Monday, February 28, 2011

Birria Victor, Guadalajara: Goat Stew Tail-Gate Party on a Real Food Truck, a Pick-Up Truck That Is

No!Not breakfast in the hotel lobby!!

An early flight back after a late night show is always tricky when it comes to leaving Mexico,in this case, Guadalajara, with a last taste of something memorable. I'm always willing to risk snoring and drooling on the person sitting next to me on the flight over getting a good night's sleep and missing a chance for weekend breakfasts in Mexico.

9:30AM Lobby call? Not enough time to hit the Seafood Market in Zapopan, but maybe if I leave at 7AM....what time is it? 4:30AM? Ughhh.

At 8:35AM I'm sprinting out of the Hotel Intercontinental with comically mussed hair and a shoe half on. Too late for the market, too late for the Mercado de Abastos I had visited the day before. How 'bout that brilliant tacos al vapor stand I found yesterday?..shit....they're not there!!

Only 40 minutes 'til lobby.Airport food or the hotel? Oh, time.

Walking back to the hotel, and only two blocks away from the entrance, I spy a pick-up truck, a blue tarp, and some seating. OK, whatever this is, I'm doing it.

Looks like birria de chivo(goat birria), great. "What do you have?", I said."Goat udder, tripe, and leg!", the young man proudly stated. Wow, let's have it all.

Birria is a cumin and herbed stew that translate to "a mess", it can be made of any protein, but most commonly:goat,lamb,or beef. In the state of Jalisco, goat is king.

Birria Victor has operated a 7-day a week, 26 year ongoing tail-gate party of a sublime plate of birria. His son, Victor Jr., runs the stand frequented by regulars. It's not oven-roasted, the local tradition, nor is it cooked in a pot, the goat meat is first stewed,then scorched on a comal for a "special flavor". The stock is cooked in a pot, and poured on the meat only seconds prior to serving.

Victor is a riot, as is his crew. A kid rides by with the opposition's soccer logo,Atlas, Victor yells out "Chivas", the kid stands on the pedals,hunches forward and speeds off. It seems he knows everyone that comes down the street, they either stop for a bite or get hazed on the way to somewhere;the number of police that frequent this truck could make Birria Victor its own precinct.

As I'm about to dig in, a portly guy sits next to me and gets a whole shank with a hypnotizing flap of tendon giggling about. It overflows onto the table from the man's bowl. Victor looks at me and him and teases this lucky customer," Hey, pick up the bone like this(he mocks a savage bite from a bone)and let him take a picture;he'll put you on the internet,guey!" Everything here is guey,pinche, chinga..,etc.The guy turns bright red,far too embarrassed to eat his luxurious bowl of shank in front of me. When my back is turned he holds it up, then shakes his head and puts it down, laughing and flashing a red-faced smile.

Everything is cooked on site, the lip of the truck's bed has a comal with a burner beneath that fries the goat and keep the stock warm. Blackened udder, machitos(a preparation of intestines wrapped by a cord of small intestine), and leg are what make this soup so amazing, both in flavor and texture.

All his unique cuts sit in a stock pot prior to being finished on the comal.

The shank is the prize though, known as chamorro,or perico.He refers to the tissue hanging off the bone as nerves, but it is tendon.

The machitos were so good, I ordered a taco of pure goat intestine.A pleasurable amount of crisp and burnt goat flavor are found in Victor's machitos.

Would we care for some beans and onions thrown in?You betcha.

Goat udder here at Birria Victor is more delicate than any beef udder I've enjoyed, and the goat meat Mexican stand-off between the flavors of udder, machitos, and scorched leg remains at a standstill an hour after your meal.The victorious?Well, that would be you, such delightful flavors and textures linger. A salsa of chile de arbol is on the table to heat things up, warm tortillas, and quartered limes to squeeze in just the right amount of acid.

If you find yourself in the hotel zone around the Plaza del Sol in nearby Zapopan in Gaudalajara, consider your breakfast prayers answered.

Birria Victor
7 days a week(8AM 'til early afternoon or they sell out)
parked on Tenochtitlan, just west of Lopez Mateos. X-st. Mariano Otero
Cd.del Sol neighborhood in Zapopan

Sunday, February 27, 2011

LA Weekly Gold Standard:Sunday, March 6 1PM-5PM

The dude with the hat.

