The food, setting and ambiance at El Farallon, the seafood restaurant at Capella Pedregal, are magical.
No one arrives at El Farallon “off the street.” Even if you are staying in downtown Cabo San Lucas, which is just minutes away from the restaurant, you need to make reservations in advance (perhaps, on OpenTable.com) and get directions to find your way. However, part of the Capella Pedregal experience is the adventure of getting there.
As your car approaches the dramatic wrought-iron entrance gate to the sprawling 24-acre property, a security officer greets you to signal your passage through. Then you’ll need to turn your headlights on as you enter a 1000-foot long, torch-lit tunnel cut through a mountain, the only private tunnel in Mexico.
At its end, you reach the outdoor lobby of Capella Pedregal, an elegant five-star resort that sits on craggy shores of the Pacific Ocean at the southernmost tip of Baja California in Los Cabos, Mexico.
If you look back at the tunnel, you face the imposing Pedregal Mountain separating the resort from the cruise port, shops and bustling nightlife of downtown Cabo San Lucas—and will wonder how any hotelier had the foresight and moxie to create this one-of-a-kind boutique property with 96 rooms and suites.
But you aren’t there yet. (Stick with me; it’s well worth the trip.) To reach the resort’s seafood restaurant El Farallon, you need to continue along a winding walking path that hugs the shore. After dark it looks like a movie set: lit from above by starlight and from below, by small lanterns lining the footpath interspersed with lovely sculptures, plantings and beautifully illuminated sand art.
The restaurant’s concept is almost as unique as its setting. After you are seated and your cocktail order has been taken, your waiter leads you to what looks like a fish market at one end of the restaurant that displays the fresh catch of the day over shaved ice, all of it from local waters. Overhead is a chalkboard displaying the names of the fish and their prices (generally for a 6-ounce portion).
You can order any type of fish by the piece or a mix. Each plate comes with two sides of your choice; most of the vegetables are from local organic farms and offer a nice alternative to seafood for vegetarians. Hearty eaters can increase the heft of their entrees or the number of sides. Rib eye steaks were also available for meat lovers.
On the evening we were there, the fresh catch included local snapper, cabrilla (sea bass), tuna, parrotfish, amberjack, spiny lobsters, gargantuan size scallops, and chocolate clams. After you make your choices, your dinner is weighed, priced and cooked over a grill with butter and simple seasonings. A soup of the day and appetizer trio comes with the meal, included in the price of the entrées.
We started off with house specialty cocktail, salt-rimmed Capella margaritas that were wonderful (made with grapefruit juice and Grand Marnier). A savory shrimp soup was followed by our appetizers: satay of sea bass (served on skewers), sea bass ceviche served Acapulco-style (with tomatoes), and an heirloom tomato salad with panela cheese. Each was perfectly cooked and seasoned. I ordered a delicious seared tuna and my husband ordered the succulent scallops, which were larger than any we had ever seen before.
For dessert, we had a decadent chocolate fondue with banana slices, blackberries, strawberries, and miniature chocolate brownie squares for dipping.
The overall experience
While the restaurant is casual without a formal dress code, dining at El Farallon is nothing short of elegant, perfect for a romantic dinner, celebrating a special occasion with family or friends, or ending a vacation in Los Cabos with a bit of panache.
Like most fine dining in Los Cabos, the meal isn’t inexpensive but feels like a value given its quality. It’s not surprising that Capella Pedregal’s executive chef, Yvan Mucharraz, and food and beverage director, Marco Bustamente, are both trained disciples of the famed Thomas Keller (of the French Laundry and Per Se). They have created an innovative restaurant concept that showcases Baja cuisine at its best—menus and recipes that are uncomplicated and healthy but flavorful.
For us, the setting and attentive service at El Farallon combined to create a memorable, almost dreamlike, evening. Only lit by moonlight, candles and torches with tables open to the ocean, you dine to the sounds of the waves crashing against the rocks. Heat lamps and woolen ponchos are available to warm you if the evening breezes become chilly. Even a visit to the cave-like restrooms built into the mountain offers one more reason for your jaw to drop before leaving.
Tip: The restaurant begins serving at 5:30PM. Try to arrive before sunset to enjoy the spectacular views. After dark, the moonlight alone makes it difficult to take photographs:-(.
IF YOU GO:
Capella Peregal, Camino Del Mar – 1 | Cabo San Lucas BCS | C.P. 23455 Mexico
General Inquiries: +52 624 163 4300 | Local Reservations: +52 624 163 4350 | Toll Free Reservations: (877) 247- 6688
This post is part of a LinkUp to Marcia Maynes’ InsideJourneys.
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