By Liesel Schmidt
June 29, 2023
SEACREST BEACH – With its bright, festive and airy atmosphere, LaCo is everything you’d envision for a Latin-inspired restaurant on the coast, and the food continues to paint the picture, beautifully marrying Latin cuisine with coastal fare to achieve something truly special.
Originally opened in 2009 as a Tex-Mex establishment called La Cocina, the menu transitioned from traditional Tex-Mex to one featuring Latin coastal cuisine in 2018, offering dishes inspired by the countries of Central and South America. In 2021, the restaurant rebranded to LaCo, referential to the original name, La Cocina, as well as their re-imagined concept of “Latin coastal.”
“Our culinary team has made a concerted effort to showcase delicious items from different regions of Latin America,” said Christy Spell Terry, co-owner of Spell Restaurant Group. “Think Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, just to name a few. Just like the United States, these regions provide unique dishes and flavor profiles. We want guests to step out of their comfort zone and try something new and exciting when they visit LaCo.”
Offering brunch, lunch, dinner and happy hour, the menu is filled with dishes unique to LaCo and its concept, a fact which helps it maintain its distinction amongst so much sameness in the world of restaurants.
“With our entire menu and especially our brunch menu, our goal is to offer guests something they can’t get anywhere else in the area,” Spell Terry said. “Our menu provides fresh takes on items guests may be familiar with, as well as some that are altogether new. Either way, they are delicious! What further sets LaCo apart from other area restaurants is the hospitality and love we show our guests when they visit. We offer a fun, casual dining experience with elevated dishes.”
In keeping with their Latin-coastal concept, the brunch menu includes a few traditional Latin American breakfast items like Chilaquiles, featuring fried tortilla chips tossed in guajillo sauce and topped with melted cheese, crema, pico, avocado and a sunny side up egg. Lighter, more health-conscious options include such dishes as the Buenos Dias Bowl, a mixture of yogurt, fresh fruit, local honey and gluten-free granola. By far, however, LoCa’s two most popular brunch items are Lobster Avocado Toast and Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash, and naturally, the Mimosa Flight is a favorite, as well.
Tacos are, of course, a mainstay at LaCo as well as a showcase of their culinary ingenuity, as the menu features 10 very unique and very creative tacos to choose from, with the most popular being the Arrachera Taco, a flavorful combination of grilled skirt steak, grilled peppers and onions, salsa macha, cotija cheese and cilantro served on corn tortillas. Top billing also goes to the Lobster Taco, corn tortilla tacos filled with chili butter poached lobster, charred corn relish and roasted red pepper sauce.
With such a coastally inspired menu, the atmosphere is equally coastal – and, by extension, coastally casual.
“It’s our goal to make guests feel comfortable while dining with us, so there’s no need to get dressed up,” Spell Terry said. “We are at the beach, after all! For those looking to grab a margarita, cocktail, wine or beer, our bar area is a great spot, and it’s also become a go-to location for sports fans looking to watch a game.”
LaCo is divided into two sections: a spacious dining room with tables and booths, and a bar area with televisions, tables, booths and bar seating. Outdoor seating is also available.
LaCo is located at 10343 E. Co. Hwy. 30A, Seacrest Beach. Open daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., brunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Happy Hour daily from 3 to 5 p.m. No reservations accepted. For more information, call 850-231-4021 or visit laco30a.com.