I was dating this Asian woman sometime back in 2003 when I first heard about Counter Intelligence, the revolutionary Los Angeles guide to real dining in LA by the only Pulitzer Prize winning food writer,Jonathan Gold. She was a foodie...although I had no idea what that was at the time. So was I.I had a shoebox full of restaurant business cards and take-out menus, and had been poking about Tijuana for a few years; no one knew why I would spend so much time down there. She had recommended the book, Counter Intelligence.

I read it from cover to cover,like a novel, and soon started devouring Jonathan Gold's reviews in the LA Weekly.

Jonathan Gold is an icon to food bloggers, and food lovers; he's a true voice of the silent majority--the diner looking for great, affordable dining. Well, the silent majority before Chowhound, Yelp, and blogging, anyway.

There are a several things that I can always count on from Jonathan Gold. First and foremost, that he reveals the soul,nostalgia, and satire of our dives and holes-in-the-walls, and that he eloquently paints a portrait of what defines Los Angeles' dining scene.To have eaten at his 99 Essential Restaurants is to have digested a bold hypothesis on L.A. cuisine. J. Gold is down for LA like a loco is for MS-13.

This Sunday,March 6, Jonathan Gold will be inviting more than 40 of his favorite restaurants, some of the new, some of the old, and some of his most fiercely defended haunts from Beverly Hills, to the heart of downtown, to Whittier Blvd, to the mobile, twitterized luxe lonchero("Gourmet Truck") to the LA Weekly Gold Standard.

There will be great Los Angeles food and drink; a chance to sample Jonathan Gold's faves, and to help raise funds for Heal the Bay, an organization dedicated to protecting our rivers, beaches, and oceans. It's just $60 for a bonafide taste of Los Angeles.See you there.

Click here, to purchase your tickets today.

LA Weekly Gold Standard
Sunday, March 6,2011
VIP 12PM-1PM (Sold Out)
General Admission 1PM-5PM:$60
Petersen Auto Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Self-Parking available for $8 in lot.

Street Food Mondays is back! Monday, February 28, Antojitos de mi Abuelita presents a night of Comida Corrida

Antojitos de mi Abuelita at the annual Mole a Mole festival at Olvera St.

Street Food Mondays was started by Evan Kleiman and I to bring street food to the underserved barrios of the West Side of LA. The holidays have passed and it's time to fatten up with Mexico City style comida corrida.

Comida corrida is a traditional 3-course meal served at the comida, the big meal of the day served at mid-afternoon. Since this is America and we have our big meal at dinner, it seemed natural to do this event as a dinner.

Oaxacan mole negro, from Hortencia Hernandez.

Comida corrida is an economical meal in Mexico City, but doesn't exist in that form here in LA, outside of restaurants like La Casita Mexicana.Cheap food,real estate, and labor costs, plus local sourcing of exotic ingredients keep the price down in Mexico City. We have comida economica, where all the food is placed on one plate, usually with rice and beans, and with simpler main courses,but tonight's dinner is a 3-course flight to one of Mexico City's greatest traditions.

The price for this event,$28 for 3-course meal, plus complimentary tortillas, an agua fresca, and a dessert; reflects the cost of some ingredients brought here from Mexico for this event like the huauzontle, sometimes referred to as Aztec spinach.There are also labor intensive dishes like handmade moles with many ingredients, that make this a must-eat event.

A clayuda from Mi Abuelita.

This event features some of the best Mexican cuisine in Los Angeles, a true gourmet experience and comida casera, home cooking.

Pueblan mole verde, a featured menu item for tomorrow's event.

Come out and treat yourself to a taste of Mexican comfort.

Street Food Mondays#5
Date:Monday, February 28,2011
Place:Angeli Caffe
7274 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Credit Cards Accepted
$28 a person for 3-course meal including complimentary handmade tortillas, an agua fresca, and a dessert
Beer and Wine available for purchase

More on our event from Evan Kleiman's Good Food Blog

SGLA Mexico City blog on Comida Corrida

SGLA Mexico City blog on Comida Corrida

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Antigua Taqueria La Oriental, Puebla: 100% Poblano

There are many overreaching stories about the Lebanese influence in the taco arabe, or arab tacos, but it's certain that the original creators of these Pueblan tacos were of Iraqi descent.

