On a recent trip to Cabo San Lucas for a friend’s wedding, we stayed at the Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach resort and enjoyed five days of sunshine, relaxation and lots of eating and drinking. Almost the entire wedding entourage purchased the all-inclusive package — myself included — which allowed access to 95% of the restaurants and bars without additional cost, there are a handful of restaurants which do require a surcharge.
One of those restaurants was LaFrida, the upscale Mexican establishment at the resort. The surcharge is only $30 — guests who aren’t on the all-inclusive package may dine there (I will include pricing on the individual items) as well. Most guests I spoke to are there using their timeshare as a getaway each year.
First off, LaFrida has strict regulations for diners. No slippers, shorts, t-shirts, especially gentlemen who are expected to wear a collared shirt to dinner. For dinner that evening, there were only eight of us, an intimate gathering of the bride, groom, and several in the bridal party.
Before we even began, a trolley is brought to the table and the introductions of the myriad tequilas on offer began. The manager explains clearly that the top shelf tequilas are not part of the all-inclusive package, and we are free to choose those that are included. Of course, all of us chose the premium Clase Azul tequila in the gorgeous blue and white decorative bottle, which is presented in two drinks: margarita, and a shot on the side. It set us back $30, but was totally worth it.
The menu is an array of dishes ranging from seafood, to meat, as well as vegetarian options. Before our meal began, we are each presented with an amuse bouche, compliments of the chef. The raw fish slices are paired with a lovely acidic dressing, which opens up our palates for the meal to come.
Between the eight of us, various appetizers and main courses were chosen, some of which were doubled or even tripled. If you’re looking for a light starter, Grilled Caesar Salad (MP210/$10.25) is a good choice. Grilled Romaine lettuce is drizzled with Caesar dressing, with basil pesto and coriander, tomato marmalade, garlic chips, Parmesan cheese, and a crouton toast.
Tiradito Al Pastor (MP290/$14.15) which was a popular selection, included achiote rubbed seared yellowfin tuna, roasted pineapple, red onions, habanero, avocado puree and spicy chile sauce. Although it looks similar to our amuse bouche, the flavors were completely different.
Crispy Rib Eye Tlayuda (MP190/$9.30) is a tostada-like dish topped with Oaxacan cheese, pork drippings, avocado puree, pickled onion, white cabbage, and smoked tomatoes. While I thoroughly enjoyed the flavors, the cracker it was served on tasted stale.
Lamb Barbacoa Taco (MP180/$8.80) is a solid appetizer using lamb braised with agave leaves. The menu states that it comes on a blue corn tortilla, but it was just a regular corn tortilla. Other condiments include avocado mousse, chickpea puree, borracha sauce (salsa cooked with alcohol) and coriander.
For an entree, Shrimp Coloradito Mole (MP600/$29.30) was rather small, with only three shrimp. Menu descriptions include breaded pork rinds, pickled onions, coloradito mole, green beans salad, and cured lemon.
Sea Rice (MP510/$24.90) is a paella-like dish dotted with grilled octopus, crispy fish, pickled cauliflower, fresh purslane, and Parmesan cheese. The menu listed crispy fish as an ingredient, but I was not able to find any. The octopus was lovely, and I wanted more of it!
Garlic Sea Bass (MP510/$24.90) the most popular entree, was a panko crusted fish fillet served with mashed garlic, pigweed (also known as amaranth), black bean demi, epazote, and chicatana — flying ants, a delicacy in Mexico.
Meat lovers should indulge in Grilled New York Steak and Chichilo (MP700/$34.20) which comes with sweet potato puree and ginger, roasted bone marrow, chichilo mole sauce (one of the famous styles of Oaxacan moles), crispy shallot and breaded asparagus.
There is dessert as well if you want it. Sweet Corn Souffle and Oaxacan Chocolate Ice Cream (MP200/$9.77) was my favorite. The Mexican corn fritters are more like corn muffins, served with xtabentun honey, cocoa, cinnamon and corn ice cream.
Tangerine Crisp (MP200/$9.77) another favorite, is mascarpone and tangerine cream with strawberry and pink pepper ice cream. The ice cream was very unique and you can definitely taste the peppercorns on the palate.
At Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach
Paraíso Escondido S/N
23450 Cabo San Lucas
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