A sought-after spot in Ocean Beach — the sixty-year-old Bacon Street landmark Nati’s Mexican Restaurant — is starting this decade as a brand new Mexican eatery and cocktail bar from a team that’s familiar to the local community. Ownership includes Brendan Huffman and Hoffman Leung from Social Syndicate, which runs Wonderland Ocean Pub and OB Surf Lodge, and Matt and Judd Braun, the brothers behind Blue Water Seafood who partnered with the hospitality group last year to open an OB outpost.
With La Doña, Leung says it was important for the group to pay homage to Nati’s by bringing Mexican food back to the 4,000-square-foot space, which has been transformed by design firm Tecture and features mostly outdoor seating. The restaurant is scheduled to open this Saturday, October 10 and will serve lunch and dinner daily.
Born and raised in Tijuana, chef Gabby Lopez’s family is from Guadalajara and Nayarit. Many of their passed-down recipes were incorporated into her menu, which includes a trio of mariscos dishes, mini Tijuana-style hot dogs, a variety of tacos, and larger plates ranging from pork chile verde to chicken tinga enchiladas, a molcajete of seafood sautéed in garlic butter, and carne a la tampiqueña, a popular dish of citrus and garlic-marinated steak. The bar program includes beer from in-house brewery Resident Brewing as well as Mexican craft labels like Colima and Insurgente. Cocktails range from classic margaritas to the tropical OB Parrot made with Doctor Bird Jamaica Rum, Amaras Verde Mezcal, Rinomoto, demerara, pineapple, and lime.