Kiki creates seafood in the waterfront town of La Cruz

Enrique Garcia or as we call him, Kiki, is customer-focused and loves serving others. Self taught in the kitchen with help from his wife Sara, evolving into owning his own restaurant came naturally. Many locals know him from when he worked serving and creating pizzas at Philo’s, then serving at Britannia Pub (where Sara worked making the meals). He opened his first restaurant, Mariscos El Kiki, in 2014 specializing in ceviche; his own unique creation, which is still the most ordered item on the menu!! He uses many different fish for his ceviche depending on what is most fresh that day; Dorado, Sierra, Bota, so many great fish he told me. The menu has grown, specializing in food from the sea of our waterfront village. Customers favourite meals are: Aquachile, Shrimp filled with Marlin fish and cheese wrapped in bacon called Camaron Momia as in ‘wrapped like a mummy’, Cucaracha (crispy) shrimp, Tuna Sashimi (which is what I had and was delicious) and tacos; hubby Chris tasted the Marlin, Shrimp and Dorado tacos and loved them all.

Having had such great success in his original, and when the landlord wanted the space back, Kiki decided to turn the lot beside his house into a restaurant. Same name, same great food and service and easier to walk to… who could ask for anything more? It’s located at #4 Pámpano between Sierra and Coral across from the primary school.

Born in Tepic and raised in Guadalajara, Kiki arrived in La Cruz at nineteen years of age with his family. His mother was ready to settle into a slower lifestyle and his dad had just retired from banking. Kiki’s mom hails from the Martinez family from La Cruz and moving here meant family time.

Kiki’s meant for this business and he loves all aspects from bookkeeping to serving to his true love; his Zen zone, cooking. At this moment his clientele is mostly Mexicans yet Kiki told me “More and more tourists and expat locals are visiting everyday!” In my mind, if the majority of diners are Mexican he’s definitely doing something correct; good value and great food! The restaurant has about fifty seats and can accommodate seventy to one hundred people. Kiki invites you to let him create a party for you and your friends.

Kiki’s wife Sara was born and raised in La Cruz and she too comes by cooking naturally. Her family, the Columba’s, have a restaurant, fishing boats and are fishermen too! Kiki says he likes going fishing with his brother in-laws. Beyond that the only water activity he likes doing is swimming.

When I asked him if he cooked at home, Kiki barrel laughed and stated “NO, we always go out for dinner on our day off, we don’t want to cook anymore.”

Kiki and his family do as much for the town as they can, contributing to the Amigos de La Cruz via recycling, offering their services, son Enrique dancing at various events and more.

Kiki told me “ I’m inspired by and most proud of my family and especially this – he points to mom and son in the kitchen – that we get to work together. I live in this beautiful tranquil town with great music every night where we can walk in safety everywhere we want to go! The people of the town are happy and the police told me there is very little domestic or other violence. Most of the original families are still living here. I love my life!”

Make Mariscos el Kiki a destination for a meal, open from 11- 7 everyday except Monday.

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Cindy Bouchard
Cindy Bouchard, an expat Canadian runs a Boutique Hotel, Villa Amor del Mar, in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. She and her husband Chris are living and lovin’ in Vallarta–Nayarit. If you want more info on La Cruz or desire… A very special vacation contact Cindy via cindy@VillaAmordelMar.com