Over the summer, the Baja and Sonora–influenced cocina Palmilla opened its doors on the coast of Newport Beach. Atelier Gulla Jónsdóttir, which oversaw its design, drew inspiration from the surrounding California coast to inform the interior. Sandstone leather banquettes and saddle-hued club chairs evoke the arid backcountry of the region’s canyon trails. Textural limewash walls seem to reference the spectacular vista off of the seaside cliffs jutting out from nearby Crystal Cove State Park. Dining nooks positioned in arched recesses harken to the spectacular landscape of Three Arch Bay in neighboring Laguna Beach. They also make for an ideal nook from which guests can enjoy staples of the region’s coastal Mexican-American fare, like sea bass and prawn ceviches and shrimp taquitos. The robust mains, such as achiote corn cakes or grilled lobster and shrimp relleno, pair nicely with a refreshing margarita from the tequila bar.
At Palmilla Cocina, Topographic Influences Abound
In sandstone-hued interiors drawing from the California Coast, the seaside cocina serves up inspired staples of coastal Mexican-American fare.
BY JENNA ADRIAN-DIAZ
January 24, 2024
All photography by Art Gray.