Maya now open on Upper King

AUTHOR
Indigo Road Hospitality Group is back with a restaurant portfolio addition inspired by the Mexican coast.
Dish from Maya Charleston restaurant by Andrew Cebulka.

 

By Robin Gibson / Photos by Andrew Cebulka

 

Behind the bar, authentic Mexican ingredients like Spanish Vanilla, Morita Chiles, Tamarind and Sotol are used to create spirit-forward cocktails available on tap, frozen and handcrafted.

 

The award-winningIndigo Road Hospitality Group,known for incorporating past travel experiences into its restaurant offerings, is back with one rooted in the lush, tropical landscape of the Mexican coastline. Now open at 479B King Street in the same space once occupied by a former concept,Mayais a lively addition to Charleston's Upper King dining and entertainment district.

 

Maya Charleston Mexican dish photographed by Andrew Cebulka.

 

When the group decided earlier this year to retire its new American, farm-to-table establishment,The Macintosh,there, Restauranteur Steve Palmer and Indigo Road Chief Restaurant Officer Jon Murray sought inspiration from their love of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. They landed on a vibe that blends breezy interiors with a jungle-meets-the-sea for a resort-inspired retreat in the heart of Charleston.

 

Corn is sourced from Mexico through its in-house masa program that utilizes a traditional nixtamalization process to produce the fresh tortillas, chips, and tostadas used in its classic and reimagined coastal-influenced dishes.

 

With the help ofExecutive Chef Brett Riley,an alumnus of NYC’s Michelin-starredClaro,Maya offers ingredient-driven dishes and spirit-forward cocktails. The menu includes a selection of coastal-influenced antojitos, tacos, and platos, such as the Duck Carnitas Taco, Esquites, and Vegetarian Entomatadas. Riley, who is well-versed in the authentic cooking techniques and traditional formulas of Mexico, expertly captures the region through his shareable ‘antojitos’ or starters, tacos, formidable ‘platos fuertes’ or composed plates, and ‘a lado’ or side dishes.

 

Maya Charleston Mexican dish photographed by Andrew Cebulka.

 

Corn is sourced from Mexico through its in-house masa program that utilizes a traditional nixtamalization process to produce the fresh tortillas, chips, and tostadas used in its classic and reimagined coastal-influenced Mexican dishes. Standouts include Esquites made with Fresh Corn Off the Cob, Ancho Chile Mayo, Serrano Chile, Epazote, and Cotija Cheese; Duck Carnitas Taco with Confit Duck, Guac Taquero, Escabeche, and Chicharron; and Gobernador, a quesadilla rendition of the classic taco with Chipotle Shrimp, Poblano Chile Rajas, Red Onion, and Cilantro. Several plant-based and vegetarian offerings such as Flor de Calabaza tacos made with masa tempura fried squash blossoms to potato and cheese stuffed Entomatadas round out the menu.

 

Leboutillier used pottery pendant lighting, palm fronds, cascading greenery and strategic candle-lighting to deliver a minimalistic look with natural elements inside and out. 

 

Behind the bar, authentic Mexican ingredients like Spanish Vanilla, Morita Chiles, Tamarind and Sotol are used to create spirit-forward cocktails available on tap, frozen and handcrafted. Anchored by the “a la casa” Margarita and Paloma, both available on tap, selections include innovative cocktails like the Hotel Oaxaca (Mezcal, White Flowers, Pineapple, Lime, and Peach), the Pajarito (Rum, Saffron, Smoke, Cinnamon, Lime, Passion Fruit, and Absinthe), Silver Spoon (which incorporates Mole alongside Mexican spirits Añejo Tequila and Sotol), and Tarragon in the Wind Bourbon, Lemon, Orange, Coriander, Oak, and Tarragon). Guests can also enjoy Mexican cervezas, a wide range of spirit-free mocktails, and a worldly wine collection curated bySommelier Vonda Freeman.

 

Maya Charleston Mexican dish photographed by Andrew Cebulka.

 

Charleston's own David Leboutillier ofThe Restaurant Studio,welcomed nature indoors while embracing the Mexican region's eco-design and Zen modern aesthetic. The result is decidedly coastal with bright whites, reclaimed timber and organic furnishings welcoming guests in 44-seat dining room alongside a 16-seat bar and standing-only drink rail for socializing. The open-air patio outside offers a second 10-seat bar with 34 additional outdoor seats for live music, open-fire cooking demonstrations on the restaurant’s comal, and more. Leboutillier used pottery pendant lighting, palm fronds, cascading greenery and strategic candle-lighting to deliver a minimalistic look with natural elements inside and out. 

 

They landed on a vibe that blends breezy interiors with a jungle-meets-the-sea for a resort-inspired retreat in the heart of Charleston.

 

Maya opened its doors to the public on Friday, September 24 for dinner service Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with extended late-night hours until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Expect additional hours for brunch to be announced at a later date. Walk-ins are encouraged but reservations can be made usingResy.For more information, visitmayachs.com.

 

Maya Charleston Mexican dish photographed by Andrew Cebulka.