The Dining Guide – LCM 47 Summer 2017

By Ashley Alvarado, Sandra A. Berry, Julio Beltrán,
Fernando Rodriguez, and Chris Sands

Alcaravea Gourmet

The best of the Mediterranean is on display at Alcaravea Gourmet, a downtown Cabo San Lucas bistro that has evolved from a tiny eatery into one of the finest restaurants in all of Los Cabos. Spanish for “caraway,” Alcaravea was founded in 2006 by chef Enrique Díaz Gerard, a México City native whose own father was a masterful chef. Having worked in hotel restaurants throughout México, he went on to travel extensively through Europe, where he refined his palate and found inspiration for many of the favorite dishes much beloved by Alcaravea patrons. The first iteration of Alcaravea Gourmet was a tiny sidewalk café that quickly outgrew its space. In the early days, you might not see advertisements or magazine write-ups, but locals were in love and couldn’t stop talking about the chef’s tasty creations. The restaurant has grown, but it hasn’t lost its signature intimate feel. Here—where vibrant flowers and vines frame the entrance—you’re invited to dine, as though you’re at home, on dishes that celebrate not only the flavors of the Mediterranean (pesto, feta, juicy tomatoes) but also the bounty of the seas that surround Cabo San Lucas. Visit Alcaravea Gourmet’s Facebook page ( gourmet) to see postings highlighting special menus of the day: Recent favorites include duck lasagna, fish in asparagus sauce, and the catch of the day prepared with a creamy sauce of Kalamata olives, capers, shallots, mushrooms, and peppers. Calle Ignacio Zaragoza and 16 de Septiembre, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-3730. Mon.–Sat. noon–11 p.m. All major credit cards and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ J.B.


When the Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort unveiled its made-over space, it included Azul—a subzero tequila, mezcal, and Mexican-style tapas lobby bar featuring a mind-boggling collection of tequila. Cocktail connoisseurs will appreciate the handcrafted cocktail menu, with standout concoctions like the Rosemary Paloma and Tepache Collins. The 160-seat venue also features breathtaking ocean views and a tapas menu that wows: Think tempura tacos, grasshoppers (here known as “chapulines”), and slow-roasted pork sopes. The signature dish at Azul is its guacamole with grasshoppers and mezcal. To prepare it, the grasshoppers are carefully washed and toasted on a comal (a traditional clay cooking tool), then chefs season them with lime juice and spices. The crunchy grasshoppers are delicious and the perfect thing to dip into Azul’s fresh guacamole. And the presentation is Instagram worthy, as are all of the tapas you will see served at the Hilton’s fantastic lobby spot. Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, km.19.5 on the Tourist Corridor, (624) 145-6500, Daily 10 a.m.–12 a.m. (Food menu available at 11 a.m.) All major credit cards accepted. $$–$$$ A.A.
Baja Lobster Co.

Once a sleepy fishing village, Cabo San Lucas is now a world-class destination for travelers seeking luxurious accommodations, five-star restaurants, and complete relaxation. But, at its heart, Cabo remains unchanged. Here, the people, the land, and the sea are woven together—forever intertwined and forever dependent on one another. Located along the Cabo San Lucas Marina in a stretch known as the Marina Golden Zone, Baja Lobster Co. is a celebration of the sea’s bounty. Here you will find dishes that showcase seafood in familiar and inventive ways. Start with a casual appetizer of lobster tacos or salmon carpaccio (thin slices of lobster with a hint of pepper, lime juice, olives, pesto, and Parmesan). The creamy lobster bisque is a must-try, especially as the breeze dances its way up from the bay at night. There are several lobster preparations here, but we’re partial to the San Lucas (garlic, herbs, and a spicy tomato sauce au gratin), the trio (lion’s claw scallops, lobster, and shrimp), and the salad (the cilantro dressing is a revelation!). Marina Golden Zone, Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 145-6011, Daily noon–11 p.m. (Kitchen closes at 10:30 p.m.) All major credit cards and vouchers accepted. $$–$$$ A.A.


Blue Fish Seafood

There’s more to Mexican cuisine than you may know. Yes, there are tacos and tortillas, rice and beans, but in a country as massive as México—we’re talking 758,400 square miles—there’s also huge variety from region to region. In the same way that China has its “eight great regional cuisines” (plus Taiwanese-style dishes), México is home to incredibly diverse cooking styles (mainstays in Oaxaca are quite different from what you’ll find in Veracruz, for example). And, in Southern Baja, we are known for our fresh approach to cooking, one that often emphasizes seafood and blends in staples like tostadas and spice. At Blue Fish Seafood, all of this is realized. The team here focuses on Southern Baja flavors and seafood. There’s a ton of ceviche here: sea bass, shrimp, scallop, and octopus among the options. And you can have each prepared in myriad ways; fun names include “Octopus in Love” and “Chamoy Tropical.” (The chef’s most beloved dish is a sea bass ceviche with fresh mango.) We’re also partial to the spicy scallop aguachile, which is available seasonally. The Shoppes at Palmilla, km 27.5 on the tourist corridor, San José del Cabo, (624) 172-6652, www.bluefishcabo .com. Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. $–$$ A.A.


Café des Artistes

The distinctive atmosphere of the fine dining restaurant inside the JW Marriott evokes a comfortable yet elegant feel, while chef Thierry Blouet’s creative dishes take diners on a culinary escapade. The striking interior that is open to the outside terrace, the sophisticated ambience, the gorgeous view of the city lights in the distance, and live piano music are ideal for a romantic dinner. Start with a Mescalita, a delightful light concoction made with pineapple and mezcal. Explore the Blouet’s creations with the tasting menu with or without wine pairing. An example of starter choices are tuna tartar or bay scallops with black aguachile sauce. A must-have is pumpkin cream soup served from a fresh pumpkin as another course. As a main course, short ribs and beef “petals” are the ticket for meat eaters, while shrimp with yellow plum tomatoes and habanero mole or the catch-of-the-day served Zarandeado-style could be the choice for seafood lovers. In México, the fish for this dish is typically split in half from head to tail, leaving in most of the bones. Vegetarians will enjoy a veggie symphony or risotto with huitlacoche, a corn mushroom delicacy. It will be difficult, but save room for dessert, which can be Valrhona chocolate brick, a very pure and intense cocoa with a red mahogany color, or a blue cheese soufflé. The restaurant hosts various special promotions throughout the year, such as a Maine lobster event and an artisan cheese tasting. JW Marriott Resort, Puerto Los Cabos, San José del Cabo, (624) 163-7600, www Tues.–Sun. 6 p.m.–11 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. $$$–$$$$ S.A.B.


