Seafood Extravaganza at Holbox…LA Restaurant Review


My favorite vacation destination on earth so when I heard about a restaurant with the same name I had to dive in.

Holbox is a fresh seafood centric gem tucked into the Mercado la Paloma near USC.

We made the drive and found street parking right across from the market.

I had been there before and found the stall restaurants charming…similar to being in Mexico without having to get on a plane.

The seafood is top notch, varied and influenced by the flavors of the Yucatán.

We patiently waited in line to order.

We started the party with Pulpo Asado consisting of wood grilled Mexican octopus, almond pipian, saffron rice, black beans, avocado, pico de gallo with corn tortillas beautifully presented and delectable ($24).

Then we selected the Taco de Pulpo en su linta. Braised & Fried Mexican octopus with calamari ink sotto. The octopus was very tender ($7).

We also ordered a classic crispy battered local rockfish with crema, mayo, salsa roja, pico de gallo ($5).

Mesmerized by the Sea Urchin opening process which was going on under our noses and the freshness of the Uni we followed things up with the Live Santa Barbara Sea Urchin and Fresh Raw Baja Bay Scallops Ceviche ($25).

Everything was fresh out of the ocean tasting and delicious.

We sat at the bar (best place to eat), watching the food preparation.

I really enjoyed talking to the owner, Gilberto Cetina, who with no formal culinary training, learned to cook at his family’s restaurant Chichen Itza, also located at the Mercado.

Gilbert worked alongside his father for 15 years. He took over as chef of Chichen Itza in 2010 and in 2017 opened Holbox.

Chef Cetina patiently gave us a sea urchin tutorial.

For a unique, fun, tasty, foodie experience, head straight to Holbox.

3655 South Grand Avenue Los Angeles, California. Limited Mercado la Paloma building parking and street parking. Open Tuesday-Sunday 11:30am-8pm.

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