Crossing the border on our way to Ensenada.
We took a restroom break in Rosarito where we stopped at Splash Restaurant & Bar for some queso fundido and some welcome to Mexico drinks.
What I loved most about Splash was the hospitality of the staff and this view. A great restrooms stop on your way to Ensenada.
Many restaurants are closed on Sundays in Ensenada. Our first stop in Ensenada was Tacos Marco Antonio which was closed. Someone told us to head over to Tacos Avioneta down the street. A friend also recommended this spot.
I asked for recommendations at Avioneta and I was told to get the jugo de caguatun. A local told us in Spanish that the preparation was special at this place. My friend described it to me as marinara sauce. I don't think she was a fan. I love tomato soup and this was a lighter version with pieces of tuna in it. I've never had a tomato soup prepared this way.
jugo de caguatun
Another recommendation was this octopus in red wine sauce. There was a salsa bar with different salsa styles available. I chose this one made with mango.
Next stop on my list was La Cevicheria. It's a newish seafood spot along the main tourist drag.
Local kumamoto oysters
Sashimi of local bonito. The flavors of Baja Med cuisine.
Prevalent flavor of a soy-based marinade in Northern Baja.
Another visit to La Guerrenense. I've probably been here four times now. Worth the drive to Ensenada from Los Angeles to eat her ceviches. This is a place often imitated but never can be duplicated. Many local big name chefs and celebrity chefs around the world make their pilgrimage to her street cart.
Another photo with Doña Sabina Bandera to add to my collection. I take a picture with her whenever I visit her cart and when I see her at Tacolandia every year! She doesn't speak much English but always is happy to take pictures with her customers.
I asked her for her favorite tostada and she said this award-winning uni tostada is her favorite. I ate 2 more tostadas after this one.
We walked over to chef Sabina's new restaurant, Sabina Restaurante. I ordered the prepared pata de mula (blood clams).
Chef Sabina's daughter, Mariana, was in the house. She is a doctor and now biotech entrepreneur and speaks perfect English. I asked her for her restaurant recommendations in TJ and Ensenada.
One of my friends recommended oyster shooters so we walked over to Ultramarino
A couple of my friends have never tasted a fish taco in Ensenada so we visited Tacos Fenix taco stand. They weren't as good as my last visit. These were sitting out so they weren't that fresh and crisp. These are among the best in the area. The original place I wanted to visit is closed on Sundays.
Chef Sabina's daughter and chef Roberto de Anda from La Cevicheria recommended Ophelia.
Mariana eats there with her mother. You know if chef Sabina and her daughter eats here that it must be excellent.
Located along the main drag. One could easily pass by this restaurant. Lucky for us the locals who know food told us to locate this place for dinner.
We ordered Mariana's favorites -- the ahi tuna tostada. I could have eaten this whole plate. We were so full so we shared it between the four of us.
... and the shrimp sopes.
The service was outstanding on par with some of the best restaurants in Mexico. This is more of locals spot, hidden from the cruise-ship tourists that hangout along the main drag. Our dishes were refined Baja Med cuisine. Service was friendly and attentive. When I used the restroom in their outdoor patio. When we arrived there was live music on the patio. Our server even offered me a seat while I waited for the restroom and placed a blanket on me.
Next time, I'm coming back to Ensenada with a bigger appetite.
I love exploring Los Angeles like a tourist. I have as much fun in my hometown as I do traveling to another country. I hope my adventures inspire you to eat well and travel often.
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