Campestre Restaurant Bar

There’s a lot more to Campestre Restaurant Bar than its breakfast menu, but we just can’t tell you how much we love the breakfast options here. Take one visit to the spot, and you’ll soon fall in love with home-style cooking, generous portions, and excellent customer service. Our favorite dish? The green chilaquiles topped with steak are hearty and delicious. That said, you really can’t go wrong with any of the hearty offerings. Come dinnertime, you can start with a steaming tortilla soup, one of the best in Los Cabos. Then comes the decision of what to order. Favorites include jumbo coconut shrimp, Imperial jumbo shrimp wrapped in bacon, devil-style shrimp, garlic fish, lobster, and surf and turf—all served with rice and garden vegetables. Traditional Mexican food is prepared to perfection and includes all the typical favorites: fajitas, enchiladas, chile relleno, carne asada, and the list goes on. Dessert can be a simple, beautifully decorated flan with strawberries, or go for the show with flamed bananas or strawberries over ice cream or Mexican coffee. Campestre is located a few minutes away from downtown Cabo San Lucas (this is not the main drag by any means), but it’s worth the drive. To be fair, just about any concierge or taxi driver could easily give you directions. And it’s only about a five-minute drive from the marina, if that. Salvatierra, at corner of López Mateos and Camino al Faro, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-8830, www.restaurantcampestre (Spanish); (English). Mon.–Fri. 7:30 a.m.–9 p.m., Sat. 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m., Sun. 7:30 a.m.–2 p.m. MasterCard and Visa accepted. $–$$ S.A.B.


Canela Restaurant & Bar

At Canela Restaurant & Bar, you dance through México—its different eras and regions—yet always feel grounded in the Cabo San Lucas of today: a city whose culinary scene is marked by a commitment to fresh, locally sourced ingredients of the highest quality. From the outside, the nondescript Canela may not catch your eye. But once seated, you can’t help but marvel at the wood, glass, and iron stairway that winds its way up the towering two-story space. Designed by Guadalajara artist Ernesto Cruise, the stairway is the visual focal point. But the entire restaurant is a macabre masterpiece. Just as Mexican craftsmanship is woven through the building, so too are traditional Mexican dishes in every part of the Canela menu, which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant opens at 8 a.m., and you’ll want to explore its breakfast menu: Chilaquiles are served with chicken and red or green sauce; huevos rancheros come topped with ranchera-style salsa and sides of beans and rice; and divorced eggs offer the best of both worlds (one egg with red sauce, the other with green sauce). Plaza del Sol, Boulevard Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-7577, Daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. $–$$ J.B.


Captain Tony’s

You likely already know the raves Captain Tony’s gets for its pizzas, and you’ve no doubt heard that this is the place where fishermen grab breakfast before going out for a day on the water and where they end up with their catch to have it prepared various ways. Maybe you’ve wandered by this exciting corner of the Cabo San Lucas Marina and witnessed the place packed on certain nights to hear a four-piece band playing some of the best live music in town. But did you know you can also get some of the freshest seafood, authentic Mexican fare, juiciest burgers, and pasta here? Starters include baked mushrooms stuffed with ricotta and Parmesan, dynamite shrimp, popcorn shrimp, nachos, barbecued ribs, guacamole prepared at the table, ceviche, tuna tostadas, sashimi, and curricanes made with crab and avocado. Still hungry? Go for the whole red snapper or any of the chef’s specials (we love the coconut shrimp or Captain Tony’s shrimp stuffed with crab). During the summer months, Captain Tony’s offers a 15 percent discount to those who present a copy of this article. Cabo San Lucas Marina (behind Tesoro Los Cabos Resort), (624) 143-6797, Daily 6 a.m.–10 p.m. All major credit cards and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ S.A.B.



Chin’s has created a dining experience for patrons hungry for authentic Chinese fare unlike anything else in Los Cabos. The menu blends Cantonese, hot-and-spicy Szechuan, and Beijing-style dishes and serves as a testament to China’s incredible and diverse cuisine. The decor, with its sophisticated Chinese red-and-black ebony color scheme, lends itself to function as a café, lounge, bar, and upscale dining spot all at once. Sliding-glass windows open to a beautiful landscaped area with palm trees and grassy slope, with a view of the sea beyond. The area can be closed in summer to enjoy cool air-conditioning. Starters such as steamed crab wontons stuffed with crab and Szechuan crispy squid with garlic, ginger, cilantro, habanero sauce awaken the palate with a myriad of different taste sensations. House-made chow mein noodles with barbecued pork is a tantalizing second course. Traditional favorites such as walnut shrimp, lemon chicken, and sweet-and-sour pork are available, alongside more unique dishes like extra-crispy beef with bell peppers, carrots, onions, and a sweet-and-spicy sauce; that dish is especially good with sticky white rice. A selection from the extensive wine and sake list with specialty martinis and mai tais can accompany any dish, and the house margarita with passion fruit and a bit of chile makes for an exciting take on a traditional Mexican recipe. So many choices, so little time. Be sure to save room for one of the decadent desserts. My favorite? Chocolate cake with a warm center and vanilla ice cream. Take-out service is available. Shoppes at Palmilla, km 27.5 on the tourist corridor, San José del Cabo, (624) 144-6060, Daily 12:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. AmEx, MasterCard, and Visa accepted. $$–$$$ S.A.B.



