Friendly service with a smile at the Vista Al Mar Clam Shack

Loreto Live TV – Seaside clams at the Al Mar Clam Shack from Stark Insider on Vimeo.

Friendly service with a smile at the Vista Al Mar Clam Shack
Friendly service: Loni with the owner’s grandson

(Update: Thanks everyone for your comments & emails. It seems like this is a popular spot with a lot of you. Bob Kopolow also emailed in a photo which we’ve included in this post. Bob, that’s the look of bliss.)

After a great visit to the JW Marriott Discovery Center where we toured the model home and interviewed Laurie Sanborn (video coming shortly — it’s fantastic), we headed South on Highway 1 to Puerto Escondido. On the way, we stopped by Vista Al Mar or the Clam Shack as it’s known locally. Thanks Laurie for the recommendation. It’s easy to find, just look left off Highway 1 about mid-way on the drive from Nopolo to Puerto Escondido.

It’s another stunning location. On one side, the Sea of Cortez, and on the other, panoramic vistas of the towering Sierra de la Giganta mountains.

Bob Kopolow at Vista al Mar. His email to SSC: 'I can relate to your enjoyment of Vista Al Mar.  It’s my favorite clam shack in the whole world.'
Bob Kopolow at Vista al Mar.

If you want the chocolate clams, make sure to get in well before 5pm. The prices are very reasonable, and the quality high.

In this video, Loni samples some of the clams. I like them with some of the picante hot sauce. I would also like a shot of vinegar on there (and a dash of horseradish too!), but that’s not an easy find in the US or Mexico — kind of like putting vinegar on french fries; it’s so good.

Like I’ve mentioned before we shot a record amount of videos and photos on our most recent Loreto trip. This was also our first time using the wireless mic system extensively. It works great. But you’ll notice some wind noise in shots where Loni is wearing the lavalier mic. on her clothes. There is back story here, but I’ll just say we’ve “misplaced” the wind screen that sits on top of it (operative word here, “we”). So there was nothing to disperse the wind and on occasion you’ll get some audio distortion. Sorry for that, we’re getting some more wind screens for use in future.

The camera worked okay, but I don’t think the video is good enough, and now that a lot of online services support HD, we’re making the upgrade now despite the fact I initially thought we could live with standard definition. If we’re going to lug around all this gear on our trips, I want it to look great, especially when capturing the beauty of places like the Baja, Tahoe and Napa. The SD video is still not bad, and certainly decent enough for web video, but in the future we’re taking it up a notch.

Clams, beer and sea
Clams, beer and the Sea of Cortez: bliss

Another thing we’re learning is camera shake. When watching sometimes I want to scream out “keep it steady!“. It’s not easy, because these tiny cameras are just so light, there’s not much to grab on to provide stability. And the so-called image stabilization is not very good; so unless we move up to the pro-sumer cameras in the $2-3K range we’ll keep trying to improve.

Of course, if Canon or Sony wants to send over a sample unit we’d be happy to test it!

Okay, so I hate to say it again, but stay tuned, because we have 16GB of multimedia content we’re wading our way through in the evening. We process it overnight, and then usually post it the next day. Our computer has been chugging a lot and is close to death after 5 years. So when the new box arrives this week we should have more juice to do all of this faster.

For Loreto lovers, we have all sorts of stuff coming. Interviews. Updates. Tour of a Nueva Chica in Agua Viva (wouldn’t it be nice if it had permanent utilities?). Talking with restaurant owners. And, as I mentioned earlier, a tour of the JW Marriott Discovery Center with Laurie Sanborn.

Don’t forget, we love covering wine country too, and you’ll be getting a fresh dose of the Napa, Sonoma and wine country lifestyle as we take you inside of some of our favorite wineries and wine destinations.

Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear