By Jake Snook
Amongst the poorly-paved streets of San José Del Cabo lies culinary vision that is unparalleled throughout the rest of the Baja. Indian food, steakhouses, brewing companies, vegan spots and coffee shops line every single-lane road as the town comes alive for evening events. We recently visited Casa San José 23400 during our latest trip to the east side of Cabo’s playground to enjoy the mixology and creative mind of executive chef Ulises González.
Open every day of the week from 2-11 pm; nothing but ambiance fills the courtyard area of a rustic old house that has been transformed into a modernly decorated dining facility. Wall-sized windows line the kitchen for viewing as Sr. González and his team form dishes like wood fire prawns and apple & salmon ceviche on a nightly basis for your viewing pleasure.
An entire section of the restaurant is dedicated to the cocktail bar; from hand- crafted drinks that include cucumber and mezcal, to tequila infused watermelon liquor, there are options for everyone as the two bartenders rotate schedules weekly. Gonzalo (not to be confused with the head chef) is a young, aspiring sommelier who knows how to make a mixed drink sing.
Our party of four was greeted upon arrival with open menus and smiles from all staff. As we were not attending during a Thursday night art walk, there was no struggle to get a table, unannounced, on a Tuesday evening. Drinks hit the table before the menus were fully analyzed.
In traditional family style dining, we ordered appetizers for the table. Avocado tartar with tuna ceviche was a no-brainer as the waiter poured the garlic coriander dressing atop the fresh blend of seafood. Tostadas for the fish added a crunch as we awaited the evening special. Lightly breaded fish medallions with chipotle aioli. Needless to say these were remarkable and will surely be inquired about during the next visit.
For entrees, the most notable were surely the local catch of the day (sea bass) in a lemon-olive crust, the fall-off-the-bone pork shank and the charbroiled octopus. All served with freshly picked vegetables, the octopus was seared to perfection among the grill, then served in a glass dome to encapsulate the essence of smoke that was transfused into the dish.
With the perfect portioning taken into consideration, to-go boxes are frowned upon when the food is this good. The worst part about the entire experience was that we forgot to save room for dessert. A solid atmosphere, friendly staff, fresh ingredients and an innovative mind from the menu creator left a dining experience that we cannot wait to repeat.
Find out more about Casa San José 23400 and their team on their website, www.casa-sanjose.com or check Instagram for weekly special updates and a showcase of their array of dishes and drinks. We here at Destino want to remind you that good food is best shared with great company; go see what this spot has to offer. Happy eating!