I love sushi as much as the next person, but it’s only one of the many contributions Japan has made to the culinary world. At Daikoku—a stunning and sprawling restaurant in downtown Cabo San Lucas—the comprehensive menu features extraordinary sushi but also ramen, yakisoba, teppanyaki, tempura, and soups. Pair dishes with sake—served hot or cold—or a selection from the extensive drinks menu (there’s wine, vodka, tequila, and several fun cocktails like the Cucaracha or Kahlúa piña colada). Sides include fried rice, asparagus, mushrooms, and other delicacies. During a recent visit, the teppanyaki chef showed off his acrobatic skills with knives and spatulas, shaping the fried rice just so, stacking the sliced onions into a pyramid and then filling the hole with oil and setting it on fire, a delight to us as well as other diners nearby. On other occasions, the chef’s recommendations have included a listing of nine rolls including a lettuce roll with avocado, cucumber, shrimp with Japanese horseradish, and a mixture of Japanese spices. Daikoku’s design is lovely, starting with its serene koi pond. A bougainvillea tree has been shaped into a bonsai dwarf sprouting blossoms of peach and white, likened to a cherry blossom. A wooden paddle wheel gives a soothing whooshing sound of water. You can choose to take your meal in the dining room with glass floor showcasing a Zen garden below or the alfresco Japanese garden. Plaza Nautica, Boulevard. Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-4038, (624) 143-4267, Daily noon–11:30 p.m. AmEx, MasterCard, and Visa accepted. $$–$$$ S.A.B.


Eco Bar

Football season is fast approaching, and I can tell you right now that I’ll be spending a lot of Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays at Eco Bar, the restaurant and bar from the team that also introduced EcoCat to the Cabo San Lucas seas. This Cabo San Lucas Marina spot is perfect for taking in all your favorite teams; there are seven flat-screen TVs, all your favorite drinks, and a menu that features delicious nosh at decidedly affordable prices. My go-to meals here include beef, chicken, and shrimp quesadillas; vegetarian burritos; hot wings; fish and chips; and ceviche. You can bring the whole family, too; a kid’s menu features hot dogs and fries, chicken fingers, and spaghetti with meatballs—all of which you can enjoy while watching NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, college, or other games. Returning from a day of fishing the abundant seas that surround Cabo San Lucas? For just $9 U.S., the capable kitchen crew will prepare your catch either blackened, grilled, fried, or in a tasty fresh seafood-sashimi style. The Eco Bar’s friendly bilingual staff is another enjoyable feature. A bonus: Eco Bar offers one hour validated parking at the nearby Tesoro Los Cabos resort. Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 157-4685. MasterCard and Visa accepted. Daily 7:30 a.m.–11:30 p.m. $–$$$ F.R.


El Meson

Framed by a quartet of white pillars on a terrace that overlooks a spacious infinity pool and the rather more spacious Sea of Cortés, El Meson’s alfresco dining area offers a spectacular setting. Fresh local seafood and produce are the primary ingredients, and the Mexican menu options are both numerous and delicious, with appetizers like octopus carpaccio and chocolate clams zarandeado and entrées like pan-seared tuna with yellow curry mole and basmati rice. Come early for breakfast. Starting at 7:30 a.m., you can enjoy Continental-style breakfasts (artisanal baking, parfaits, and freshly squeezed juices) or Grand Meson dishes (think smoked salmon, farm-fresh eggs, and the like). These can be paired with excellent gourmet coffee, teas, or Oaxacan hot chocolate. Interested in something fast? Try one of El Meson’s licuados (there are protein elixirs, energy boosters, and delicious detoxing green juices). The specialty of the house, however, is served dinnertime: It’s a generous mariscada de molcajete featuring Pacific shrimp, parrotfish, and octopus, with accents of Meyer lemon, mezcal, and garlic. This seafood bowl is flambéed tableside by one of the restaurant’s excellent waiters; the service is easily equal to the food and views.  The 188-seat El Meson is also open for breakfast, and indoor dining is available. Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, km 19.5 on the tourist corridor, (624) 145-6500, www.hiltonloscabos .com. Daily7 a.m.–11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.– 10:30 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. $$–$$$ C.S.


Imomo Sushi House

The Golden Zone plays tribute to the Land of the Rising Sun at Imomo Sushi House, a delightful spot right on the Cabo San Lucas Marina. The sleek space features splashes of red throughout: the wall, the ceiling, tables, and even napkins. That red carries through to the menu, which features Japan’s signature export—sushi—as well ramen, yakisoba, teppanyaki, and more. Imomo offers one of the most accessible sushi menus in Los Cabos; not only are the dishes affordable but they’re also incredibly tempting and not at all intimidating. Start with an appetizer of perfectly salted edamame or wonton tostada, a fun fusion of Mexican and Japanese flavors (totadas are made of wontons and topped with spicy tuna, avocado, and a house sauce). You could go for a hearty main course like yakisoba with grilled shrimp (it’s delicious), but it’s more fun to order sushi and share with the table. The signature Imomo roll features salmon and eel sauce; the Calabria roll is bathed in a spicy citrus sauce; and the Philadelphia is a popular Mexican spin on sushi: It includes cream cheese! Save room for dessert if you can; the tempura ice cream comes with chocolate sauce and sweet mango. Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 145-6011, Daily 1 p.m.–9 p.m. Major credit cards accepted. $–$$ A.A.


Jack’s Bar & Grill

Loved the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean? At Jack’s Bar & Grill—part of the acclaimed stretch of Cabo San Lucas Marina restaurants—you can keep that pirate theme going. Here chef Rodrigo Moreno incorporates inspiration from France, Italy, the United States, and around México in a menu that’s worthy of Captain Jack himself. The buccaneer theme is strong at Jack’s Bar & Grill, and the restaurant goes all in with its decor. You might think the food and drink an afterthought…but you would be mistaken. Jack’s serves tasty, generously portioned fare like nachos, burgers, and baby back ribs at affordable prices. The Jack’s Burger is a perennially popular option—topped with bacon, blue cheese, portobello, and an onion ring, and served with a side of French fries. We also love the arrachera (flank steak), rib eye, New York, and filet mignon. All entrées include a choice of sides—nopales (cactus salad), baby carrots, grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms, and baked potatoes, to name but a few. Kids love pirates, so there are also plenty of lunch and dinner offerings geared toward the little ones. Marina Golden Zone, Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo San Lucas. (624) 145-6011, www.goldenzoneca Daily noon to 11 p.m. All major credit cards and vouchers accepted. $–$$ C.S.