It was in 1933, that the Tabe Mena family first served what is now known as the taco arabe, a taco filled with spit-roasted pork and a chipotle salsa wrapped in a thick flour tortilla called pan arabe. Other families of Iraqi heritage dispute the Tabe Mena family's claim, but the Tabe Mena family maintains that their grandfather Jorge Mena, who had fled the Turkish invasion of Iraq in the late 1800's, was the first to set up shop.

The Tabe family is still behind the spit of one of the largest tacos arabes chains in Puebla, Antigua Taqueria La Oriental. There are currently over 300 taquerias in the city of Puebla that produce this iconic taste of Pueblan cuisine.

Unlike al pastor--also cooked on vertical spits, called trompos--the pork meat for tacos arabes is carved in the shape of a cylinder, not like a child's top, and the marinade consists of mostly herbs and spices.

At La Oriental, you can get the sweet barbeque-like chipotle sauce, or an herb and mayo dressing from squeeze bottles.

In addition to the original tacos arabes, La Oriental has added all sorts of menu items featuring the same delicious pork, even cemitas and arab pizzas! The two items that are here to stay though, are the taco de harina (same taco on a regular flour tortilla) and the taco oriental (same taco on a corn tortilla).

The taco oriental, oriental taco, is a lighter offering of the signature pork on a corn tortilla.

Taco de harina, La Oriental

The taco de harina, taco in a flour tortilla, is what you likely have been served under the pretense of of a taco arabe in the U.S., but if it's in a regular flour tortilla, it's just a taco de harina. Don't feel bad, these are great, too.

Taco Arabe at La Oriental

But the star here, and the most interesting taco, is the taco arabe, made from the thicker  pan arabe. The firm and thick artisanal tortilla has a lightly course texture, and makes for a more satisfying bite. The pork was consistent at the two branches I visited, tender, and plenty of herb-laced pork flavor sweetened by a spicy, smoky chipotle salsa.

There are many great taquerias serving the Pueblan taco arabe, but La Oriental is a wise place to start. It's an original and celebrated addition in the taco genre that's 100% Pueblan, and one of the delicious and unique tacos in Mexican gastronomy.

Antigua Taqueria La Oriental
Over 30 branches(see link to website)
Historica Puebla de Zaragoza, Puebla

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Comida Corrida, El Farolito,Mexico City: A Gourmet Lunch Tradition to Slay That Hungry Beast

La comida. This is the meal taken around 2pm in Mexico; it’s the big meal where the working class grabs essential calories in order to conduct commerce. Breakfast is a light meal, juice and milk with fruit, some pan dulce with coffee, perhaps an egg dish. Dinner is also a lighter meal; snacks are taken as needed from cafes and street vendors, but the comida is the food event of the day:”Is that all you’re eating,” said my cousin in a confused gesture, “I’m saving my appetite for later,” I replied. “Well, there is no later, Bill, this is the comida!” That was my first lesson many years ago about the ritual provender consumed all over Mexico each afternoon.

Comida corrida is a brilliant tradition, and brings gourmet home-cooking to the proletariat class. It the culinary equivalent of a bull fight; three bull-fighters face the beast, the third one dealing death’s blow. The beast in this case is our hunger, and only a proper three-course meal shall slay the snorting, charging menace inside your belly.

This is no coincidence, this style of dining came with the Spanish conquerors; the word for a bullfight in Spanish is corrida de toros.

Al Fresco dining at Comida Corrida El Farolito, Mexico City

El Farolito,(not to be confused with the famous taqueria of the same name)located on Av. Lopez’s street food restaurant row next to the Mercado San Juan in Mexico City is a typical comida corrida dive, a beast master effortlessly stabbing that mid-afternoon urge, planting a pair of banderillas(lances) into your raging hunger, followed by a single, appetite-conquering sword thrust.

El Farolito is very much like places all over the city.You'll find these restaurants in the markets,little holes-in-the-wall,and at more formal settings. They are are also known as fondas, small eateries featuring comida casera, home-cooking.The majority of these kitchens are matriarcal, a place where men go to get the cooking of their mothers or wives during the big meal of the day. But, El Farolito is a progressive dive, and these guys can rattle these pots and pans.

The space itself is tiny; you have to crab-walk in between two opposite rows of diners to use the restroom. You are seated shoulder to shoulder.

You can spot many comida corridasby the words menu del dia, or menu of the day. El Farolito has Comida Economica, or economic food, which is a style of service where all your food comes on one plate, except for the soup. Comida Economica is the style of Mexican cuisine that came to the U.S. and morphed into our "combo plate" orgy, but El Farolito is a comida corrida, and at about $2.65USD for three courses, it certainly is a bargain.

