.B.
Dos Mares Marina Grill & Bar
The Cabo San Lucas Marina has always been an excellent spot for getting a quick bite, but recent years have brought with them a definite upping of the ante among the restaurants that call this spot home. Dos Mares Marina Grill & Bar is one of those restaurants leading the charge. Its perch over the marina offers guests the opportunity to take in lovely views while dining on a menu that leans Mediterranean while not forgetting its Mexican roots. Starters include a Baltic salad (made with spinach, strawberries, avocado, and pecans in guajillo vinaigrette) as well as a lightly fried soft shell crab on avocado with chipotle sauce. We are partial, though, to the innovative ceviche trio. The broiled shrimp or sea scallops on a bed of couscous and topped with grilled leeks or baked lobster tail served with a velvety soubise sauce is an elegant way to celebrate a special occasion. Filet mignon in port wine sauce or a rib eye steak satisfy, as do the pizza and pasta options. Daily lunch specials include tacos, hamburgers, or seared tuna salad. Cabo San Lucas Marina, (624) 143-0582, www.dosmarescabo.com. Daily 11 a.m.–11 p.m. AmEx, MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ A.A.
Eco Bar & Grill
Visitors at this palapa-style restaurant and sports bar can watch all of their favorite sporting events live—think: NFL, NBA, NHL, boxing, or college games—on Eco Bar’s seven flat-screen televisions as they enjoy a menu of reasonably priced entrées that include beef, chicken, or shrimp quesadillas; vegetarian burritos; hot wings; fish and chips; ceviche; and a kid’s menu that features hot dogs and fries, chicken fingers, and spaghetti with meatballs. Anglers can take advantage of the “you catch it, we cook it” fish policy at a cost of $9 U.S. per person; fish are prepared blackened, grilled, fried, or sashimi style. The friendly, bilingual staff members are happy to help guests navigate the menu, which also includes an excellent winter-season-only lobster and filet mignon dinner special for just $19.95 U.S. Brought your car? No worries. Eco Bar provides guests with one hour of validated parking at Plaza de la Danza in downtown. Cabo San Lucas Marina, (624) 157-4685, www.caboecotours.com. Daily 7:30 a.m.–11:30 p.m. MasterCard and Visa accepted. $-$$$ F.R.
El Patio Choyero
You can’t get more casual than sitting in a recliner on the marina while sipping your favorite brew or a frozen margarita. Yep. That’s what you’ll find at this improvised eatery, named for those who were either born in the area or who have lived here long enough to be considered almost a native. Catch a nap, relax, or sit up and watch the people passing by under the shade of umbrellas. If hunger pangs cry out, check out the varied menu that includes Mexican dishes, seafood, and sushi. Fish dishes include fresh fish-of-the day with lemon pepper, stuffed or veracruzana all served with rice and salad. Chef Carlotta Nunez Gonzalez will prepare the fish you catch free if chartered on one of the restaurant owner’s Sindicate Sportfishing fleet or for the reasonable price of $7 U.S. per person if with another charter service. Shrimp dishes are deep fried, or with garlic, diablo (a bit spicy), ranchero, coconut, or . Three TVs within the restaurant proper will keep you glued to your favorite sporting event. Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo San Lucas (624) 143-3563, www.elpatiochoyero.com. Daily 7 a.m.– 11 p.m. AmEx, MasterCard, and Visa accepted. $–$$ S.A.B.
Prepare to be wowed. There’s much that impresses at chef Antonello Lauri’s downtown Cabo San Lucas bistro—even before you’ve sampled the excellent menu. The setting is lovely, and the enormous wine-themed painting from celebrated local artist Yandi Monardo dazzles. Freshly made breads and pastas as well as generously filled glasses of Chianti transport guests to Italy. And then there’s the menu, which was built on beloved family recipes. Antipasti and appetizers like the Tocho Morocho de la casa—the chef’s choice of five signature tapas—are served family style in the center of the table. Entrée highlights like piquant Piccatine de Pollo (sautéed chicken breast with lime and parsley) and brochetas de camarón (grilled shrimp with zucchini and cherry tomatoes) are preceded by complimentary helpings of fresh focaccia. An old-fashioned blackboard touts the restaurant’s wine selections, among which are bottles from top producers in Argentina, Italy, México, and the United States. Calle Miguel Hidalgo, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-1386, www.invitabistro.com. Mon.–Sat. 5 p.m.–11 p.m. MasterCard and Visa accepted. $$ C.S.
Jack’s Bar & Grill
It takes only one visit to the pirate-themed Jack’s Bar & Grill on the Cabo San Lucas Marina for many a patron to declare: “It’s a pirate’s life for me!” The comfort food mecca and freebooting stronghold is part of the Marina Golden Zone, and it’s awash in nautical memorabilia and piratical accents. Pirates aren’t pretentious, of course, so the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus stick to popular Mexican and American dishes. Try the Caesar salad with chicken or the Jack’s Burger topped with bacon, cheese, and caramelized onions. After the sun clears the yardarm, go with the three-cheese spaghetti, the arrachera Angus, or the Pollo Caribe (chicken breast topped with grated mozzarella, and chimichurri-and-sweet-chile-guajillo sauce). Kids will love the decor and the special children’s menu, and parents will appreciate the affordable prices. Weekly happy hour specials are offered noon to 5 p.m. daily. Marina Golden Zone, Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 145-6011, www.goldenzonecabo.com. Daily 11 a.m.–11 p.m. All major credit cards and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ C.S.
La Panga Antigua Restaurant & Bar
Enter through the doors of La Panga Antigua, and you’re immediately enveloped in Old World charm. But while the restaurant—and the surrounding colonial-style San José del Cabo neighborhood—transports guests to another place and time, the contemporary menu reminds us that we are, in fact, living in a golden age for foodies. La Panga Antigua, part of the highly successful Mi Casa family of restaurants, pairs its extraordinarily lovely setting with a menu that is contemporary Mexican cuisine to the core. Dine alfresco in the outdoor courtyard or terrace—or inside, near the bar—and you’ll discover the magic that happens when you combine innovative cooking with an uncompromising commitment to fresh, locally sourced seafood. The menu varies, depending on which quality ingredients are available, but highlights on our most recent visit included perfectly executed lobster over a bed of mashed potatoes and served with roasted asparagus as well as the New York steak. Zaragoza No. 20, San José del Cabo, (624) 142-4041. Daily noon–10:30 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. $–$$$ A.A.