La Casa de Don Juan

Here’s a test I apply when visiting a Mexican restaurant for the first time: I order a café de la olla. It’s a traditional way to prepare coffee in México, and it’s a personal favorite. What’s different about it? It’s most often prepared in an earthen clay pot and features the distinct flavors of piloncillo (unrefined sugar) and cinnamon. I love it, and when a kitchen executes the drink perfectly, I immediately have more faith in the entire menu. When it comes to La Casa de Don Juan, I can tell you it’s faith well placed. This place is fantastic. It’s no wonder the spot became an instant favorite when it opened in 2014. Café de la olla is the perfect pairing for breakfast items that range from huevos divorciados (two eggs, one with red sauce and the other with green) to menudo (tripe with white or red sauce with cilantro, onion, oregano, and lime) and chicharrones (fried pork skin) served in a red sauce. In the last year, La Casa de Don Juan extended its schedule to include lunch (and an early dinner). Come for the the prix fixe lunch meal, which includes the soup of the day or green salad; two choices of sides such as baked potato, vegetables, pasta, Mexican rice, or beans; and an entrée (the fish of the day either grilled or batter fried, shrimp fixed in a similar manner but with a spicy diablo sauce, chicken breast stuffed with spinach, chicken or fish fingers with French fries, chiles rellenos, taquitos, a popular pork dish called cochinita pibil, or two beef dishes) for less than $15 U.S. Transpeninsular service road just past City Express Hotel, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 105-9339. Tues.–Sun. 7 a.m.–2 p.m. MasterCard, American Express and Visa accepted. $–$$ A.A

La Deriva

Chef Emanuele Olivero’s curriculum vitae—much like his menu—wows. The Cuneo, Italy, native studied in Europe before launching his career in México. Here, he brought his expertise, sensibility, and exceptional palate to restaurants like La Dolce and Sunset Mona Lisa. In 2009, he opened DOC and designed its menu from scratch. And earlier this year, he debuted La Deriva in the Solaz Los Cabos. Longtime fans will recognize signature Olivero elements at La Deriva: There’s a marked commitment to fresh, high-quality ingredients that are prepared in such a way that each shines. The glass-enclosed restaurant and its terrace offer incredible sea views; this is the perfect place to enjoy authentic Italian fare for a relaxing dining adventure while letting the world go by. Start with carpaccio of beef or mussels in white wine, and you’ll know you selected the right spot for a romantic evening on any occasion. As a second course, choose from fish, fowl, or beef prepared as only a true Italian can do, with a touch of vino, fresh organic veggies, and just the right seasonings. Pastas, porterhouse, and organic chicken are all prepared to order to enjoy with your favorite wine. Save room for something dolci; the choices are delectable. Choose tiramisu enveloped in a house secret cocoa flavor.  Panna cotta is always a treat in a true Italian restaurant, especially here with strawberry and chocolate sauce. There are other delights, but you can save those for another visit, as I’m sure there will be. Solaz Los Cabos, km 18.5 on the tourist corridor, Tues.–Sun. 5:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. $$$ S.A.B.

La Dolce Ristorante

Smaller than the state of California, Italy nonetheless boasts a variety of cuisines. The most notable distinctions can be made between the northern and southern styles. And it’s northern Italian cuisine that is on display at La Dolce’s two restaurants: in Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Expect rich sauces, more beef, and more butter. Nearly two decades in, co-owners Stefan Miotto and Juan Calderoni know how to keep customers coming back. There’s a lot to choose from on this menu, so here we’ll highlight just a handful of favorites: Start with antipasti like prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and thinly sliced beef carpaccio. It’s hard to pass up the handmade pasta; the lasagna is made with Bolognese sauce and a béchamel with mozzarella and Parmesan. A hat tip to Italy’s neighbor to the west, La Dolce also serves an excellent beef tenderloin with Gorgonzola and mushroom sauce. Finally, you can’t leave La Dolce without trying something sweet. And there’s always time for tiramisu.  Cabo San Lucas: Miguel Hidalgo and Zapatas, (624) 143-4122, www.restau Nightly 5 p.m.–midnight. San José del Cabo: Miguel Hidalgo and Zaragosa, (624) 142-6621. Tues.–Sun. 1 p.m.–11 p.m. MasterCard and Visa accepted. $$–$$$ A.A.


La Panga Antigua Restaurant & Bar

An amazing transition takes place when you leave the hustle and bustle of the tourist area near the old church in San José del Cabo–especially on the night of the seasonal Art Walk (November–June)—and enter through an unassuming doorway into this popular eatery. Lush tropical foliage surrounds several levels of 150-year-old adobe walls, rock walkways, and enchanting seating areas at what used to be an old mansion. At the far end is an antique panga (a roughly hewn wooden boat for which the restaurant is named) that, could it talk, probably could tell a few tall tales. The staff scurries about taking orders and dishing up incredible farm-to-table fare such as appetizers of three-cheese ravioli in a squash blossom sauce, tuna with sesame seed crust and cilantro aioli, baby octopus, or sea scallops with a citrus vinaigrette. A soup of the day is offered, as well as salads that might be a mixture of grilled pears, nuts, dates, beets, grilled corn, and lettuces tossed in various vinaigrette dressings. Entrées worth every bite are grilled lamb chops with pistachio-sesame seed crust or breaded shrimp stuffed with goat cheese with chile aioli, or the grilled catch of the day with a pumpkin seed crust and grilled asparagus. Dessert choices include house-made flan, crepes, and a molten chocolate tamal baked in a corn husk. The freshest produce comes from the restaurant’s own nearby organic farm nearby as well as fish caught by a small group of local fishermen, and premium meats are flown in from Sonora on the mainland of México. Herbs and spices are used generously in contemporary Mexican cuisine. Private and corporate events are welcome. Zaragoza No. 20, San José del Cabo, (624) 142-4041, Daily noon–10:30 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. $–$$$ S.A.B.