A table setting and a basket of tortillas is laid out as soon as you can squeeze into a seat.

Course 1,Soup.Tercio de varas, "the lancing third."
A choice of a couple soups to start your epic battle. This could be a tortilla soup, fideos or a pasta soup, a consommé, a fava bean soup; on this day it was sopa de lentejas, lentil soup.

This is the part of the meal where a hearty stab wounds your growling, grunting stomach; a homemade soup bursting with flavor.

Course 2,Dry Soup.tercio de banderillas,"The third of banderillas(lances)." A rice dish or Mexican-style soupy spaghetti deliver those carbs that are craved by the blue collar workers.

In this stage of the of the battle, two lances have slowed, and weakened your voracity, setting it up for the kill.

Another sign you're at a comida corrida is the huge, bubbling pots of stews. The main courses in a corrida as called guisados, or stews.These dishes vary according to region, which makes a comida corrida a great way to learn about the local gastronomy.

Chiles rellenos float in a bath of tomatoes and herbs at El Farolito.

Stews are more economic, utilizing cheaper meats for braising, or stewing. The art of the comida corrida is all in the cooking, it isn't about high ingredients, although many exotic and creative dishes come out of this tradition; but there are no culinary crutches here to defend the cook, just his/her cunning.

Course 3,Guisado(stew).Tercio de muerte, "The third of death." The bloodied, and double-stuck hunger that plagues you, lowers its head as the kitchen matador draws his sword, but an injured titan is still deadly, and can fatally gore.

Espinazo con verdolagas, pork spine with purslane in a spicy tomatillo sauce is a Mexico City classic, a comida corrida star. The purslane give the broth a thickened texture, and earthy green flavors. This is a clean kill; the crowd cheers, a victorious grin flashes, your inner greed has met its end.

El Farolito, like any other comida corrida has a daily changing menu, with some staple dishes like espinazo con verdolagas. Steak in pasilla sauce is another much appreciated stew, with a deep, dark spice, or perhaps a mole dish. There are usually around 5 dishes available each day, depending on the cook.

Sometimes there is a complimentary dessert, like a mini-flan, and you always get an agua de sabor, a flavored water. These are the Mexican aguas frescas: hibiscus flower, watermelon, horchata, lime, tamarind, pineapple, etc.

This is one of the best ways to sample some of the finest cooking in Mexico, and it's a little like dining at someone's house. El Farolito has its regulars,mostly gentlemen with a "few miles on" the odometer, and middle-aged toilers. The old-timers are the only ones smiling around here, they don't have to run back to work, but the other diners are quiet; a calorie laden meditation before ruturning to the "rat race".

Comida Corrida is a hunger-conquering institution in Mexico, so don your cape and let the battle begin.

El Farolito
Calle Lopez,127-D
Near the Mercado San Juan
from 1PM until the end of the big meal of the day, around 4PM.This can be a little later.
Mexico City, Mexico

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mision 19 Cocina de Autor, Tijuana,B.C: Javier Plascencia's Mission

In the movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico,FBI Agent Sands,played by Johnny Depp says to El Cucuy, played by legendary Mexican-American character actor Danny Trejo:(Sands)"So--are you a MexiCAN--or a MexiCAN'T?"(Cucuy)"I'm a MexiCAN."

I laughed my ass off when I saw that scene, but--the joke would be on me years later when I began to help spread the word about the incredible culinary movement going on in Baja. I encountered mostly MexiCAN'ts. My beloved Mexico is not progressive and active when it comes to promoting its tourism, and remains entrenched in policies that don't work run by out-of-touch, self-serving entities.

But, the handful of MexiCANS(Mexicans who can-do) are single-handedly lifting Baja out of the ashes and into the spotlight with very little support, not an easy task.

Chef Javier Plascencia is one such MexiCAN in Tijuana actively moving the great culinary city forward. He recently resurrected Caesar's Restaurant, the birthplace of the Caesar's salad, and lovingly restored it to its 1927 slendor. And, last month he opened perhaps the most important restaurant in Mexico right now, Mision 19, in Baja's first green building, the Via Corporativo.This is author's cuisine, but the flavors and techniques are chef Javier Plascencia's own brand of Baja Californian cuisine.

