La Bahía Grill brings coastal Mexican cuisine to CU: Food and drink: Smile politely

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I had been looking forward to trying La Bahía Grill since they opened last year, and having my mom in town was the perfect excuse to give it a try. We went on a Monday evening and were able to sit on the terrace along Church Street.

Parking was easy as the Hill Street car park is just around the corner and there was also plenty of street parking nearby.





Photo by Taylor Neumann.

Our server brought us fries, fresh salsa and a small cup of soup to start. We immediately ordered the ceviche ($19) along with a round of margaritas ($3.50). Margaritas are the Monday special.

Photo by Taylor Neumann.

We ordered the mixed ceviche which was shrimp, fish and octopus. You can also order it with each on its own: shrimp ($15), fish ($15), or octopus ($17). It was topped with avocado and orange slices and served with fried tortillas and crackers. The ceviche was delicious and had such a bright flavor from the citrus and fresh tomatoes, cucumber and onion. Split three ways, it was the perfect portion for an appetizer. I would also be happy to order it as a lunch entree.

Photo by Taylor Neumann.

I had the camaron (shrimp) tacos which were $12, but you can also choose pescado (fish). The dish came with three corn or flour tacos topped with lettuce and pico. I ordered refried beans on my side but when I return I will order the green spaghetti. These tacos were perfect for an 80 degree August night. This dinner was nice and light with grilled shrimp and minimal toppings, but still full of great flavors.

Photo by Taylor Neumann.

My mom ordered the fajitas del mar ($19), which was a great display of La Bahía’s west coast Mexican roots. A hot fajita plate was loaded with octopus, vegetables, shrimp, white fish and scallops, served with warm tortillas. If you are a seafood lover, this dish is something you will order again and again. It pairs perfectly with a side of black beans and a Pacifico. There’s a special Thursday with any Mexican beer that’s only $3.

Photo by Taylor Neumann.

My partner ordered the torta Cubana ($11) served with a choice of side. It was a Mexican sando with the works: fried steak, a sliced ​​hot dog, refried beans, chorizo, pickled jalapeño, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and cheese. It was a collection of flavors that somehow worked. They should sell this to middle schoolers after a Friday night at Kam’s. It’s a messy sandwich, so order a side of rice to catch any stragglers who fall for a bonus loaded rice dish at the end.

Photo by Taylor Neumann.

Our server (who I believe was the only member of staff that night) was absolutely lovely and made our experience even better. Sitting on Church Street at the less busy end of downtown Champaign was also an added bonus. The familiar parrillada ($180), a grilled seafood fiesta meant to serve six people, was listed under house specialties. Made with mussels, red snapper, whole tilapia, crab legs, prawns, langostinos and lobster, this seems like the perfect way to celebrate a birthday or a Saturday night out with friends.

Grill La Bahia
132 Church Street West
Champagne
Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
F 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sat 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Sun 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Top image by Tayler Neumann.
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