Los Barriles

There’s nothing particularly new about blending Asian and Mexican flavors. The flavor profiles are strikingly similar, and Chinese migration to México started more than 450 years ago. The influence can best be experienced by combining big bold flavors of both Mexican and the Far East, and the owner of Los Barriles has done just that. The results? An eclectic menu that suits even the most discriminate palates. A newly designed menu showcases beautiful photos of what to expect when a dish is served. Thai seafood soup is the signature opener, while flamed cheese with tequila in a molcajete runs a close second (a tough decision when a plate of Sevichimi passes by with its thin slices of tuna seasoned with soy, lemon, sesame oil, dollops of guacamole, and serrano pepper slivers). Entrées include whole red snapper, lobster, shrimp cooked to order, combos of seafood and USDA Choice steak, and fall-off-the-bone barbecued ribs oven-baked for seven hours. Many dishes are prepared at the table and flaming, such as the surf and turf, drunken shrimp, and white wine seabass. A grill is rolled out, a chef’s toque donned by the preparer, and the show is worthy of applause. Any of the Asian-influenced dishes are a great start, but the rest of the menu is just as delectable: double-cheese chicken stuffed with Oaxaca and cheddar cheese, authentic Mexican dishes including a mixed molcajete of flank steak, shrimp, and cactus; plus a variety of pastas. There’s even a hamburger served with onion rings. The final coup de grâce should be, no matter how satisfied you are, bananas Foster, prepared, of course, flamed at the table. Miguel Hidalgo in the historic district of Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-1619, www.los-barriles-cabo .com/en. Daily 7 a.m.–11 p.m. All major credit cards and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ S.A.B.


Los Deseos 

In 1974, Baja California Sur—the state that encompasses the Los Cabos cities of San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas—was the last state admitted to the republic of México. And while it may be but a young thing compared to many Mexican states (Oaxaca, by comparison, was admitted in 1823), you can still explore Los Cabos and Mexican history and flavors at spots throughout the region. The Golden Zone restaurant Los Deseos, for example, is an excellent destination for those who want to grow more familiar with traditional Mexican cooking. Visit the Cabo San Lucas Marina restaurant to discover dishes that dance about México’s many culinary traditions and regions. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Los Deseos serves everything from pan dulce to mesquite-style marrow and old-fashioned mole. The restaurant boasts a tremendous number of lunch and dinner entrées, and it can be tough to narrow the field. Here we present a suggested dinner, from appetizer to dessert: Start with the three-cheese queso fundido. Three cheeses and tequila are flamed in a molcajete and served with fresh tortillas. It tastes absolutely sinful, but is totally worth it. Follow with a pumpkin flower soup, especially if you’re visiting Los Deseos a night with a cool breeze over the marina. The chile en nogada is a beloved tradition; essentially, it’s a poblano pepper stuffed with minced pork, beef, and dried fruits topped with a nut and pomegranate sauce. For dessert, pair a traditional cinnamony café de la olla with a coconut flan; it’s a specialty of the house. Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 145-6011, www.golden Daily 7 a.m.–11 p.m. Major credit cards accepted. $$–$$$$ A.A.


Madeira Bistro

Nearly all the world’s greatest foods can be found here in paradisiacal Los Cabos. Within the stretch of a few miles, you’ll find Argentine, Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Indian, and Brazilian. Not familiar with Brazilian food? Boy, have you been missing out! We’re big fans of mesquite-fire-cooked Brazilian-style meats, especially what’s served at Rodrigo Aensa’s fanastic Madeira Bistro. Enjoy all-you-can-eat rodízio-style barbecue paired with red wine for only $28 U.S. The meal includes basil-flavored mashed potatoes, sweet and tasty cabbage coleslaw, two small chicken wings, and three sweet potato slices. The dizzying array of sliced meats, served round after round, by chef Misael LeGaria include arrachera, rib eye, spicy Mexican chorizo hot links, top sirloin, turkey wrapped in bacon, brochette, barbecued ribs, and lamb. The bilingual staff members at Madeira Bistro are charming and exceedingly knowledgeable in all aspects of the menu and pairings. The accompanying slices of delectable pineapple covered in sweet cinnamon and their enzymes is another nice fit for such an unforgettable meal. Vicente Guerrero Street and Francisco I. Madero, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 150-5089 and (624) 175-3593, Tues.–Sun. 4 p.m.–11 p.m. MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ F.R.


Mi Casa San José 

Like its sister restaurant in Cabo San Lucas, this spot is housed in a historic hacienda-style residence that dates back to the city’s first days. The restaurant, its menu, and decor celebrate Old México. Oversize murals hearken back to years past, while strolling musicians delight. The rich aromas of traditional dishes like chicken mole and carnitas waft through the outdoor setting. Mi Casa’s neighbors are the San José del Cabo mission church and a number of charming art galleries. Like many great restaurants in Los Cabos, the service here is bilingual and friendly. Start your dinner with a tortilla soup or shrimp cocktail. The salads feature farm-fresh produce that taste absolutely decadent. The vegetarian chile relleno and mushroom enchilada are two more dishes that impress, as does the chicken chile en nogada. For dessert, try Grupo Mi Casa manager Antonio Senteno Ledezma’s wonderful pairing of the Tijuana micro brew La Fauna dark beer with chocolate cake. La Fauna is considered México’s version of Guiness. Alvaro Obregón 19, Art District San José del Cabo, (624) 146-9263, Nightly 4 p.m.–10 pm. AmEx, MasterCard, and Visa accepted. $–$$$ F.R.