Javier's mission is not just to save Tijuana, but to lead the way in letting the world know, that there has been a shift in convention. Mexico City has always been Mexico's leader in fine dining, but recent trips to Contramar,and Pujol, among others, top seafood and fine dining restaurants in Mexico City, respectively, have led me to a confirmation of what I had already summized: Baja is the new center of Mexican wine, seafood, and contemporary cuisine in Mexico.

Mexico City's traditional cuisine, cantinas,fondas,comida corrida, taquerias, and street food leave all comers in the dust, but Mexico City's fine dining neighborhoods Polanco and Condesa have been usurped by Tijuana, and Ensenada: Javier's Mision 19 and Cebicheria Erizo; Miguel Angel Guerrero's La Querencia; Benito Molina's Manzanilla, Muelle Tres, and Silvestre; along with many others, are creating new dishes and have taken Mexican fine dining to the next level.

Even Rick Bayless himself has kept his eye on this region in recent years. He'll be dropping in soon, oh yeah,straying very far north of his myopically idealized "great cuisines" of Mexico: Mexico City, Oaxaca and Vera Cruz; to give Baja a look see.

At Mision 19, the Mexican fine dining experience has been refined, perfected; it's a farm to table experience that couldn't be accomplished in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York; it is a California mission for the 21st century tending towards a local and sustainable kitchen.

Local produce is used as much as possible, the staff trolls the Mercado Hidalgo in Tijuana, but also farmer's markets in San Diego, produce from Milpa Farms in San Ysidro; chef Javier lives in Tijuana and San Diego, physically and conceptually. This is the only farm to table restaurant rooted in Baja and Alta California.

Joining me at Mision 19's chef's table, available for groups of 6-8 diners, were two and a half Boobs, that's Boobs4Food, the volunteer organization that works to fight hunger, Patrica Chen(pictured left),Katherine Chen(pictured right), Jessica Chen, and running buddy, Chuy Tovar of Real de Mexico tequila.We were later joined by a friend in Tijuana, and one of Javier's associates.Couldn't have had a better group of people to enjoy this amzing night in Tijuana, which wouldn't end 'til Chuy and I returned to the hotel, 'round 5AM. Tijuana nights!!

In this green building's foyer, a comfortable lounge for the movers and shakers of Tijuana is the centerpiece for the Mandioka Deli,the Cielo Water Bar and Restaurant, and the Via Gourmet.

Best of all, the Contra wine bar, one of the best wine retailers in Mexico has a branch right in the Via Corporativo. If Mision 19 doesn't have what you need, a top notch Baja wine shop is a hop, skip, and a jump away.

The cieling rose in bluelit Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back-like chasm. This place is ultra hip.

There's even a small art gallery featuring local artists; outside on the court are kumquat trees, and other citrus trees used in Mision 19's kitchen.

The space is the best of all the restaurants Javier has been visiting, contemporary, and sleek. After a relaxed tour of the facilities, it was time to take our seats at the chef's table, for the ultimate Mexican fine dining extravaganza.

Our first would be a slight turn on every day street food charm, an asian pear with Tajin(chili-salt for fruit)and chapulin(known as worm salt)salt. This had the appeal of jicama from a corner fruit stand but with bolder flavor.

Locally grown Kumamoto oyster, a favored component of the Baja kitchen,was grilled and topped with a chicharron of short rib, in a serrano soy with grapefruit. The flavors here sing the virtues of Baja cuisine:a blend of Mexican, Asian, and Mediterranean attributes; in this dish we enjoyed textures as diverse as the quiet hills of the Valle de Guadalupe, to the Dr. Suess-like Vizcaino desert, to the cactus bordered, white-sand beaches of Coronado Island off the coast of Loreto. This is some fancy cocktailing, and we loved it.

Locally farmed blue-fin tuna in a parfait of homemade cultured cream(jocoque)Persian cucumber, ponzu gele, a Meyer lemon curd, a playful sting of habanero oil, and chicharrones. Everything is right about this dish, my favorite of the night.

Mision 19 has a sommelier well-versed in Baja wines; he suggested the Roganto sauvignon blanc for our early course, a young, fruity wine clearly set apart from California or other New World sauvignon blancs. Baja wine goes well with the spice in Mexican cuisine.

A pasta-less wagyu ravioli with a pinto bean and sesame oil filling,local shitake mushroom, iced feta cheese(make by polyscience), and plump, heirloom beans known as scarlet runners.

