Your Guide to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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Las Mariscadas

Close to the center of town in Cabo, lies a gem not far off from the Sea of Cortés. If you’re into fresh seafood with recipes you won’t find anywhere else, prepare to be blown away at Las Mariscadas. This restaurant, opened in 2011, features a palapa-style setting with walls filled by aquatic decors ‑ a prelude for what’s to arrive on your plate. It’s open every day of the week except Wednesdays.

Las Mariscadas Restaurant

All of the dishes in this restaurant are prepared in a very special way.

Las Mariscadas Pescado Entero
Pescado Entero - Price: $200 MX pesos.

The taxi ride to this restaurant took only about seven minutes from our hotel on Medano Beach. And if you happen to be renting a car, there’s a little, convenient parking lot right in front. If you’re not staying in Cabo San Lucas but in San José del Cabo, rather, expect it to be at least 40 minutes away.

As we walked in to get started, we couldn’t help but notice that only one or two of the tables were occupied in the entire restaurant. My friends’ instincts were to try another place instead because they believe good restaurants ought to have a lot of business; sort of like judging a book by its cover. I soon convinced them to give Las Mariscadas a chance, and little did they know what was in store for them.

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Crab Cakes Like No Other

Once you’re seated, bread and butter along with nachos will make their way to your table. They bring two salsas; one of them is the pico de gallo, made of the ordinary tomatoes, onions, cilantros, and chilies. The other, well I don’t know what’s in it, but what I can tell you is that it’s really hot (I accidentally put a good amount of it on my first bite without knowing just how potent the thing was).

Often the hottest salsas tend to be the most delicious ones as was the case with this. In case you’re not the type who likes eating hot stuff, their nachos actually taste great by themeselves. They’re made with chile y límon which is a red, powdery spice that’s not really all that spicy as the name might imply.

Armando, our waiter, told me (and reiterated) that all of the dishes in this restaurant are prepared in a very special way; in other words, he was so confident that whatever we were to have that evening would taste so unique such that no other restaurant could emulate the exact taste you would experience here ‑ even when using the same kinds of fish and seafood. That’s a bold claim that needs the kind of verification that I’d be glad to assist with. With that, I ordered the Roquefort Oysters and Blue Crab Cakes for starters.

Once they came and I took my first bite, I was genuinely surprised. Both were so good that just writing about the memory of those appetizers makes my mouth begin to water. The Blue Crab Cakes are prepared with a kind of cheese so smooth and soft that the whole thing would slowly melt in your mouth ‑ without even chewing.



Zarandeado at Las Mariscadas.
Zarandeado at Las Mariscadas.

The Quest for Perfect Zarandeado

Back in my 2009 trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, I decided to end my snorkel tour early because the food was taking way longer than normal to arrive. I ended up abandoning the main group and going into a small water taxi that took me to a cove somewhere in the jungle called Boca de Tomatlán (yes, lunch is that important).

Right on the sand was a restaurant that will stay in my memory forever. They prepared quite a feast for us; the highlight ‑ a fish called the Zarandeado (pronounced sah-ran-dee-ado). This is, hands down, the single best fish I have ever eaten in my life. It’s basically a red snapper slowly cooked on the grill with a red Yucatán recipe called Tikin Xic (pronounced tee-keen-chee). Since then, the first thing I try to do when I travel is look for a restaurant that could prepare that same fish. And it’s not easy.

Fortunately, my 2012 trip destination in Mexico was Cancun, right on the motherland of Tikin Xic. It was in an island called Isla Mujeres that I stumbled upon a restaurant that actually did the same fish I think everyone must try at least once in their lives.

Fast-forward to today, and we come to a place called Las Mariscadas in the beautiful Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Although they weren’t able to prepare a Tikin Xic Zarandeado, they were able to craft their own interpretation of the fish. In Cabo, this dish from Las Mariscadas is the closest thing you could try to the epic Zarandeado I first had in Puerto Vallarta. Price: $220 MX pesos. The Tropicana and Mango Deck also prepare the same fish, but not like in Las Mariscadas. Over here, there was nothing left on my plate once I was done, not even a vegetable (except the bones). Although the Tropicana is our favorite restaurant in Los Cabos overall, Las Mariscadas beats them in the Zarandeado department.

Bar at Las Mariscadas.
José working at the bar in Las Mariscadas.


Drinks Anyone?

At the time I visited Las Mariscadas for dinner, it was hard to get a mojito anywhere in Cabo. Our hotel told us that they were short on mint leaves, and even the Nowhere Bar by the Cabo marina said they couldn’t prepare one for the same reason. For those who aren’t familiar, a mojito is a mixed alcoholic drink containing light rum, lime, and mint. As I asked for a mojito at Las Mariscadas, I could already feel the same answer coming. They said they might not have mint but they’ll look. Thankfully, they found enough to make me my first mojito in that Cabo trip. Bonus points.

Staff

The chef at Las Mariscadas is Timoteo, but people just call him Timo. It’s evident by the flavor of his work that a lot more has gone into the recipes than the two years this restaurant has been in business. As for the waiters, both Armando and José were highly attentive to our needs. This was expected, though, considering there were a maximum of three tables occupied that evening with us. There’s also a guitarist named Antonio who also happens to sing many familiar Mexican tunes. Chances are he’ll come around your table asking for requests. We had him sing Cuando Calienta el Sol ‑ the perfect song for a city by the beach.


And once you’re done with dinner, Cabo’s vibrant nightlife is just a couple of blocks away!

Phone: +52 (624) 105.1563


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