Namaste India

A common greeting in India, namaste translates to “I bow to you” in English. It’s a fitting name, then, for this impressive newish addition to the Los Cabos dining scene. The family-owned business serves made-to-order Indian fare like samosas, chicken tikka masala, and mutton. Start with a potato-and-green-pea samosa followed by spinach palak paneer, and shrimp prepared with south Indian spices and coconut milk. All main dishes have various spices that are actually medicine for the body, and each dish is made with fresh and healthy ingredients. Lentils are big here with ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and fresh cream. Raj Kothapalli and his wife, Jean, will make certain your visit meets your expectations. Catering is available for up to 100 people; this is a great option for a wedding. Located upstairs on Marina Boulevard across from Tesoro Resort with sliding glass doors open to a terrace where you can watch the activity on the boulevard below while ending your meal with a cup of chai tea. 101 Marina Blvd., 624-218-0820. Thurs.–Tues. 2 p.m.–10 p.m. MasterCard and Visa accepted. $$ S.A.B.


Nick-San Cabo San Lucas

You have to try Nick-San more than once. This is not only the best sushi and sake that Los Cabos has to offer, but you get to enjoy it in a beautiful setting right here in México. This is your chance to taste and explore the vastness and richness of Japanese cuisine and to appreciate the uniqueness of what Nick-San brings to Japanese food—Mexican ingredients and innovative twists. For more than two decades, Nick-San has introduced people to just these flavors. Guests are invited to discover Nick-San’s delicious recipes and be surprised by its extensive menu. The best known culinary contribution from Japan is, of course, sushi. But you may be surprised to know that Nick-San does not take its cues from what’s trending but rather in the ancient traditions. Here you’ll find dishes that are fried, boiled, and boiling over. Some are marinated. Some are raw. There are a variety of seafoods—mackerel, sierra, wahoo, snapper, tuna, lobster—as well as chicken and steak; and the food is expertly executed with great technique under the guidance of experienced chef and Nick-San founder Angel Carbajal. Nick-San owners invite you to taste its menu not just once but many times. The surprises here never end, with dishes’ flavors, textures, and presentations. Celebrate your special occasions here. There’s a reason so many visitors come back time and again. Japanese cuisine is more than sushi, and the Nick-San experience can’t be relegated to just one visit. Boulevard Marina L10–L2, Plaza de la Danza, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-2491, Daily 11:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m. (One hour of free parking available at adjacent Tesoro resort). Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $$–$$$$

Nick-San Palmilla

On our last trip to Nick-San Palmilla, we started with a Champagne cocktail from the Champagne Bar at the Garden to get ourselves into the ambience. The chef sent an amuse bouche of whitefish sashimi served with truffle oil. And we continued with a jicama tartar made of seabass, jicama, chasoba, and a refreshing citrus dressing. Try this dish with the house sauvignon blanc so you will be able to appreciate even more the fruity sides of the wine and of the dressing as well. We then continued with the Negi Roll, made with whitefish, crab, shrimp, thin caramelized onions, and a touch of truffle oil. One of our favorite dishes was the crab ravioli, a special dish currently available exclusively at the Palmilla location and consisting of delicious ravioli stuffed with softshell crab and shitake and served with a creamy yuzu sauce. This visit to Nick-San Palmilla was totally different from previous trips; the restaurant was completely remodeled by French architect Jacqueline Perrot, and there is now also a lovely Zen vibe in the Garden Lounge Bar as well as in the terrace facing the sea. Come for a visit and enjoy great service, unbelievable dishes, and a unique ambience, whether it’s for lunch, dinner, or for a special occasion. Nick-San Palmilla also offers its Beyond catering service. Pair the most exclusive setting in Los Cabos with incredible flavors and service. Area privativa Ap-15, Shoppes at Palmilla, San José del Cabo, Phone (624) 144-6264, Daily 2 p.m.–11 p.m. Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $$–$$$$


The Oyster Bar

An extension of the Baja Lobster Co., the Oyster Bar features an incredible selection of fresh local seafood, as well as an elegantly shaded, picturesque alfresco dining area that overlooks the fishing boats and luxury yachts in the Cabo San Lucas Marina. As you might imagine, red-clawed crustaceans headline the menu offerings, most notably in delicious lobster tacos drizzled in a traditional Thermidor. Tip: For a bit of extra spice, ask to try chef César Enrique Gómez Flores’s special habanero sauce. Other shellfish highlights include oysters Rockefeller, an Acapulco-style shrimp cocktail, oysters on the half shell, San Carlos-syle scallops, and that distinctive Baja California Sur specialty item, chocolate clams. The ultimate option, however, is an El Patrón platter featuring a dozen each of oysters, shrimp, clams, and mussels. White wines are the preferred pairing for shellfish, and the Oyster Bar menu includes an international selection of premium wine selections by the glass or bottle. For dessert, dig into decadent slices or cheesecake or caramel flan, or share a bananas and strawberry flambé for two. Marina Golden Zone, Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 145-6011, Daily noon–6 p.m. All major credit cards and vouchers accepted. $$ C.S.


Pan di Bacco

With two locations—one in San José del Cabo and one centrally located amid the vibrant night life of Cabo San Lucas—Pan di Bacco bustles from early morning on. It’s a convenient meeting point for evening antipasto and late-night sustenance. It is the best place to pretend you are in Italy, sitting at a sidewalk café sipping an Italian espresso or an aperitif called Gaspare (Pan di Bacco’s take on the classic Italian cocktail called Negroni, a delightful concoction of Campari, gin and fruit juices) while getting a bird’s-eye view of Cabo’s social life. Salads, pastas, pizzas all come to life with robust seasonings and local produce here; the cuisine celebrates the flavor of fresh ingredients. One of the best options is the tasting menu with wine pairing: antipasto or salad such as burrata (a soft fresh cheese filled with mozzarella served with black olive tapenade), followed by a main course and dessert. Appetizers of thinly sliced beef carpaccio, fried calamari, or eggplant parmigiana could be a meal in itself, especially accompanied with breads made fresh daily and served with a trio of dipping sauces. Pastas—the soul of great Italian cooking—include lasagna verde, fettuccini with shrimp, and tortellini with prosciutto and peas. Pizza is the house specialty here; the Neapolitan-style pie comes rectangular shaped with any number of toppings such as porcini, beef, and baked potato chunks with truffle oil in cream sauce or primavera with fresh vegetables. Cabo San Lucas: Marina Boulevard and Lázaro Cárdenas, (624) 143-3508, San José del Cabo: km 7.55 on the tourist corridor, (624) 108-1748. Daily 7 a.m.–midnight. MasterCard, Visa and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ S.A.B.


