An Inside Look at Your New Favorite Mexican Restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter
For those who crave authentic Mexican cuisine and enjoy an eclectic ambiance that combines rich Latino roots with modern art, we know just the place! Yes, of course, it comes with live music and yes, of course, we are talking about Karina’s Cantina’s newest location in San Diego’s jumpin’ Gaslamp Quarter! Karina’s Cantina Gaslamp
One step inside this new hotspot and you’ll discover a tasteful mix of design-forward elements. Teal leather chairs hug each table, and oversized paintings portray images from Mexican culture and art. Glance up and you’ll notice a sweeping mural inspired by Frida Khalo and Diego Rivera. The 8-by-12-foot TV screens play more modern Latino pop but also indulge the nostalgics with traditional Mexican folklore! The brushed gold light fixtures shine amber light on the warm wood tones of the impressive bar, which is the focal point of the main level.
The whole restaurant can host up to 150 guests within its expansive 7,000-square-foot space. Head upstairs and you’ll find other defining elements, including a 30-foot metal tree sculpture that spans from the first floor to the top of the second floor ceiling and specially commissioned or custom paintings and murals by various local artists. The whole establishment looks, feels and sounds like an elaborate invitation to pamper not just the taste buds, but all the senses with the lavish decor, tantalizing aromas from the kitchen and energizing music. Karina’s Cantina Gaslamp
One of the owners, David Contreras-Curiel, is the youngest of the family of eight who started this business over three decades ago. When it comes to the food, Contreras-Curiel highly recommends guests try the Ceviche Karina’s plate and the Lobster Fiesta and pair these delights with one of the house’s tequilas or cocktails. “The most popular cocktails are the Mezcal Passion, Tamarindo Martini and passion fruit mojito,” he says. And according to Contreras-Curiel, even the most pretentious eaters out there can find something to delight their taste buds from the dozens of choices listed in the menu.
Contreras-Curiel points out that each of the seven restaurants belonging to his family has a different flair and a unique character, and the newest addition is no exception.
“We are excited to come to Gaslamp and bring a little of our culture here. We invite our loyal customers who love the other Karina’s restaurants and our community who have not tried our dishes yet to come check us out,” he says. Karina’s Cantina Gaslamp
Karina’s Group owns and operates Italian, Thai and sushi dining concepts in addition to its seven Mexican restaurants. The food is so good and the restaurants are so successful because all family members (dozens) involved in the business are using the ancient ingredients of passion and hard work to make sure they provide the very best experience for their customers. After all, this is a family business, and everyone who comes through the door at Karina’s is treated like family.
755 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
Photography Provided By: Guzel Khos, Karina’s Group