Chef Coco, left, and John Amato, right, are part of the team running Baja Sur. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)
“The initial plan and the idea was to just be a place where you can come on a date night, do brunch on the patio; you can have drinks at the bar,” owner John Amato said. “It’s a multi-faceted concept. We still wanted to have that upscale feel.”
The Baja Sur chef, who goes by the name Chef Coco, said she grew up in a restaurant and was always surrounded by food. When creating the menu for Baja Sur from scratch, she said she pulled inspiration from different regions to create a unique concept. Baja Sur is a blend of Baja California, traditional Mexican flavors and Tex-Mex.
She said that Baja Sur ingredients are fresh, never frozen and made in-house daily.
“That’s why we coined the phrase ‘fresh-Mex,’” Coco said. “Everything is made from scratch.”
The Baja Sur menu features a variety of taco, enchilada, soup and salad dishes along with carne asada, flautas, elote and fajitas. According to the restaurant, the top-selling dish is the blackened fish or shrimp tacos. The chef said the ceviche is the most popular appetizer and remains her favorite dish on the menu.
Amato said the team, which also includes owners Jason Daly and Dave Somothermon, also focused on creating a quality drink menu and sophisticated bar atmosphere for Baja Sur. He said the restaurant takes pride in the creation and presentation of specialty cocktails. For example, the margaritas are served with an agave straw, and the ice in an Old-Fashioned cocktail is stamped with the Baja Sur logo.
“We wanted something different,” Amato said. “We wanted to highlight cocktails. Mixology is a big thing right now. … And we feel like tequila is a severely underserved market, especially for the quality of tequila out there.”
Amato said the bar now has over 120 different tequilas, including 10 mezcal tequilas.
In August, Baja Sur introduced a monthly tequila-tasting event in the private dining room. The event brings in a tequila expert and, alongside the chef, walks guests through a five-course meal and tequila pairing.
Baja Sur has plans to bring in more events, introduce live music, and eventually add to the food and cocktail menu.
Baja Sur Fresh Mex + Tequila Bar
26435 Kuykendahl Road, Ste. 900, Tomball
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.