The newly-landed Coco Maya is the latest from Grind & Prosper Hospitality (Louisiana Purchase, Miss B’s Coconut Club). Touching down in the former Prepkitchen space above India Street, it’s been opened up to the San Diego sunshine, with a rooftop dining deck and a 30’ by 30’ skylight arching over the central cocktail bar.
Pulling references from the Yucatan Peninsula and the islands of the Caribbean, its menu is based on shareable proteins cooked over quebracho coals in a Josper oven, like a prime 24-ounce tomahawk ribeye or a 1-pound slab of locally-caught swordfish.
Informed by executive chef Ricardo Heredia’s travels in the region, other dishes include salt fish fritters, conch with caviar, and his take on cochinita pibil, a classic Mayan dish interpreted here as a slow-roasted suckling pig, served in a clay pot that gets cracked tableside, and served with pickled red onion, black bean puree, and handmade tortillas.
Sourcing seafood from the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market for plates like Venus clams in tomato coconut broth and a whole charcoal-grilled local rockfish, Heredia tells Eater the menu will change frequently; he’s also planning to introduce four and six-course chef’s tastings.
Brunch, which launches this weekend, will include sweet and savory versions of Dutch baby pancakes as well as bokits, fry bread sandwiches from the Guadeloupe Islands stuffed with everything from jerk chicken to scrambled eggs. The cocktail list by Rob McShea revolves mostly around tropical drinks based on rum and agave spirits.
A spinoff of this new spot is opening later this month in Oceanside. CocoCabana will bring Carribean-style drinks and small bites to the rooftop of the Brick hotel, where Grind & Proper is also opening an oyster bar and New Orleans-inspired restaurant.
Coco Maya, 1660 India Street, open at 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.