Amapas 114 OT/SS. Also: Guadalupe Sánchez 274 at Josefa Ortíz de Domínguez DT.
(322) 222-0577 • 1 – 11 pm
Owner Martín Villalovos’ [also The Blue Shrimp] Playa Los Muertos locale is beachfront with dining on sand or inside under fans. During many days and nights, the Bahía de Banderas provides cooling breezes. The group met on a warm cloudy evening seated at a beautiful table on the beach just up the shore from the approaching tide and waves. But side effects of a hurricane, early in the season, forced us to move inside as everyone else fled rains for the covering.
We started with an Appetizers and Salads selection from Chef Victor Castañeda, first Calamari with garlic and guajillo chile. The pieces of seafood were cut in small pieces, cooked the proper time, dressed with mild fried strips of guajillo, garlic and potato chunks.
Si Señor Salad: nopal cactus salad with arugula, endive, pear and guajillo chile vinaigrette was a large plate of these assorted ingredients making for a sweet and spicy mix, very well-balanced and tasty.
Jicama Tacos with guacamole and panela cheese filling was the culinary invention of the night. Most guests thought the plate would be tacos stuffed with jicama and garnished with guacamole. In fact, the “tortilla” wrappers were thinly sliced jicama and inside was the guacamole and panela. This was a marvelous combination of flavors. At least eight thin tacos circled the plate.
Main Courses were all tempting. Fish Fillet Arriero-style with garlic, guajillo chile, white wine and baby potatoes was the daily catch Mahi Mahi, cut into thick firm long fillets which had been spice-rubbed and fire-roasted. Again, fried thin strips of guajillo and garlic slivers flavored the meat and potatoes. A deep-fried banana chip was placed jutting out adding a crisp garnish.
Firewood-Grilled (Leña) Marinated Arrachera with guacamole and refried beans was a fine beef steak fillet atop a grilled nopal pad (in Nahuatl nohpalli, prickly pear cactus). The tender and flavorful meat was accompanied by guacamole and refried beans.
BBQ Ribs with French fries and coleslaw provided a generous portion of pork ribs coated with a slightly sweet barbecue sauce. The fries were freshly cut and still tender inside. This typical American dish has surfaced on many local menus.
Desserts offered were fine, with the most-favored being Caramel Flan with coffee liqueur. The firm proper custard was baked in a large pan with the portion being a slice laid on its side. Cajeta sauce flowed over the dish and a thin chocolate sauce was underneath. Garnishes were whipped cream and berries.
Rice Pudding (del Rancho) was the traditional version served widely all over the country. It was sweet and creamy, with the rice cooked well-done.
Sweet Potato (Camote) Pie was a mild firm cheesecake-like pie topped with whipped cream. Berries added pizzazz and color.
This is a lovely spot on the playa for a beautiful dinner, colorful at sunset and shimmering at night with the city and boat lights reflecting with the moon over the water. Sunday buffet brunch is offered, consisting of many Mexican favorites, all-you-can-eat.
Puerto Vallarta, JAL.
2014 Puerto Vallarta Restaurant Guide Beck’s Best:
Kindle e-book: www.amazon.com/dp/B004NEVX7I