Off Highway 1, halfway between San José Centro and the airport, is a humble concrete blue-roofed restaurant teeming with incredibly fresh seafood.  The restaurant, named Mariscos el Sinaloense ("Seafood by the guy from Sinaloa"), is just to the side of a dirt parking lot with iron bars protecting open-air windows.  What the restaurant lacks in appearance it makes up for in flavor.  At the back of the simple restaurant -- open only for lunch -- is a magical red Igloo cooler filled with a colorful palette of the morning's fresh catch. Sr. Olegario Yañez, chef/owner of Mariscos el Sinaloense, originally came from Culiacán, Sinaloa nearly twenty five years ago.  The original restaurant, just a fraction of the current size, was located in San José.  Overflowing with customers, Mariscos el Sinaloense moved a few miles north on Highway 1 to expand six years ago.  Since then it's been relatively quiet, a pit stop for locals travelling along the highway.

Mariscos el Sinaloense, San Jose del Cabo - El restaurante

Mariscos el Sinaloense - Wall art inside the restaurant with a seafood lunch menu on the right.

Mariscos el Sinaloense, San Jose del Cabo - Totopos y salsa

Totopos con salsa y limón - Corn tortillas with salsa and Mexican limes.  A sprinkle of salt is all these chips need.

Mariscos el Sinaloense, San Jose del Cabo - Chef preparing almejas chocolatas

One of the chefs shucks live almejas chocolatas - The seawater from inside the shell is preserved.

Mariscos el Sinaloense, San Jose del Cabo - Almejas chocolatas

Almejas chocolatas - A generous squirt of fresh lime and the live clams contract.  Don't eat the clams unless they move -- which they almost always do -- as it's a sign of freshness.  These meaty clams are intense in mineral flavor, and with a splash of lime and drop of Nayarit's very own Salsa Huichol, they become light, spicy, and fresh.

Squeezing lemon on live almejas chocolatas

Mariscos el Sinaloense, San Jose del Cabo - Cocktail de callo de hacha

Cocktail de Callo de Hacha - Chunky scallops in lightly salted shrimp broth with cucumber, tomato, lime, and a dash of tobasco.  The dish is served cold making it light and refreshing.  The menu offers a variety of shellfish for each cocktail -- choose one, two, or a mixture.

Mariscos el Sinaloense, San Jose del Cabo - Cocktail de pulpo

Cocktail de pulpo - Lightly cooked octopus with cucumber and tomato in a chilled seafood broth.

Mariscos el Sinaloense, San Jose del Cabo - Cocktail de callo de hacha y camarones

Cocktail de Camarones, Callo de Hacha, y Caracol - shrimp, scallop, and snail in a cocktail broth.

Mariscos el Sinaloense, San Jose del Cabo - Camarones empanizados

Camarones empanizados - Butterflied and breaded shrimp with avocado.  The breaded shrimp is served with a generous pile of Mexican limes.  The crunchy, pasty shrimp contrasts nicely against the smooth avocado and bright lime.

Mariscos el Sinaloense has become a go-to seafood stop on the way to and from the airport.  The shellfish -- while always fresh -- is best earlier in the day when it first comes in.  The restaurant usually closes by 6pm as to not sacrifice quality.  I highly recommend a visit here; the refreshing chilled seafood goes perfectly with the Cabo sun.

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