More Mexico-based restaurant groups are choosing San Diego as the launching point for stateside expansion including the latest arrival, Grupo Gula, which operates 35 restaurants throughout Mexico including multiple outposts of Barracruda and Barrita Del Mar in Mexico City.

Grupo Gula owner Lalo González is one of the principals behind Punta Mar, opening by the end of the month on South Coast Highway in Encinitas after a redesign of the mostly outdoor space. As with many of the group’s other establishments in Mexico, the new 2,000-square-foot North County restaurant will also focus mainly on mariscos, from tostadas topped with marinated mahi mahi to shrimp aguachile verde and grilled octopus. Other menu items include pizza birria, barbecue short ribs, and a garlic oil-basted ribeye steak.

Punta Mar’s bar will serve the over-the-top micheladas that are a signature at Barracruda, including the Michelada Barracruda spiked with tequila that features a chamoy and caramelized sesame rim and a garnish of skewered octopus tentacles, as well as margaritas and mezcal drinks like the Mula de Agave made with mezcal, tamarind, orange juice, and dark beer.

A rep for Grupo Gula tells Eater that the tentative plan is to open more sister restaurants of their existing brands in Mexico in San Diego and Southern California.

2024-06-17T19:01:37Z dg43tfdfdgfd