From the moment that you walk into OZean Grill & Bar in Sayulita, you feel that open, relaxed, and friendly vibe that you would expect from a surf town like Sayulita— a perfect mix between ambiance, architecture and service that reflect as a preamble to the dishes that you are going to experience at this beautiful location. Starting from the second that you are walking towards your table, you find yourself facing the crystal wine cellar full of top-quality wines from around the world. When you sit at your table you can feel the gentle breeze coming from the fans surgically positioned around the restaurant, so you forget about the heat outside. You then take a deep breath and look upwards to find the beautiful, over-sized wooden chandeliers hanging from the glass ceiling 10 meters above you; based on these impressions, you know that the food that you will experience at OZean Grill & Bar in Sayulita is going to be anything but average.
The staff at OZean Grill & Bar is out of this world—the waiter is ready from the second that I sit, standing next to me with a menu, a cold towel, and a smile, and asking what would I like to drink. Less than three minutes after, he comes back with my cold lemonade (despite the restaurant being quite busy). Shortly after, Carlos, the restaurant manager, invites me to try the new menu that is available and asks to join me at the table to give me the best advice about the menu choices. This led me to have a one of a kind meal at OZean Grill & Bar. Carlos explains to me while we are enjoying the breeze, that every single day starting at 8:00 a.m. guests can find one of the only buffets served in Sayulita on a daily basis; he tells me that the buffet is consistent and has plenty of items to choose from. Amongst them are fresh fruit, chilaquiles, Mexican style rice, a bean spread, and two different main dishes that they select every day. There is also a very friendly chef standing on a separate area next to the main buffet at guests’ request to prepare something at the moment you may want, such as eggs, quesadillas and gorditas. Additionally, there is a healthy bar with at least two different kinds of freshly squeezed and cold juices from locally grown fruits.
Later, Carlos introduces me to Daniel Cervantes, OZean Grill & Bar’s head chef and former medical doctor. Daniel has been in charge of the kitchen since 2017, and he is the one that created the menu concept which is contemporary Mediterranean food. The menu concept at OZean Grill & Bar is influenced by Carlos’s experience with local communities in Peru (where he spent two years learning the best practices from the locals) while studying to become a chef. He also spent time in Oaxaca and San Luis Potosí through his career and became inspired by his grandmother in Tepic, Mexico, where Carlos is originally from and where he spent his childhood and most of his teenage years. Carlos wanted to create for Sayulita OZean Grill & Bar’s over-the-top menu from this inspiration.
I had the grilled octopus, a signature dish from OZean Grill & Bar that Carlos and Daniel both suggested and rated a 5 out of 5; it is a dish that Carlos considers Daniel’s masterpiece. I felt honored by Daniel for letting me enjoy this luscious dish; my dream-like experience began after he spent about fifteen minutes inside the immaculate kitchen and then came to my table bringing the most visually attractive octopus dish I have ever seen in Sayulita! It was presented on a round, wood plate and served with a mixed salad of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and a mustard style sauce. You can be positive that you have never tasted such a delicacy in Sayulita before. I enjoyed every smell, every color, every shape and every texture while eating this superb dish; it was a world of its own, and I would recommend it as an entrée, appetizer, main dish and desert; the portions are perfect even if you arrive on an empty stomach. I can only agree with Daniel when he described it as his ‘opus magnum’. After I finished with the octopus dish, Daniel advised me to try the shrimp aguachile, (that he humbly recognizes as the second best amongst his creations), but I have to leave it for my next visit to OZean Grill & Bar, because I am satisfied after finishing every trace of octopus on my plate, and I can’t wait to return!
My visit to OZean Grill & Bar in Sayulita showed me that when you put together great management, an experienced chef, friendly and responsive staff, quality and fresh local ingredients, and an incredibly beautiful setting, you get real magic; OZean Grill & Bar in Sayulita, located next to the OZ Hotel, is a real hidden treasure of Sayulita. I am glad that I visited OZean Grill & Bar before it becomes the go-to restaurant when the word of mouth spreads amongst Sayulita locals and visitors, but even then I would still come back a thousand times for a meal here. I foresee OZean Grill & Bar as a must-visit restaurant while in Sayulita.
Written by: José Colorado