By Chris Sands
Baja Lobster Co. is a cynosure: the epitome of casually elegant Cabo San Lucas–style fine dining, with a gorgeous canopied location overlooking the city’s scenic marina and a menu that’s rich in the region’s fresh and abundant seafood.
After a morning spent bronzing on Médano Beach, or browsing the treasure-filled boutiques of Luxury Avenue, Baja Lobster Co.offers the ultimate brunch or lunch restorative.It’s conveniently close to both, right in the marina’s popular Golden Zone stretch of restaurants and businesses. Pull up a finely crafted chair in the gracefully appointed, air-conditioned indoor dining roomor a shaded seat beneath a white canopied awning on the outdoor deck, and let the restaurant’s talented and welcoming staff do the rest.
Oyster Bar offerings are the perfect pairing for the breezy views of fishing boats and luxury yachts, and they are ably complemented by chilled wines and bracingly cold bottles of Corona or Pacífico. Sample “cold” appetizers like shrimp cocktail and fresh oysters on the half shell with apple chutney or “heat it up” with hollandaise topped oysters Rockefeller (the granddaddy of all hors d’oeuvres). Better yet, find out what happens when a Mexican comfort food standard meets haute cuisine, and order up a plate of lobster tacos topped with guacamole, green chiles, and salsa.
“You hook it, they cook it” options are also available—and at a surprisingly affordable price point. Fisher folk dining on the fruits of their own labors—frutos del mar, as it were—can have their catch prepared for lunch or dinner in a variety of styles (grilled, breaded, sashimi, or teriyaki are among the options), and served with rice and veggies for the princely sum of $7.50 U.S. The all-you-can-eat brunch buffet, at $199 pesos (less than $13 U.S.), is another budget-friendly special.
After 6 p.m., the scene shifts, with the outdoor dining area filling for a dinner show that culminates with an explosion of colors as the sun sinks slowly over the luxury villa–covered mountains and into the sea. Chef Francisco Ahumadapulls out all the seafood stops during this incredible dinner, serving up delicious à la carte dishes of salmon carpaccio and black pepper¬–crusted tuna medallions amid a veritable plethora of lobster laden platters. (That the chef’s family name means “smoked” in Spanish should offer a clue to the extraordinarily high quality of his culinary skills.)
The movie studio MGM once claimed to have “more stars than there are in heaven,” and this dockside mecca could make the same boast about its lobster options. Connoisseurs of shell cracking can work their way through a multicourse menu consisting of melted butter¬–drizzled appetizers and entrées: lobster bisque giving way to lobster salad, followed by a brief interlude of lobster tacos, and finally a trip to the live lobster tank to select a featured performer, whose talents may further be enhanced by a carefully timed grilling and a bit of garlic and ajillochile seasoning.
Couples who want to romantically dip their lobster meat into the same butter dish—Lady and the Tramp had to make do with a strand of spaghetti, poor things—may share the combo for two with two lobster tails, two filets mignons, and four shrimp flanked by butter and garlic sautéed vegetables and saffron rice. Families and larger groups, meanwhile, are well advised to take advantage of the belly-pleasing and savings potential of the VIP Grill for four or six people, which promises a table-filling arrangement of at least four lobster, three fish fillets, eight coconut shrimp, and eight oysters au gratin, plus scallops and breaded squid rings and all the fixings.
Even seafood agnostics are welcome. White meat aficionados can chew on chicken Florentine lathered in a creamy spinach and mushroom sauce, or chicken a la cocotte accompanied by carrots, zucchini, baby corn, and a delicious serving of fresh polenta. Steak lovers, meanwhile, are invited to sink their serrated knives into juicy filets mignons and prime 14-ounce cuts of Angus ribeye.
And guests at the neighboring all-inclusive resort Marina Fiesta—home to the finest poolside scene in Cabo San Lucas, with gorgeous swim-up cocktail views of the marina and the exclusive hillside enclave of Pedregal—can transition from to swim to evening wear and enjoy a five-course feast that starts, perhaps, with a savory lobster bisque, and finishes, perchance, with a decadently sweet dessert of bananas Foster–style flambé. Unlimited beverages also await, including vinos from Argentina, México, and the Napa and Willamette valleys.
The dinnertime atmosphere is amplified by crowds strolling happily along the waterfront promenade: There isn’t a better people watching perch in Los Cabos, particularly on Saturdays, when the marina hosts an artsy Circuito Cultural art walk. There’s also a nightly parade of talented musicians, ranging from acoustic guitarists serenading lovers with romantic Spanish ballads, to an electric fiddle player going all “Devil Went Down to Georgia” on a variety of rock and roll classics.
It’s a Baja-style banquet and fiesta, in other words, and the area’s best bet for langosta and local color. So don’t miss any of the fun. Stop by for fresh seafood specialties, sun shaded maritime vistas, and the best service in town. No reservations are required.
Baja Lobster Co., Marina Golden Zone, Cabo San Lucas Marina, (624) 145-6011, www.goldenzonecabo.com. Daily 11 a.m.–11 p.m. All major credit cards and vouchers accepted. $$–$$$