With all of the local hubbub as of late, we’ve been really into the freshness of some of our local restaurants. One of the best places to eat fresh, creative, and innovative local plates is Cocina de La Sirena located in Cactus Alley in Lubbock.
The two that opened the restaurant—Cat Traxler along with her daughter and La Sirena’s Executive Chef Jessica Fultz—are in no way new to the restaurant industry. Chef has been around the country studying and learning in every different type of kitchen imaginable. She’s worked in local kitchens, run her own private kitchen, and even cooked for Hilary Clinton! When she left Lubbock, she ended up in San Francisco where she attended culinary school and only came back for the excitement of opening a restaurant with her mother.
Along with the years of experience the restaurant’s Chef has under her belt, the owner, Cat, has started and maintained restaurants in the past including Well Bodied, and involvement with the opening of La Diosa. She spent years managing Café J before deciding that she wanted to take on her La Sirena project—and man, are we glad she did!
On the menu, you can find flavors from multiple different Latin influences, which Chef hates to love that we all agreed to call it “Latin Fusion”. To start your tasteful journey, you can enjoy Shrimp Ceviche or Octopus El Pastor, continue with Stacked Enchiladas or Duck Confit Mole, and top it all off with Espresso Orange Flan! And every sauce that Chef makes is 100% vegan, making her the sneakiest vegan in the whole city because we’d never have been able to tell!
The menu exudes creativity as does the aesthetics of the building. When Cat came across the spot, she had big plans for the little space. She said to herself, “how do I utilize every inch?”
She called in a cousin who just so happened to have the ability to artistically renovate the entire restaurant. They changed everything to make it their own and the beautiful and calming aura definitely delivers.
Their beautifully renovated bar houses a delicious variety of tequila and nine varieties of mescal! Despite its rising popularity, you can only find mescal in a handful of other restaurants in the area, making La Sirena the bar to be!
Cat and Jessica are really into promoting the local scene around Lubbock. Cat renovated every table inside of La Sirena herself after adopting them from a basement of another local restaurant in Lubbock. Jessica goes to Sprouts every single morning to get fresh and local produce to make for that night’s dinner. She even keeps an herb garden right on La Sirena's patio! Even the pans that Chef Jessica uses have history. They were handed down to her by the chef at The Frenchman Inn that thrived in Lubbock years ago. Some of the pans are so classic that they aren’t even made anymore. Jessica shared with us that it’s special for her to be able to cook with the same pans that have been delivering delicious and heartfelt food to some of the same patrons for years.
The passion behind the eyes of these two women was inspiring to see in Lubbock. They excitedly told me about naming their new restaurant. Mermaids have always been special to the two, with both of their houses being draped in mermaid décor. They went through a few different options—some that had me in tears laughing with them—and finally landed on Cocina de La Sirena meaning Kitchen of the Mermaid. To hit their theme home, their place is beautifully scattered with gorgeous art of mermaids that invites you to stare.
Stop by to enjoy what Cat and Jessica have built from 4-9pm Monday-Thursday, 4-10pm Friday & Saturday but you can catch us at their great happy hour from 4-6pm daily!