Culinary Adventure at Copita Tequileria y Comida in Sausalito
As I stepped off the ferry in Sausalito, California, I felt as if I was in a Mediterranean postcard of glistening waters and blue skies. I was excited about the afternoon exploring Mexican cuisine and tequila at one of Sausalito’s hot new restaurants. Copita Tequileria y Comida occupies the perfect locale in the middle of the main street. We were happily ensconced at an outdoor table and delighted to watch the passersby. Copita recently celebrated its first anniversary and continues to delight diners. We were about to discover why.
Looking over the food and tequila drinks menu, we knew we were in for a culinary treat. With nearly 50 tequilas offered in a choice of blanco, reposado, or anejo, what’s not to love? After agonizing about which margarita to order, I settled on the Copita Margarita with Herradura Blanco, lime juice, and agave nectar shaken and served with salt. It paired well with our starter, the slightly spicy jicama and cucumber sticks.
While salsa, guacamole, and chips might not seem like an inspired choice, this wasn’t your average fare with a duo of roasted pineapple pico de gallo and a tomatillo avocado salsa cruda. Each was bursting with flavor and complexity. As we munched on our appetizers, we tried to narrow down our meal choices.
Who could resist the elote, a summer Brentwood corn on the cob grilled and sprinkled with chipotle crema, queso cotija, cilantro, and onions? Not us! It was a little messy but worth every bite. The fresh corn with a hint of spiciness was just the beginning of our feast.
Next we tried the Mexico City-style quesadillas, more similar to an empanada, which were savory and delicious stuffed with potatoes, chorizo, poblano pepper, corn, onions, queso fresco, and crema. The textures and flavors combined to create a flavor sensation. If we had stopped here I would have been utterly content, but we were feeling adventurous.
We couldn’t decide between the ceviche offerings, so we ordered three: the Coctel Mixto with lobster, scallops, sea bass, tomato, orange, chile, and avocado; California sea bass and octopus with mango, citrus, habanero, orange marmalade, ginger, red onion, and cilantro; and the Classic, which featured lime-marinated sea bass, tomatoes, onions, chile Serrano, and cilantro. All three were tantalizing, with subtle flavors that mingled perfectly and were light, leaving room for more dishes.
It was becoming more difficult to choose so we selected a trio of tacos including the fried pork belly with pickled onions, hoja santa, and pipián green pumpkin seed mole; tacos ahogados with smashed potatoes and shredded pork, radishes, and onions; and the grilled chile-rubbed lobster and shrimp. It would be impossible to select a favorite since each was so distinct and delicious, and we savored each bite.
The house specialty 24-hour carnitas was simply amazing, served with guacamole, tomatillo salsa, cilantro, onions, and lime with corn tortillas. The pork melted in your mouth. No wonder this is one of the restaurant’s most sought-after menu items.
Dessert included buñuelos tossed in lime sugar with flan sauce and tamarind with fresh mint, an Oaxacan chocolate milkshake with añejo tequila and spicy Mexican wedding cookies, and coconut flan with local Claremont cherries, agave liqueur, and black pepper—all of which were tempting. Sadly, after our feast there was no room left for dessert. I can’t wait to return for dessert, the cherry margarita, and another delicious meal, probably in that order.
Copita Tequileria y Comida is the brainchild of maestra de cocina Joanne Weir and restaurateur Larry Mindel, owner of Poggio. It is Joanne’s passion for tequila and authentic food that make this a special place. She, along with executive chef Gonzalo Rivera, crafts the ever-changing menu using fresh ingredients and authentic spices.
Copita Tequileria y Comida is located at 739 Bridgeway in Sausalito, California. The restaurant is conveniently located across the street from the ferry terminal. The San Francisco-Sausalito ferry takes a mere 30 minutes and provides stunning water views.