Acre Baja, | Condé Nast Traveler

cuisine

Mexican

Back up: give us the wide-angle view of this place.
In San José del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas's slightly more refined cousin, there's a string of farm-to-table restaurants and luxury hotels catering to the set that's grown out of spring break—but still loves Baja (see: Flora Farms, where Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo got married, and the J.W. Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa). Acre, just down the road from both, combines a boutique hotel with a bar and restaurant that are destinations in their own right.
The design-centric space focuses on the outdoors. A drive on a rocky desert road drops you in front of what feels like a garden oasis; stone walkways take you along a path with dim lighting surrounded by palms (breakouts take you to the tree-houses where guests can stay), until you reach a concrete staircase that leads you to the bar and dining room, passing the on-site distillery and shop as you enter.
The perimeter is lined with pillow-studded banquettes; wooden tables and patio chairs fill the center. The dining space by the kitchen is covered with an iron-and-straw covering. You could be on an island in the Caribbean; you definitely don't feel like you're inland in the desert.
Oof—I think I'm in love. Who else are we likely to see here?
When we went the place was packed, and it's hard to say. Well-dressed, food-focused families and couples in their 30s and above occupied the tables closest to us. It's a constantly "on" hot spot, so our guess is they were a mix of locals, guests at Acre, and guests at the surrounding hotels in Los Cabos.
Got it. What's the drink situation?
Strong cocktail game (note the mezcaleria you pass as you walk in). Even if cocktails aren't generally your thing, you'd be remiss not to sample at least one. The list is long and it echoes the menu, with many ingredients sourced from the on-site organic garden—the Herb-Smoked Negroni comes to the table on a small wood plate under a dome of smoke; less booze-driven drinks, like the Adelita and Tres Amigos, are light and fresh. And the wine list impressed with some surprising, quality finds you wouldn't expect to see in a classic vacation destination.
Now I definitely know what I'm drinking—but what am I eating? Give me the low-down on the food.
Decidedly farm-to-table, but what may be refreshing to an American traveler is how much of a departure it is from the typical fare they're used to at home (no kale or gem lettuces in sight). Ceviches are bright and different (the scallop comes with chicken chicharrón, cilantro, ají amarillo sauce, and avocado mousse); and we challenge any diner who thinks beets are tired not to be delighted by the "beets on beets" plate, which features them three ways. Also: fried green tomatoes with honey, macerated cherry tomatoes, and crispy basil are unforgettable.
For entrees, the Baja style fish tacos had elements of Korean sliders; lobster and spring pea agnolotti, in an aged goat cheese sauce, was the winner, and any of the fresh fish dishes—including the charred octopus—were beyond reproach.
Alright, I'm booking my plane ticket. Oh, and how was the service?
So friendly, and attentive but likely to leave you to enjoy your meal. They genuinely want to get you the food they think you'll enjoy most—then give you space to marvel over it.
Got it. So, sum it up for me: why should I come here?
If you're visiting and staying at a hotel nearby, you'll (probably) eventually want to venture out and dine somewhere off-campus. Why not do it and one of the area's prized places for quality local cuisine—with a modern approach?