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 - Wall art inside the restaurant with a seafood lunch menu on the right.
Totopos con salsa y limón - Corn tortillas with salsa and Mexican limes. A sprinkle of salt is all these chips need.
One of the chefs shucks live almejas chocolatas - The seawater from inside the shell is preserved.
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
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.
Cocktail de pulpo - Lightly cooked octopus with cucumber and tomato in a chilled seafood broth.
Cocktail de Camarones, Callo de Hacha, y Caracol - shrimp, scallop, and snail in a cocktail broth.
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.