Pancho’s Restaurant

Want an authentic Mexican dining experience? Look no further than Pancho’s Restaurant, which is located right in the heart of downtown Cabo San Lucas. It’s a living, breathing celebration of the country: its history, its food, and spirit (tequila, of course). Pancho’s, which is named for one of México’s most famous historical figures, is dedicated to preserving its legacy of good food, good drinks, and good times. The sprawling restaurant is alive with bright and cheery colors: Just picture the multicolored Mexican table linens with fresh flowers and candles and papel picado (paper cutouts) hanging from the ceiling. Pancho’s can accommodate up to 150 people at a time—thanks to a multiroom setup—and each guest is treated to views of one-of-a-kind murals. Here you’ll find more than 60 items on the menu—try the chile relleno!—and the bar houses more than 500 types of tequila. Some diners come annually from as far away as New York for their tamale fix; others drool for coconut shrimp in a special mango sauce made with tequila. Outstanding seafood includes whole grilled red snapper, lobster, and fresh fish. A special may include chicken stuffed with cuitlacoche topped with poblano and panela cheese sauce. For an enjoyable experience, sign up for one of three tequila tastings in their tequila room and receive a “Master of Tequilas” certificate. Reservations suggested. Hidalgo and Zapata, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-2891, Daily 8 a.m.–11 p.m. MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ S.A.B.


Peacock’s Restaurant

Guilt-free travel has been much the trend in recent years, when it comes to activities and accommodations. But in Los Cabos restaurants, we’re also seeing a fantastic move toward sustainable dining. As part of the Mi Casa family of restaurants, Peacock’s subscribes to an ultra-fresh and organic approach to fine dining: Produce is grown locally on the restaurant’s own organic farm in nearby Pescadero. Chefs favor non-commercial fish and source it from a group of local fishermen. And beef is purchased exclusively from a Sonoran ranch that does not use growth hormones or GMO corn in its feedlots. The results are undeniable. The menu dances from Europe to the Americas, demonstrating both whimsy and purpose. Try the octopus appetizer grilled with grasshopper or the Brie with hibiscus and chipotle reduction. The fettuccini is made by hand, as are the tlayudas. Paseo del Pescador, near the entrance to ME Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-1858, Nightly 5 p.m.–11:30 p.m. AmEx, MasterCard, and Visa accepted. $$–$$$$ A.A.



As the Los Cabos dining scene continues to welcome new entries, Pitahayas stands as an esteemed veteran. For more than two decades, chef Volker Romeike’s restaurant has drawn people in with its stunning views—it’s located within the sprawling Sheraton Grand Los Cabos Hacienda del Mar and overlooks the shoreline below—eclectic menu, and signature blend of local and Asian-Polynesian ingredients. The restaurant debuted in 1995 as a Pacific Rim concept. The restaurant and its menu underwent a renovation in 2015. In addition to a more modern look for Pitahayas, Romeike made over the menu to blend Mexican and Asian flavors. The results have been palpable. You’ll need more than one visit—more like several—to try all the standouts. Start with the blue taco with pork belly and scallops or the taro tostada with carnitas. The fresh octopus salad is a revelation, while the tuna poke is a delightful summer bite: fresh tuna is paired with watermelon, jalapeño, Tajín, and taro. Give yourself over to the chef’s eclectic yet unerringly delicious combinations: Filipino-style lumpia spring rolls with Mexican pork carnitas and Southeast Asian Kaffir lime, for example, or jalapeño-and-honey-glazed pork belly plated with sweet potato plantain mash, Hawaiian barbecue sauce, and Asian ratatouille. The elegant wine cellar, La Cava de Santiago, is perfect for parties and intimate dining; it houses a collection of more than 400 wines. A variety of music is offered nightly. Km 10 on the tourist corridor, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 145-8010, Nightly 5 p.m.–11 p.m. AmEx, MasterCard, and Visa, and vouchers accepted. $$–$$$ A.A.

Presto Italian Ristorante

This Cabo San Lucas eatery is a carb lover’s dream: fast and casual Italian goodness right on the marina. Pop in for lunch or dinner to enjoy not only delightful views of the marina but also a wonderfully curated menu of timeless Italian delicious. Here chef Roberto Macciadris serves all your favorites: pastas, pizzas, focaccia, soups, and salads. Many come with exciting twists inspired by Los Cabos and the Mexican palate. Cream cheese, for example, is an unexpected darling in these parts. At Presto, you’ll love the added je ne sais quoi it brings to dishes like salmon carpaccio and pizza; the Viale features bacon, spinach, mozzarella, and cream cheese. On a hot summer night, you may prefer a cool salad. The caprese is a celebration of fresh, quality ingredients (tomato, mozzarella, basil, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil), while the Caesar uses the original recipe that was created in Tijuana, México, several decades ago. Each is a perfect accompaniment to the bruschetta appetizer. Can’t resist those pasta cravings? The Marinara spaghetti is a fantastic showcase of the sea’s bounty: It comes topped with shrimp, mussels, and squid. Ask your server for suggested wine pairings. Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 145-6020, www Daily noon–11 p.m. Major credit cards accepted. $–$$$ A.A.


Romeo & Julieta

Known as “the Italian hideaway full of surprises,” Romeo & Julieta has delighted guests with its showmanship, bold flavors, and commitment to high standards for more than three decades. Italian-born chef Matias Forte has proved himself a formidable ambassador of the restaurant, as well as his homeland, its food, and wine. With dishes like pera e ficchi (pear and fig) pizza and ravioli al burro e Salvia (ravioli stuffed with ricotta and spinach and served in a butter-sage sauce with cherry tomatoes), he does Italy proud. Try Forte’s grilled baby lamb chops or the pork belly, which is cooked for 36 hours served with beer gravy. Two new salads are offered along with the favorite Caesar salad prepared at table. Tortellini stuffed with king crab is a new item served in a light seafood sauce, and pizza lovers will be pleased to see a new variety with smoked salmon. He’s also trying to win over Los Cabos residents and visitors when it comes to other aspects of Italian life. He’s created a new wine list, with more Italian wines and more choices at the best prices. With a choice of dining rooms and a beautiful patio open to the stars, it is not difficult to find a romantic spot to celebrate occasions big and small. Boulevard Marina and Camino del Cerro, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-0225, Daily 8 a.m.–11 p.m. AmEx, MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $$–$$$$ S.A.B.


