Unique Dining

You could travel the whole world in search of unique dining experiences. To make it easier, here’s a shortcut that will take you from the Riviera Maya to the Baja Peninsula to Hawaii.

Lava Lava Beach Club
Is there a more relaxing, sensory way to connect with the earth than toes in the sand? Guests of Kauai’s Lava Lava Beach Club know the feeling well. They also know the feel of enjoying island-inspired food, creative cocktails and nightly entertainment, all while their feet are free to pursue their happiness in the warm sand of America’s 50th state.

So, kick off your shoes, sandals or slippers (Hawaiian’s term for flip-flops), and unwind your mind. And prepare your palate for one of the most eclectically excellent menus you’ll find between heaven and the deep blue sea. Because Lava Lava Beach Club is beach dining at its best, and the only toes-in-the-sand restaurant on Kauai.

Located at the Kauai Shores Hotel in Kapa’a, Kauai, Lava Lava, like its Big Island sister club, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner on the beach. Ingredients are sourced locally. Menu options are naturally just as fresh. A sampling includes delicious local fish prepared with unique island flair, sizzling flatbread pizzas, a garden-full of salads, and vegetarian options that complement the beef, chicken and pork specialties.

And then there’s the Lava Lava mai tai. The simplest way to describe it is with a mic drop. At Lava Lava Beach Club, the microphone won’t lie in the sand for long. Because the nightly entertainers need it to treat you to some great island-style music and dancing.

Speaking of entertainment, there’s an encore performance of the world-famous Kauai sunset every evening. Of course, there’s a difference between the sunset here and all the others. At Lava Lava, you can play footsie.

El Dorado Royale

Fuentes Culinary Theater
Dinner and a show has long been a staple of a great night out. Dinner with a show is equally enjoyable. At the El Dorado Royale resort on the Riviera Maya, they’ve taken the dinner-show experience to a whole new place: where dinner is the show.

Welcome to Fuentes Culinary Theater­, where exceptional dining is both multicourse and multimedia. The restaurant is airy, inviting and spacious enough to comfortably accommodate each evening’s single seating of more than 100 guests – and two giant video screens.

At the center of it all is the open kitchen where your creative chef will share his expertise and artistry in creating your five-course meal. Also in the kitchen – and on set – is Fuentes’ sommelier, poised to share the subtle art of wine pairing.

Exquisite textures, flavors, colors and aromas will fill the big screens and, moments later, your plate and glass. Many ingredients come directly from El Dorado Royale’s enormous on-site greenhouse, others from partnerships with the finest international food and beverage brands.

As the announcer intones in the big screen opening: “You will enjoy one of the most Avant Garde concepts in haute cuisine.” Yes, that’s a fair amount of French. But it doesn’t mean you must be a foodie to appreciate Fuentes Culinary Theater. If you enjoy fantastic food with an inside look at how it’s prepared, your stage is set for an unforgettable dining experience.

Gastón Arellano Galicia

Cocina de Autor
Cocina means “cuisine.” And de Autor translates to “signature.” Combine them in a saucepan over medium heat and you have “Signature Cuisine.” Combine a trip to Grand Velas Los Cabos resort with a visit to Cocina de Autor, and you may find yourself looking for the chef’s autograph on your first plate.

The cuisine at Cocina de Autor is the definition of culinary art. Two Michelin Star chef, Sidney Schutte, draws from his Dutch heritage and extensive world traveling, including four years in Asia, for creative inspiration. Marrying the freshest Mexican ingredients with European cooking techniques, chef Schutte’s team creates eight masterful courses with wine pairings nightly.

There’s no need to go to the far ends of the earth to enjoy artful dishes such as Langoustine cooked in buttermilk and topped with endive, leeks, dill oil. Or Red Snapper served over mashed Tonka beans and topped with oyster, Iberian ham and lychee foam. Or goat cheese ice cream dressed in grilled pineapple. Chef Schutte has already done the legwork for you.

All that’s required on your part is a visit to the end of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Travel tip: Go to the southern California border and turn left. Continue as far south as you can until you reach the ocean. Take a deep, cleansing breath. Then make a beeline to Cocina de Autor.