Another candidate for the best bite of the evening was a gossamer thin strip of beef tongue is bursting with Iberian flavors: a warm blood-sausage vinaigrette, beech mushrooms, elephant garlic chips, an pimenton aioli, and arugula.Chewing is hardly required for this delicate plate.

Another Spanish style dish served Baja-style, pinchos(food served on a stick, or spike) of Pacific octopus done two ways, in a croquette and whole tentacle, char-grilled; paired with Tijuana three street-style salsas; tomatillo sauce, a habanero-pasilla romesco, and a Mediterranean jalapeno labne. These couldn't have been grilled better; chef Javier loves octopus, and developed a great range of sauces for this dish.

For the later half of our dinner, the sommelier suggested the Minotauro, a red blend that was new to me, but another outstanding Baja wine that has found a way to turn the inherent mineral flavors of the wine into an asset.

This was a pleasant surprise. Mision 19 succeeds where most fine-dining restaurants in Mexico City and other parts of Mexico, as well as many great restaurants in Baja fail.The wine list focuses on the best producers, there are bottles in the mid-price range that are solid,and the sommmelier knows the wineries, he's up-to-date. The sommmelier at Pujol was a pleasure to talk to and provided professional service, but had never visited Baja. The list was out of touch. Many other rely too heavily on large producers of mediocre to bad wine, and tired labels.

It would be hard to find another restaurant in Mexico right now that does a better job with Mexican wine.

Asado de cochinillo, a Niman Ranch pork butt with Berkshire pork belly on a corn masa crepe, with cilantro, green onion, chile de arbol salsa, and a brown sugar and tamarind salsa. A final garnish of salt-cured cactus give this uptown taco a range of exciting components, which is what tacoing is all about.

Pan seared Sonoma County foie gras was accompanied by a familiar textural contrast by a corn tamale crumble, puffed wild rice; and sweetened by a shaved cone of Mexican brown sugar with chipotle syrup, candied kumquat, and cherry smoke. Oh, spicy-sweet foie gras is amazing, this is a desconstructed dessert tamale, a new Tijuana classic.

Our last savory course was Javier's beef short rib, a stand-out dish at his Test Kitchen run, with masa dumplings, homemade mole negro, raw cacao,Mission figs, and smoke; this time wrapped in a plantain leaf, fig leafs aren't in season at this time.

Dessert was a quartet of Mexican-themed ice creams: vanilla bean with pear poached in Baja Muscat wine, pistachio with a sour cherry compote, nata cream with candied lemon, and my favorite, Mexican chocolate with sweet paprika and bacon.

The cheese service, and other best in show for Mexican cuisine; four Baja California cheese, two from Ramonetti, a top producer of aged Mexican cheeses just south of Ensenada,a pair from Rancho Cortez, and also a couple of Ovejas from the state of Queretaro.

Baja California is making aged cheeses, bleus, and other fine cheeses, so new that a recent book I purchased covering cheese production all over Mexico had no information on Baja cheeses. Only the Baja chefs and their friends in Mexico City know about this stuff. Other Baja restaurants use these cheeses and do proper service, like Benito Molina's Manzanilla, but only a few.Mision 19 is giving Baja cheese a well-deserved showcase, fine Mexican cheeses accompanied by housemade condiments with local nuts and fruits.

To fuel my night on the town with Chuy, I ordered up an expresso, which was prepared at the table with a hand-held expresso machine. The coffee service at Mision 19 was developed by a local barista, Alejandro Ruiz, who sources the best coffee beans from Mexico and beyond. Mision 19 has their own house-blend.

After a grand performance, chef Javier joined us for a Mezcal after our three and one half hour tasting. Arte Mezcal is a blend of agaves from San Luis del Rio,Tlacolula in Oaxaca:Tobala,Tepeztate, Espadin, Other wild agaves, Mexicano,Jabali,and Cuishito. This is a lovely mezcal with an interesting range of flavors.

Javier Plascencia's Mision 19 has brought together all the essential elements:the superior products of Baja California,innovative cooking, excellence in Mexican wine and cheese service, a professional staff, and an incredible setting.This is the flagship restaurant in the Baja fleet, the new reason to cross the border, and exhibit A in the case for a new culinary center in Mexico, Baja California.

Mision 19
Mision de San Javier, 10643
Zona Urbana Rio
011-52-664-634-2493 from the US