Mariscos El Compa Chava: Shakin’ Shellfish in Todos Santos

Restaurant Sign Todos Santos

A partying prawn with maracas and a dancing crab wearing a toque greeted us at Mariscos El Compa Chava, a palapa-covered stand with dirt floor and plastic Pepsi sponsored tables on the outskirts of Todos Santos. Salvador “Chavo” Chavez, who hails from Michoacan adjacent Masamitla has been serving Sinaloan style seafood since 2009. He delivered the most value of any of our meals in the artsy town near the Pacific Ocean.

Seafood Todos Santos
Desconocido (90 pesos ~ $7) was supposedly an “unknown” ceviche, but in practice, it combined a mixed mince of shrimp, octopus, sea snail (caracol), clam, sea scallop, red onion and cilantro, which went great when squeezed with lime and spooned on tortilla chips with a spicy, savory salsa of soy, garlic, habanero and lime.

Tacos Todos Santos
Tacos Gobernador (3 for 100 pesos) were available with either shrimp or marlin. We opted for the latter, and Chavo filled warm, soft flour tortillas with juicy chopped sportfish, grilled bell pepper, sweet onion, and gooey, molten Jack cheese.

Seafood Todos Santos
Fried Empanadas de Jaiba (115 pesos) sported thin, crisp Maseca sheathes and cradled lump blue crab. We spooned on a smoky, spicy salsa of chile de arbol, tomato and habanero.

Clams Todos Santos
We loaded up on chocolata clams at every possible turn throughout our southern Baja sojourn. At Mariscos El Compa Chava, we ordered the region’s most magical clams preparado normal (15 pesos apiece), “prepared normally.” Chavo shucked the clams and served them on their brown half shells, which spanned at least five inches. The chunks of briny, not quite crunchy meat alternated between white and fire engine red. If chocolatas are ultra fresh, the meat still squirms when squeezed with lime. Mariscos El Compa Chava’s clams didn’t move as much as the shimmying shellfish on the sign, but move they did.

Earlier in the day, another writer on our tour questioned why we wanted to hunt for more food after such a big lunch. She asked Street Gourmet LA if he was seriously still “hungry.” He laughed and explained that we weren’t in Baja California Sur to gorge. We were there to pile up experiences and dispense advice to readers, aka potential visitors. Our meal at Mariscos El Compa Chava was proof that we made the right decision to still scour Todos Santos.

Our visit to El Compa Chava was part of a Baja California Sur tour sponsored by


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Leave a Comment