Acre Baja features elevated country-style comfort food. // © 2016 ACRE Baja
Feature image (above): The menu at Toro Latin Kitchen & Bar emphasizes shareable dishes. // © 2016 Toro Latin Kitchen & Bar
The dining scene in Los Cabos, Mexico, continues to wow food-focused travelers. Several celebrity chefs have opened mega-popular dining spots in the past year, and savvy restaurateurs have expanded culinary options with new venues and menus. Here are some of our favorites.
Farm-based restaurants continue to appear in the fertile agricultural valleys around Los Cabos. At stylish newcomer Acre Baja, sleek gray and sand-colored freestanding walls and blue ornamental tile floors frame the dining and bar areas, which seem to blend into the surrounding palm groves and vegetable fields. The menu transforms country-style comfort food such as roasted hen, cheddar biscuits and fried tomatoes into gustatory surprises, and the ever-changing dessert specials are not to be missed. A series of treehouses are available for overnight stays, and there’s a tiled open-air venue space in a mango grove.
Toro Latin Kitchen & Bar
Prolific chef Richard Sandoval has gained considerable acclaim with his Mexico City and New York restaurants, and his Los Cabos venture, Toro Latin Kitchen & Bar, is a solid hit as well. The restaurant’s many spaces include an expansive bar with a chilled seafood counter beside an open kitchen, a large dining room decorated with a bull theme and an outdoor terrace with fire pits. Many diners are vacationing in ultra-private villas — Toro sits at the entrance to the exclusive Esperanza resort community. The multi-page menu emphasizes dishes to share, including sumptuous sushi, pork belly tacos, Peruvian ceviche and smoked swordfish, along with hefty steaks and chops as entrees.
Manta’s location couldn’t be better — chef Enrique Olvera’s posh dining room claims stellar views of the rock arch at the tip of Baja from The Cape, a Thompson Hotel. The property sits above one of Los Cabos’ best surfing spots and combines hip sophistication, ample creature comforts and professional service. It’s the perfect venue for Olvera, whose Pujol eatery in Mexico City is often called the best restaurant in Mexico. Manta’s top seats are in curved, upholstered banquettes overlooking the dining room, though the view from the terrace above the sea is alluring as well. Shared plates include Baja “chocolate” clams, oysters with habanero soy sauce and a lobster and coconut milk ceviche. Olvera’s take on modern Mexican cuisine includes a roasted mushroom with pumpkin seed mole and black miso fish tacos.
Authentic regional Mexican cuisine made with indigenous ingredients is still a rarity in Los Cabos. Chef Liana Hernandez pays homage to all corners of Mexico at Tenangos, her restaurant in the Palmilla Shops center, serving chapulines (fried grasshoppers) with Oaxacan mescal, a good beginning to a lingering lunch. All manner of salsas, moles and roasted chilies appear in recipes from Veracruz, Yucatan and Mexico City. Breakfast is a real treat if you’re a fan of chilaquiles or quesadillas stuffed with huitlacoche (dubbed the Mexican truffle). Hand-painted tableware and gorgeous art from Oaxaca and Nayarit enhance the festive puro Mexicano theme.