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Review

Jakob Layman

Punta Cabras

$$$$
Jakob Layman

The original Punta Cabras on Santa Monica Blvd. was a Westside secret - one of the few places on this side of town where you could get a decent fish taco. It was a busy little spot with about four tables, but it closed unexpectedly. Now it’s back. Kind of.

Punta Cabras 2.0 is an entirely different operation. The new place is huge and closer to the beach, with a slightly complicated setup. There’s a daytime taqueria on one side, a restaurant on the other, and an all-day bar between them. During the day, the place is casual, with a menu of tacos, tostadas, and ceviche. After 4pm, the taqueria closes and you can either hang out at the bar (they do a great Happy Hour) or sit in the full restaurant. What you cannot do in the restaurant, though, is order one of those fish tacos.

Jakob Layman

Having said that, there’s plenty of tasty stuff to eat here for dinner. The chorizo fundido is fantastic, there’s a red snapper in green curry dish that is a surprisingly great thing to find on the menu at a Mexican restaurant, and you can order a whole pig’s head if you want to. The cocktails are good, you’ll probably get a table pretty easily, and there’s a wall of mounted piñata animal heads.

This is a solid neighborhood hangout - we just have no idea why they don’t serve their most famous dish at every opportunity. If you come to Punta Cabras for dinner, you're unlikely to have a bad time. As long as you don’t have your heart set on a fish taco.

Food Rundown

Jakob Layman
Fish Taco

This is a great taco. The fish is lightly fried (in tempura batter), topped with slaw and crema, and they make the tortillas themselves.

Ceviche Of The Day

This comes out looking more like sashimi, but nonetheless, it’s a good way to start, with super-fresh fish and mandarin slices.

Jakob Layman
Fundido

Unless you have someone who doesn’t eat cheese at the table, you’re going to be ordering this. Actually, you should order it anyway. It comes with tortillas so you can make yourself cheese-filled parcels of joy.

Grilled Octopus

One of the fancier-sounding small plates, this octopus is fine. It’s certainly well-cooked and fresh, but lacking a little punch.

Maine Lobster Tacos

Your consolation prize for fish tacos are these lobster tacos. The good news is, they’re great on their own terms, and unlike many lobster tacos we’ve had, aren’t overloaded with other fancy things like truffle cheese or mayo with a weird ingredient mixed in.

Jakob Layman
Red Snapper

A crispy-skinned piece of snapper comes floating in spicy green curry, with avocado to cool it down a bit, and coconut rice. This is absolutely the best thing on the dinner menu.

Pig’s Head

This dish is a production. First they’ll bring the head out so you can take some photos for posterity, then whisk it away and bring back a platter of pig head bits that no longer look like pig head. Add in tortillas and a bunch of different salsas, and it’s also just a fun thing to eat. If you’re in the mood for that (and some very fatty pork cuts), get this.

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