Cocina de La Sirena
Lubbock's culinary scene is starting to make waves, and if you catch wind of this siren's savory song, you may not be able to escape. Daughter of Lubbock restaurateur, Cat Traxler, Chef Jessica Fultz opened Cocina de La Sirena (Kitchen of The Siren or Mermaid), in 2016 after earning her culinary degree in San Francisco and gaining experience from a series of high-end eateries across the southwest. Jessica is one of several Lubbock native chefs who returned home and brought their skills and passion for food with them.
As the name suggests, you might mistake the cozy corner cocina in Cactus Alley Courtyard for a beachside cafe. Surrounded by a custom boot shop, Gold Stripe Coffee Roasters, a bakery, salon and more, this mid-town oasis is a pleasant surprise.
Keeping with the ocean theme, there is always a variety of seafood on the menu. Excited about the fresh fish she was working with, Chef Jessica sold me on the Mojo de Ajo Pescado, a striped bass with preserved lemon and green onion risotto, Brussels sprouts and tomato confit . Looking for a healthy option? Try the Goddess bowl of turmeric Farro, beets, spinach, avocado, with organic Irish salmon and a black garlic vinaigrette.
Serving modern Latin American food, the plating of every dish is simply stunning with ingredients sourced locally when possible. Pristine presentation aside, every bite is full of flavor. Whether it's the Stacked Enchilada, Pulled Quail Empanadas, Peruvian-Style Ceviche or the Pato con Mole, La Sirena takes traditional Latin American dishes to the next level.
Behind the bar, there are countless varieties of tequila and mezcal on the shelf for the agave-inclined connoisseurs. The drink menu changes with the seasons and a hand selected list of wines are available to pair with your meal as well. If you need a refreshing drink to beat the summer heat, try the Mermaid Water, a crisp concoction featuring Topo Chico and tequila.
La Sirena is unexpected and unassuming, yet it exceeds every expectation you might have about what Latin American food can be. There's a small patio out front, and the restaurant is separated between the bar and dining room with a space beyond the bar perfect for small groups. Stop in on a weekend and you'll catch a local musician playing music in the bar. Whether it's a date night or just drinks with friends, you'll find La Sirena to be just the right place.
2610 Salem Ave.