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La Bahía Grill is now open in Downtown Champaign

La Bahía Grill, a new restaurant serving Mexican seafood, is open in Downtown Champaign inside the old Sushi Kame space. The restaurant has a large menu with appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The inside of La Bahía Grill is brightly colored and decorated with a nautical theme.

Inside La Bahia Grill, there are empty tables with white table cloths and black metal chairs. There is a feature wall with brightly colored interlocking shapes and nautical themes. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

On the menu, you can find burritos, tacos, enchiladas, chimichangas, fajitas, flautas, and quesadillas.You can also find great dishes like oysters, salmon al gusto, and enmoladas, a tortilla with mole, meat, and onion. They even serve langosta rellena which is lobster filled with scallops, octopus, shrimp, and abalone. My favorite name of a menu item was the costillas de oink oink which is pork ribs cooked with onion, cactus, and salsa.

On my visit to the new restaurant, I ordered a variety of things to get a taste of La Bahía Grill.

A mug with hand-painted florals sits on a white side plate with a metal soup spoon. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I started with a coffee ($2.50), and it came in this very cute mug. The staff brought out complimentary chips and salsa plus a bowl of shrimp soup which was delicious.

On a white plate, there is a bed of fries with cheese and sliced avocado. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The appetizer I tried was the papas locas ($8) which was a bed of fries drizzled with spicy queso and topped with sliced avocado, bacon, white onion, chicken bites, salsa, red onion, and shredded cheese. What would normally come on nachos instead came on fresh, hot fries, and it was insanely delicious. The smoky bacon was thick, and it had a crisp edge and a soft, tender chewy bite. The spicy cheese sauce had a good heat level that lingered. There were so many textures and flavors in this one app, and if you like cheese fries, you’ll love this.

On a large white plate, there is a bed of rice covered in white cheese sauce with chicken, steak, and shrimp. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I wanted to try the namesake entree, so I ordered the La Bahía ($15) which was a bed of rice topped with chicken, steak, and shrimp, covered in a spicy cheese sauce. It was a huge portion, and it was packed with meat. The chicken and steak pieces were cut bite-sized, and the plump shrimp had a great charred flavor from the grill. The rice was fluffy. The hearty platter could easily serve 3-4 people, so you will not leave hungry.

On a white plate, there is ceviche with white fish, limes, sliced cucumbers, and diced veggies. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

My absolute favorite dish at La Bahía Grill was this ceviche. I ordered the fish ceviche ($15), but there are options on the menu for shrimp, octopus, or mixed seafood as well. The ceviche had cold, delicate bites of white fish with diced veggies. It was light and bright, and it was amazing. The citrusy flavor was well balanced, not too sour, and the white fish was so good. I don’t know of anywhere else in C-U I can get ceviche, so La Bahía Grill is an awesome place to get a ceviche fix. The chef nailed this ceviche.

On a white plate, there are six churro sticks with chocolate syrup on top with whipped cream poufs. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Of course, I had to order a dessert, too. I ordered the churros which came very hot from the kitchen, sliced into six churro sticks with a chocolate syrup drizzle and whipped cream poufs. The cinnamon sugar coating was great, and the inside of the crisp churros had a drippy, sugary sauce. Sweet and crunchy, this dessert was a sweet way to end the meal.

On the wall of La Bahia Grill's dining room, there are letters painted in different colors and animal prints reading DOWNTOWN CHAMPAIGN. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

If you’re looking for something new to eat, La Bahía Grill is a wonderful new restaurant to go. The food was awesome, and the staff was attentive. There is more than just seafood on the menu, so if you like Mexican food, give La Bahía Grill a try.

La Bahía Grill
132 W Church St
Su-Th 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
F+Sa 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.

Food + Drink Editor / / instagram

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