There are moments in life when one must pause, take a look around and just celebrate! Celebrate your accomplishments, a birthday, the fact that you were able to juice for one whole day. Whatever it is, pat yourself on the back and take some time to do it. Key ingredients to a successful celebratory moment include good company, some sing-along tunes and, of course, some delicious food and drinks.

This past week we did just that and celebrated one of our friend’s aka family member's birthdays who has undergone quite a few challenges this past year. We wanted to go somewhere new, exciting and definitely a place where we would be treated like royalty.

We decided to celebrate at the newly opened restaurant off of Expressway 83, La Uno Cocina de Mar, where we found ourselves feeling like we had stepped outside the Valley for a few hours.

Both metaphorically and literally, La Uno provides its patrons an elevated experience. Found on the second floor of The Premier Plaza, La Uno serves up seafood delicacies from the Mexican coasts of Veracruz and the Yucatan peninsula. La Uno has a variety of dishes from tacos to tostadas to molcajetes, but because we had a large party, we decided to order a range of dishes for the middle to satisfy everyone’s appetites. Guacamole with Tuna chicharron, octopus caniche with shrimp, and a scrumptious parillada filled ladarius, prawns, street corn, shrimp. All of this topped with freshly, handmade blue corn tortillas!

Enjoy one of their many drink options on their chic rooftop terrace overlooking the city. If you end up having lunch or dinner, make sure to dress up for the occasion as their cool decor gives off some serious Miami vibes. We're not saying bust out the bikini, but their vibrant colors and modern pieces are Instagram-worthy for your next post.

To quote La Uno Cocina, “Sin sorpresas no hay placer." Without surprises, there aren't any pleasures and La Uno accomplished just that. Every dish and every nook and cranny were filled with something that sparked our curiosity and, above all, joy.

La Uno Cocina de Mar is located at 101 W Expressway 83 Suite 280 & 290, McAllen, TX (the restaurant and bar are located on the second level of the plaza). Their hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.; Friday through Sunday 11:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m. For more information you can reach them at (956) 627-4777. Follow them on their social media platforms for daily specials, weekly events or new menu items, Facebook and Instagram @launococinademar.

Gaby Jones and Trisha Watts work hand-in-hand with the service industry. Jones is in charge of craft and imported beer for L&F Distributors-South Texas and Watts is a freelance writer specializing in the marketing of the service industry. Each week they will have a new adventure and provide an opinion on multiple locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley. They can be reached at dishin.it.956@gmail.com.