I've just gotten back to the office after a week's vacation in Cabo, Mexico, hence the static blog. I'm digging out my desk and wondering why it's cold outside as I'm wearing shoes and a long-sleeve shirt …
I've been to Cabo a half-dozen times since 2000 and have seen its dramatic build up over that time. There were changes again on this trip, though I saw as many seemingly stalled construction projects as I did new condos and villas. The town itself was still busy, though restaurants seemed three-quarters full rather than jam-packed. Even the venerable Edith's had an open table for two at 7:30 p.m. one evening, a rarity for that hot spot. (Check out my blog from last year regarding Edith's and La Fonda for more on those and other Cabo restaurants.) Golf courses also seemed a bit light on traffic: I was able to get a round in in four hours or less on three occasions I had to play there.
As for wine, the slow-down seems to have hit that area as well. Restaurants like Edith's that had more than serviceable wine lists seemed to have pulled back a bit. The solid values you could get from Chile and Argentina were noticeably reduced, while standard, rather blah big-name California wines (which get taxed heavily and don't offer any value) had taken over. I guess when times are tough, restaurants think it's easier to sell Kendall-Jackson to the tourist crowd than a bottle of Matetic.
This time around I did try a few different places that might be of interest if you're heading down to Cabo. Nick-San Sushi will easily cure any sushi cravings you might have if you need a break from the ubiquitous fish tacos and pollo con mole. The location in town offers superfresh locally caught fish—the wahoo sashimi was really singing the night I was there—and the menu offers the standard lineup of sushi preparations laced liberally with serrano, coriander and cilantro, giving them all a nice local bent. In particular, the tuna tostada—yellowfin, avocado, habañero, red onion, serrano sauce and sesame seeds on a rice cracker—is a must have. Or you can ask for the chef's special and get a parade of items, including several sashimi preparations capped by succulent shrimp-stuffed gyoza and then a tempura yellow pepper stuffed with crab. There's a second Nick-San located in the One&Only Palmilla resort as well. Prices are about the same as a big-city sushi restaurant.
If you want to stick with traditional Mexican fare though, Mi Casa is a good bet. It's a bit touristy as you walk through the front rooms, lined with tchotchkes for sale. The dining area is walled but partly open-air and tree-shaded. Margaritas come in fish bowl-sized glasses and are delicious, though the range of tequilas offered is minimal. The menu has few surprises with items such as cochinita pibil (pork in green sauce) and chile en nogada (poblano stuffed with ground beef, walnut and sherry cream). The catch of the day can be prepared any number of ways. Nancy and I both had dorado, hers with guajillo chiles and garlic; mine with herbs and spices. Service is friendly and helpful—Nancy's fish was a bit underdone in one spot and they take it off the check. Save room for dessert. I don't have much of a sweet tooth when dining out, but Mi Casa might have the best tres leches cake in Baja. It's super fluffy and light, stands about 5 inches tall, and is slathered in a rich chocolate sauce. If you're there when the strolling mariachi band gives their rather spirited rendition of "Oye Como Va," you'll get the full local experience. Prices are moderate.
Nick-San Japanese Restaurant & Sushi
Blvd. Marina lote 10 local 2, Plaza de Danza
Cabo San Lucas
Los Cabos, Mexico
Telephone: (624) 143-2491
Avenida Cabo San Lucas on the Town Square
Cabo San Lucas
Los Cabos, Mexico
Telephone: (624) 143-1933
William Keene — North Carolina — February 17, 2009 2:18pm ET
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Dennis D Bishop — Shelby Twp., MI, USA — February 17, 2009 4:16pm ET
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James Scoptur — WI — February 18, 2009 12:56pm ET
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Daniel Hutchison — Shreveport, Louisiana — February 19, 2009 12:01pm ET
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