CHANGE UNIVERSE: Magazine Jewels
San Jose del Cabo | Dining & NightlifeSeptember 23, 2010

Edith Fiesta of Flavors

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           When it comes to dining, there is never -ever- a dull moment in Los Cabos. This is after all, the place where you can have your choice of five- star culinary experiences, where you indulge in a mouthful of organic ingredients and nature's bounty the likes of which you'll be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

" even though being in a formative stage is one of its most evident characteristics, the cuisine -as such- of the Baja peninsula dates back to the 17th century, when the Mission of Loreto is founded in 1697.. ...since the native population practically disappeared, especially in the southern part of the peninsula, its current population, over the last three centuries,has kept on arriving from different lands, with a gastronomic tradition that slowly, besides coexisting, has been assimilating to that of previous settlers..."

The above quote, taken from Señora Edith Jiménez-Moreno’s book on the Baja cuisine, aptly defines what you might expect in her restaurants: from traditional hand-made tortillas cooking in the open mesquite grill, where prime cuts of properly aged imported beef peacefully coexist with freshly-caught local pacific lobster, and breasts of farm-grown chicken, to a classic Caesar’s salad, an international shrimp scampi,

or an array of combination that might include cheese-stuffed batter-fried poblano peppers garnished with fried plantains or sea-bass in a delicately tropical fresh mango sauce.

Passionately committed to serving authentic Baja Californian regional cuisine, dining at Edith Jiménez’s restaurants overlooking Cabo San Lucas Bay is an enchanting event. Mouth-watering aromas entice passersby into an al fresco setting of lanterns aglow and clay chimneys ablaze, warming the cool night air.

Colonial touches, grand palapas, and the rustic Californiano chiname construction-style lend a relaxed elegance to the lovely setting.

Cabo San Lucas-born Chef Jesús Guadalupe Castro’s recipes are graced with Edith Jiménez’s signature touch, using organic produce from local farms, along with the finest meats, fish and seafood. There is an impressive cellar of Baja Californian and Mexican wines for pairing with each course.

I have just arrived to the restaurant and kindly seated in the beautiful garden surrounding an original construction made of woven desert shrub branches and adobe, dating back to the last century and now housing the well-stocked charming wine cellar.

The candle-lit terraces are intimate, both al fresco and under palm-thatched palapas. The food, the view, and the impeccable Mexican atmosphere are making this evening one of the most fortunate of my entire life.

After taking my order, the busy and polished Maitre D who was previously instructed about my website ( from  Las Ventana's butler)  takes his time to recount Edit's story in details while my meal is on his way. Edith was born in Jalapa, a little town in the mountains of the Mexican State of Guerrero, where she learned the flair of grandmother María Morales, and with it a deep understanding of the flavors and aromas of Guerreran cuisine.

She arrived to Cabo San Lucas in 1977 and fell in love with Baja California Sur, it's natural resources and historical richness. She started researching Baja Calfornia's cuisine, and she still continues.

Edith worked in this restaurant from her arrival in Cabo, which was previously known as "Esthela's by the Sea". At age 15, she was a waiter. Today she owns it and named it after her in 1994.

Edith’s sizzling Miraflores mesquite grill imbibes each plate with irresistible flavor.

If you have dined here before, you may have a favorite, if not, put the menu away and let the staff introduce you to the delights of her regional far. This is what I did. I am now in front of outstanding tortilla soup, and a taste of the Ensalada César, prepared as it was originally intended by Tijuana’s César Cardini.

Which superb seafood, fresh fish, meat, or free range chicken entrée or combination you order will be up to you, but leave room to linger over the banana flambé (mine a pinapple!) and a special coffee. The setting is deserving of such fare: overlooking the bay and the rocks that mark the peninsular land’s end.

The Office (The Story behind the name)

...Once upon a time, in the decade of te 70's, when our peninsula was a remote and isolated place and a few visitors came to the region,

the first -and at that time the only- palapa on the beach is built on the médano beach of Cabo San Lucas...

...on the virgin beach, this palapa, with it's small kitchen and unpretentious bar, tended to the needs of locals and the few tourists we then had,

offering simple fare such as ceviche, fries fish, burritos or hamburguers, and the always wanted margaritas, cuba libres and beers, besides the traditional water or coffee...

...a local character, a gringo viejo -as the writer Carlos Fuentes would say-, rented wind surf equipment on the beach and here entertained his clients and friends,

in this same palapa which was reffered to by him and others as the office, the office on the beach...

...the name stuck, and shortly after a blue sign with yellow lettering popped up identifying the place officially as an office... The Office on the Beach.

The rest is history...

Times have changed, but the Office on the beach is, as always, the place for breakfast,

lunch or dinner Cabo-style ...where one can enjoy classical informal elegance with one’s feet firmly planted in the sand, year-round and from 7 am to 10 pm.

The 16-ounce Office Margaritas are almost as famous as its traditional Mexican kitchen and fresh local fish and seafood,

amongst them and just as an example Baja-style jumbo shrimp in the shell, butterfly-cut and grilled with a generous amount of blackened garlic,

served with Mexican white rice and beans, and garnished with tomato and avocado slices, with a choice of corn or wheat flour tortillas, hand-made at the moment and on the premises.

On Sunday and Thursday evenings there is always a lively Mexican Fiesta with pre-hispanic and traditional folk dances,

piñatas, tequila shooters on the house, waiters' show, and audience participation, with dancing under the stars until 11 pm. The rest my friends...I will tell you tomorrow!

Joelle's Picks:

The Restaurants :

Edith /  Camino a Playa El Medano s/n Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur Mexico 23410 Phone: 011 52 (624) 143-0801 reserve@edithscabo.com

The office at the Beach /  Playa El Médano, Cabo San Lucas, BCS México · 624 143 3464 · reserve@theofficeonthebeach.com

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