It was clear that Cabo had come back and was ready
for business, but I’d soon learn that business as usual
wasn’t what many locals in San José del Cabo had in
mind. After torrential rains and record-setting winds
ripped their city apart, a deep sense of community
and heritage had been triggered — and they wanted the
place they rebuilt to reflect that.
Los Cabos sits on the very end of the Baja peninsula
and is made up of two towns: Cabo San Lucas to the
west and San José del Cabo to the east. In the 1970s,
after the area’s fishing industry took a major hit, the
Mexican government decided to make the bottom of
Baja a tourism mecca. Cabo San Lucas was allowed
free rein to develop — and develop it did, into a wild
party town — while San José del Cabo retained its
cultural heritage as a classic Mexican city with colorful storefronts, tiny streets and an idyllic town square
anchored on one side by a historic mission.
The wild and the mild, they are called; and I will
admit I was thrilled to make the “mild” the focus
of my trip. The feeling only grew as I got to know
the brilliant tastemakers and entrepreneurs who are
turning this traditional city into a highbrow destination — complete with hipster-savvy inflections like
locally made charcuterie and dinner checks delivered
inside Day of the Dead boxes.
ON THE FARM
At the center of it all is Flora Farm, a now-famous culi-
nary spot and the pioneering force behind the region's
blossoming organic food movement. Just a 9-minute
drive from the new JW MARRIOTT LOS CABOS
BEACH RESORT & SPA, the farm is situated at the
end of a bumpy dirt road (the hotel will arrange taxi
service for you, and Flora Farm has a resident trans-
portation manager for guests) among palm trees and
lush fields that grow every bit of produce that appears
on the restaurant’s menu.
To hear the owner, Gloria Greene, a silver-haired
beauty with an innate flash of California cool, tell the
story of the farm, it sounds like it was all just a bit of
luck after a big mistake. About 20 years ago, she and
her husband decided to move their growing family from
San Francisco (“It wasn’t child-friendly back then like it
is now,” Greene says) to Los Cabos, where she had vaca-
tioned as a child. “I had this great business idea — start
a local, organic restaurant in downtown San José,” she
says with a quick laugh. “Only problem: There weren’t
She decided to fix the problem herself. The daughter
of a Sonoma-county winegrower, she scouted the area
for a suitable farm. Five years ago, after much success
in the fields, Greene and her husband Patrick decided
to finally open that organic restaurant — right on their
farm. The opening grabbed attention; French Laundry
chef Thomas Keller showed up on the second night.
It’s all a marvel to Greene, especially after Hurricane
Odile. “I thought it had wiped us out,” she says.
Instead, the farm’s workers banded together to rebuild.
Chef Guillermo Tellez was amazed by the community’s
response. “We would work on the farm and then we’d
all go work on someone’s house,” he remembers. “The
kitchen crew would make food for everyone to take
home to their families since there was no food to buy.”
The farm has now grown to include a mango grove
that is also an idyllic setting for a wedding (Maroon 5’s
Adam Levine tied the knot there), 10 culinary cottages
that can only be purchased with an exclusive “invite,”
a charcuterie and a small shopping area.
The farm’s newest resident, El Wine Bar Y Café,
is trying a concept of its own — a wine tasting room
and coffee shop all in one. Owner Alberto Cubilla is a
handsome, square-jawed salesman with another wine
shop in downtown San José (continued on page 57)
hen I landed at the Los Cabos International Airport, it
was hard to believe that just over a year ago, a massive
hurricane had nearly destroyed the region. The rebuilt
airport was sleek with long, perfectly white hallways
and glistening floor-to-ceiling windows, and the immigration line
moved with an efficiency I’ve rarely seen outside an Apple store.
Opposite page, clockwise
from top left: Nature’s bounty
unfolds at Flora Farm, where
Executive Chef Guillermo Tellez
inspects the harvest, pickled
farm produce fills a brilliant
plate and the local spirits shine.
Simple, authentic Mexican
street food inspired the menu
at La Lupita Taco & Mezcal.
Previous spread, from left:
Local ingredients are on display
at Flora Farm’s greenmarket. A
swimmer gazes into the ocean
from the infinity pool of the
JW MARRIOTT LOS CABOS
BEACH RESORT & SPA.