Take refuge from the summer heat inside Camino Riviera, which brings a sultry slice of Mexico’s Riviera Maya to the northern end of Little Italy. A revamp of India Street fixture El Camino by SDCM (Waverly, Kettner Exchange), the space has been reconfigured for a renewed focus on dining. With 80 seats indoors and out, with lounge seating and a VIP dining cabana out on the patio, the restaurant and bar is currently open at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday but it’s planning to expand its days of operation and extend to brunch service soon.
SDCM corporate executive chef Brian Redzikowski is using an outdoor wood-burning grill to cook most of the proteins and vegetables on the menu, which spans the Carribean coastline and includes a chicken mole verde, lamb shoulder barbacoa, and ribeye steak with Yucatecan peanut sauce. With fresh agave-focused cocktails from the group’s beverage directors Eric Johnson and Leigh Lecap that range from the El Gordo with green pepper tequila, celery spice, genepy, and lime to the Motorolo Old Fashioned that mixes rum and mescal with nocino, cafe liqueur, and orange bitters, the bar is bringing back regular live entertainment that will revolve around Afro-Latin music.