Solomon’s Landing

Here’s a story you hear a lot in México: A man comes to Cabo on a fishing trip and never wants to go home again. That’s essentially what happened when Brian Solomon came to Cabo more than two decades ago and, on the spot, decided to buy a small taco bar and open his own restaurant. These days, Solomon’s Landing is much more than a taco bar; it’s a full-service restaurant and bar known for its huge menu (we’re talking pizza, pasta, sushi, burgers, breakfast, and more!) and fun atmosphere. This is a great spot to pull up a bar stool and watch your favorite team in action. Pair the game with a margarita, mojito, or good, old-fashioned cerveza. Come early for breakfast (the stuffed French toast is legendary), then head out for a day on the water. Return later in the day to watch all your favorite sporting events. Dozens of terrific sandwich and hamburger options are crafted daily, including the delectable fresh tuna medallion cooked rare or medium and topped with arugula and tasty, delicate cilantro sauce. They also tend to get along nicely with the restaurant’s killer ceviche and organic salad with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, fresh mango, tangerine wedges, hearts of palms, fresh mozzarella, feta cheese, and Solomon’s signature passion fruit dressing. Looking for something a little more traditionally Mexican? Specialty items like burritos, enchiladas, tacos, and quesadillas offer delicious entries into Baja cuisine. Cabo San Lucas Marina (behind Tesoro resort), Cabo San Lucas, (624) 143-3050, Daily 7 a.m.–11 p.m. Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $–$$$ C.S.


Sunset Mona Lisa 

Romance is always in the air at this iconic location—whether it’s a first date, a night to propose, or just a special evening with your sweetie. The sunsets are what draw people to Sunset Mona Lisa, the moonrises make the heart race just a little bit faster, and the exemplary cuisine and polished service will bring patrons back over and over. What better way to celebrate any occasion than with a glass of Champagne or signature cocktails at Sunset Mona Lisa’s Taittinger Terrace, where one might indulge in tastings of innovative twists on dishes like oysters porcini with truffles, oyster ravioli, tuna tartare, or baked octopus while sitting in front of a fire pit gazing at the city lights across the bay. This cliffside restaurant has all the ingredients for a romantic dinner. Really want to empress your date? Opt for dining on the terrace or in air-conditioned comfort and go for the three-course tasting menu, which can be paired with wine. And this is just a sampling of what you can expect. Michelin-star trained corporate chef Paolo della Corte specializes in Italian seafood and brings a refreshing approach derived from his homeland of Italy. Having celebrated its 10-year anniversary this year, Sunset Mona Lisa continues to wow. Valet parking. Km 6.5 on the tourist corridor, Cabo San Lucas, (624) 145-8160, Nightly 4 p.m.–10:30 p.m. MasterCard and Visa accepted. $$–$$$$ S.A.B.


Sunset Point

Chances are you’ve heard of Sunset Mona Lisa, Los Cabos’ landmark restaurant known for incredible sunset views, sophisticated Italian fare, and unparalleled romance. But did you know the site is actually home to three venues with three unique menus. In addition to Sunset Mona Lisa, there’s the Taittinger Terrace Champagne bar and Sunset Point, where you can enjoy pizza, tapas, wine and rather stellar sunset views. This is the perfect spot to gather with friends and take in 180-degree vistas of the Sea of Cortés and Land’s End. Stick around, too, to enjoy the view of the moon rising while enjoying a glass of wine and perhaps a light snack before dinner. Of course, you can have a full-course dinner here as well. This is also the ideal place for an after-dinner rendezvous with dessert cocktails. Appetizers include a selection of mozzarella specials such as Pettole (a prosciutto roll served with arugula and cherry tomatoes) as well as other favorites like tuna tartar, meatballs with a mushroom sauce, or fried calamari. Pizzas are king here; they come straight from a wood-burning oven with a nice variety of toppings from which to choose. The mini magnum—a trio of three desserts—is perfect for those who have trouble deciding. Dessert drinks available include prosecco and port wine. Km 5.5 on the tourist corridor, Cabo San Lucas (624) 145-8160, www.sunset Nightly 5 p.m.–10 p.m. MasterCard, Visa, and vouchers accepted. $$–$$$$ S.A.B.



Tropical breezes are like a caress at the Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort’s outdoor patio dining spot; enjoy those whispers of wind as you look out over an expansive infinity pool toward the seemingly infinite Sea of Cortés. The menu is just as lovely as the views. Chef Elihu Sepúlveda’s mastery of a refined Italian-themed menu are made unique via a few regional Mexican twists. The fresh local seafood, for example, is spectacular, particularly in offerings like the yellowfin tuna carpaccio and the pan-seared totoaba. The latter is a signature dish; it’s prepared with mozzarella, pesto, peperonata, and picked lemon. The pastas are terrific, as one would expect at an Italianesque eatery. Delicious Italian dishes abound, including traditional specialties like lasagna and spaguetti alla carbonara. More adventurous types, however, will want to sample house fusions like the black mole linguini with poached fennel lobster and eggplant ragout, or the White & Black pappardelle with giant shrimp and jalapeños. And meat lovers will appreciate the roasted lamb rack made with mint and rosemary gremolata, or the 45-day-aged rib eye for two. For dessert, try the Deconstructed Chocolate Tartufo, a Valrhona cake with chocolate mousse and apricot ganache served with toffee ice cream and crème anglaise. This decadent meal capper pairs perfectly with 1921 Tequila Cream, México’s answer to Bailey’s Irish Cream. Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, km.19.5 on the Tourist Corridor, (624) 145-6500, Nightly 6 p.m.–10:30 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. $$–$$$ C.S.  Y