Recently, Eduardo Gama and Patricia Hammekin (3602) launched a luxury sunset dinner-cruise out of the Cabo San Lucas Marina on a specially designed catamaran that supports up to 40 diners. The name of the restaurant is Animalón by the Sea, and it delivers a super-special evening of food, wine and beauty.
Eduardo and Patricia recruited a world-class chef, Javier Plascencia, and implemented an exquisite sea-to-table experience, using fresh, local ingredients chosen each day for best results. You can read more about the experience of eating at Animalón in the wonderful review below.
Not content with just one superb restaurant, Eduardo and Patricia just opened another one in San Jose - Semillon. We'll circulate the review of that restaurant when the review is published!
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The following appeared in The Gringo Gazette, February 14, 2022, p. 15.
Animalon By The Sea, A Luxury Dining Experience
BY HELGA BOGUE
World-renowned Mexican Chef, Javier Plascencia, graces Los Cabos with his amazing cuisine at Animalon by The Sea. For those foodies in the know, Plascencia has been praised not only by the late Anthony Bourdain in one of his television programs, but by many chefs around the world. His cuisine is all about using the freshest local ingredients and creating beautiful edible art.
Javier has several restaurants in Baja California, including in Tijuana and the Valle de Guadalupe. Chef Plascencia also created the wonderful Jazamango in Todos Santos. Charlie and I had the opportunity and pleasure to taste the cuisine of Chef Plascencia and enjoy an evening aboard the beautiful trimaran "Animalon By The Sea."
Let me begin by telling you the story of how Animalon by The Sea came to be. A few years ago, Eduardo Gama (one of the three partners), who is a professional event producer and designer, came up with an idea for a luxury dining experience that could be combined with a sunset sail out of San Lucas. He discussed this with his good friend Carlos Hudson (also a partner), who was a boat builder and designer and already had a fleet of boats in Los Cabos. They decided they had a great idea since no luxury dining experience combined with a cruise existed on the sea.
The only caveat was finding the perfect chef to partner with them on this venture. Through a common friend, they were introduced to Plascencia (the third partner), who was interested in expanding his restaurants in Baja, with a focus on Baja Sur, particularly in the Los Cabos area. When Javier decided to become a partner in this venture, the concept of "Ocean to Table" was developed and the vessell was named "Animalon By The Sea". Animalon By The Sea was launched in February of 2021. The original Animalon restaurant is located in Ensenada.
The trimaran was built in about eight months and the partners tested it by cruising from San Lucas all the way to San Jose. The vessel is absolutely gorgeous, and no expense was spared on the details. Eduardo (known as Lalo) is the engineer behind the "look and feel" of the vessel. He incorporated beautiful teak furniture with earth tone accents throughout. The lighting is soft, and the fixtures almost resemble mini palapas. The beautiful stoneware, glassware, linens, and blankets add a comforting and luxurious touch to the calm environment. There are two levels, and once you step aboard, you enter the dining and bar area, and your first reaction is "Ahhhhh". If you take the stairs leading to the top deck, you arrive at a beautiful open-air lounge with comfortable seating, cushions, and blankets galore. It feels as though you are a guest at a beautiful, comfortable home, only this one is floating! When spoke with Carlos on our recent visit, I had to laugh when he said, "I make it float and Lalo makes it beautiful".
We were greeted for our adventure by Nash Torres, the manager of Animalon by The Sea. She oversees all aspects of the guests' experience and is a very gracious host. Nash is extremely astute and has the ability to anticipate your needs even before you do. We were informed that the boat would be leaving the dock at 5 p.m. and returning around 8 p.m. Our server introduced himself and offered wine or cocktails upon our arrival as we waited to depart. Once on the open water, we cruised the bay and were served a most delicious black bean hummus with beautiful blue corn tortillas. The flavor was unlike any hummus I've ever tasted. We relaxed as the sun began to set near the famous Arch. Nash offered us a lovely Rose of Sangiovese from the Valle de Guadalupe for our next course which was a delicate fried arancini. It was served in a whimsical wooden bowl atop blue and yellow corn. Our next course was a beautiful large ravioli stuffed with cheese in the most interesting uni sauce, shaved parmesan and a hint of lemon. All I can say is 'Oh My!" Was it even possible to top that course?
When Nash poured a lovely Tempranillo and Nebbiolo blend, I knew something interesting must be coming next. Our server brought out bowls with roasted cauliflower, serrano ham and shaved black truffles and then poured the most wonderful cream of cauliflower soup on top. You're probably thinking this must be the last course, but you are wrong. We were served some delicious warm bread, and alongside soft butter with honey and salt. What an amazing combination of flavors. Try it and you'll know what I'm talking about.
Our next course was a farm-raised Totoaba fish with shallots, cherry tomatoes and a sweet corn sauce. The white fish is very delicate and delicious. One more course before dessert, which also paired well with the Tempranillo Nebbiolo blend was the delicious medallion of prime rib. It was served with an eggplant and horseradish puree with a beautiful grilled mushroom. The meat was perfectly cooked at medium rare and as you dipped into the two sauces, there was a burst of flavors dancing in your mouth.
We were quite sated after this exquisite dining experience, but wait, there's more. Nash poured us a lovely, soft French Silvaner to pair with our dessert, and when the Pavlova filled with lemon curd, whipped cream, chopped pistachios and delicate edible flowers arrived, we knew we were in heaven! Charlie had never tasted a dessert So beautiful and delicious in his life. The menu changes on regular basis depending on what is seasonal and fresh, SO be sure to check when you book your reservations.
Chef Plasencia prides himself on utilizing only Baja fresh ingredients, and he is a star that shines when it comes to executing a luxury dining experience. You too can experience this and here are all the details.
Animalon By The Sea is located on the Marina in Cabo San Lucas at Gate K. If you are going out for a sunset dining experience, arrive at 4:30 p.m. for a 5 p.m. departure and plan on returning around 8 p.m. Currently, they are going out Wednesday through Sunday, although there are plans to add an additional day on Tuesday in the near future. The boat is also available for private parties and can be booked through their reservations online at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for groups, or you can call 624-240-6998.
The price for the dining and cruise experience including tax and tip is $185 US, and you can add the wine pairing for an additional $62 US. Currently, the capacity on the boat is 30 people, and you will find that it's roomy and comfortable. The maximum capacity will be 40 when all Covid restrictions are lifted. You will find that it is well worth the price for this unique experience. You can also reserve the entire boat for a sunset dinner and cruise for $2999 US for 6 people, with any additional guests at $250 US per person. The boat is also available for day charters when it is transformed into a casual and fun day cruise with water toys and a lunch buffet. The maximum capacity for a day cruise is 40 people, and the price is also $2999 US for 6 people and any additional guests at $250 US per person.
February is Super Bowl month, and Animalon By The Sea has a unique Superbowl By The Sea experience for you. On February 13 from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. they will be offering a buffet on the top deck. The lower deck will have comfortable lounge seating and 6 TV 6 screens for watching the game. The price is $95 US per person and includes a one-hour open bar. Tax and tip will be extra. The one-year anniversary is coming up, so stay tuned for more information on upcoming events. This is one experience you won't want to miss!
Helga lives with her husband Charlie in San Jose del Cabo and is a former restaurateur and wine purveyor from the bay area of San Francisco where they lived in the Napa Valley.