The restaurant debuted some 9 years years ago in downtown San Jose, and was operated by members of local band “Los Pulpos en su Tinta”. With its growing popularity they eventually moved their location to Cabo San Lucas, where it gained momentum for a few more years. After a hiatus, or long siesta, Alex Vega and David Flores, both original members of the “Pulpos”, created a Spicy Cooper’s revival with a brand new location in San Jose Del Cabo, ironically on the same block as their original downtown location.
Third time is certainly a charm when you walk through the freshly designed foyer, and are invited into a very modern yet casual atmosphere, which tells me that the partners made sure that this third edition was smart and hip, and will be the newest goto hotspot in our friendly nook of San Jose. I almost want to keep it a secret so local residents can enjoy it all to themselves, but if their Grand Opening is any indication of what’s to come, this third edition of Spicy Cooper’s is already on its way to reaching the top ranks of reviews from local magazines, trip advisor, and yelps across the internet.
So, I might as well be one of the first to give you a preview of what you will eventually experience as a local or tourist looking for a one of a kind experience. The first thing I noticed, after being warmly welcomed, was the grand atrium with large openings to the sky near the ceilings. The darkening evening contrasting with ambient lighting on the walls above highlighted some of the detailed architectural nuances designed by co-owner and architect Alex Vega.
Everywhere you look you’ll find something to hold your gaze for a moment or two. From the lit up wine room, that featured wine bottles displayed like rare artifacts in a museum, to a stage centered between diners, where we anxiously awaited the “Pulpos” to christen the opening, and share their passion for music that brought them together so many songs ago.
After a ribbon was cut to officially open the newest hip spot in San Jose, the room was a buzz, and it was time to enjoy some of the Mediterranean style cuisine. I unfortunately had to narrow my choices to only a few, but what a great excuse to go back and try the dishes I missed.
These are Chef Armando Montaño’s newest creations. Armando is better known for having been the Chef and Co-owner of El Chilar Restaurant for a long time. Fast forward a few years, and Armando has created a brand new menu for Spicy Cooper’s.
I started with the Carpaccio de Res. Although the ingredients were listed in Spanish, my palette was able to identify the perfected thinly sliced filet layered with aromatic oiled herbs, and a fresh seaweed salad on the side. I love a place where you never need to ask for any additional condiments, salt or pepper as everything was freshly seasoned and done to perfection. My next pick was the Camarones Picata (see gallery below), and again relying on my pallet, I’d say the large shrimp were sautéed in a creamy rich lemon butter caper sauce, served with a side of arroz blanco y salvage.
Health conscious foodies will appreciate the local farm to table produce, and fresh bread from Flora Farms, while the more extravagant gourmand may indulge on a number of rich steak, chicken and pasta dishes, and be sure to compliment your life with a bottle of Ragout Cosecha Tardía 33. (If you have to ask, it may be too expensive!) A more private setting upstairs overlooks the band, dancers and diners, and provides a more intimate setting without completely missing out on the scene.
Alex and David made sure to keep one special component throughout Spicy Cooper’s journey, and was reiterated by a few friends and fans I spoke with during the opening; Everyone involved in running the restaurant, has a genuine intention to make each guest feel like they weren’t just a reservation or a party of four, but part of an extended family. After attending the opening, and experiencing first hand the warmness of the staff, the culinary expertise highlighted in each dish, and the musical prowess passionately possessing “The Pulpos” as their music filled the air, the only suggestion I would dare make to Alex is that they’ll probably be needing a larger dance floor real soon!