I’ve been eager to try La Bahía Grill since their opening last year, and having my mom in town was the perfect excuse to try it out. We went on a Monday evening and were able to sit on the patio along Church Street.
Parking was easy as the Hill Street parking garage is just around the corner, and there was also plenty of street parking nearby.
Our server brought us chips, fresh salsa, and a small cup of soup to start. We immediately ordered the ceviche ($19) as well as a round of margaritas ($3.50). The margaritas are the Monday special.
We ordered the mixed ceviche which had shrimp, fish, and octopus. You can also order it with each by itself: shrimp ($15), fish ($15) or octopus ($17). It was garnished with avocado and orange slices and served with fried tortillas and crackers. The ceviche was delicious and had such a bright flavor from the citrus and the fresh tomatoes, cucumber, and onion. Split three ways, it was the perfect portion for an appetizer. I would also be pleased to order it as a lunch entree.
I had the tacos de camaron (shrimp) which were $12, but you can also choose pescado (fish). The dish came with three corn or flour tacos topped with lettuce and pico. I ordered refried beans as my side, but when I return, I will be ordering the green spaghetti. These tacos were perfect for an 80-degree August night. This dinner was nice and light with the grilled shrimp and minimal toppings but still plenty of great flavors.
My mom ordered the fajitas del mar ($19), which was a beautiful display of La Bahía’s West Coast Mexican roots. A hot fajita plate was loaded with octopus, veggies, shrimp, white fish, and scallops, served with warm tortillas. If you’re a seafood lover, this dish is something you will order over and over again. It paired perfectly with a side of black beans and a Pacifico. There is a Thursday special with any Mexican beer costing only $3.
My partner ordered the torta Cubana ($11) served with a choice of side. This was a Mexican sando with the works: fried steak, a sliced hot dog, refried beans, chorizo, pickled jalapeño, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and cheese. It was a collection of flavors that somehow worked. They should be selling this to college kids after a Friday night at Kam’s. This is a messy sandwich, so order a side of rice to catch all the stragglers that fall off for a bonus loaded rice dish at the end.
Our server (who I believe was the only one on staff that night) was absolutely lovely and made our experience even better. Sitting on Church Street at the less busy end of Downtown Champaign was also an added bonus. Listed under the house specials was parrillada familiar ($180) which is a fiesta of grilled seafood meant to serve six people. Made with mussels, red snapper, whole tilapia, crab legs, shrimp, langostinos, and lobster, it sounds like the perfect way to celebrate a birthday or a Saturday night with friends.
La Bahía Grill
132 W Church St
M-Th 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
F 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sa 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Su 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.