Well- regarded Chef-Owner Javier Plascencia has taken his successful family restaurant business north of the border, and we are all better off because of that decision. For three decades, the family has sought to change the culinary landscape in Tijuana, operating 10 distinctive eateries and serving cuisine that has garnered international attention. They have taken traditional Mexican fare to a new level, which is wonderfully evident at the Romesco bistro. The main dining room is subdued and relaxing, or you can choose the separated tapas bar that’s open late and much livelier.
Operated by the Cohn Restaurant Group, this attractive and comfortable Ocean Beach bistro celebrates the spirit and flavors of the Mediterranean with a modern yet rustic cuisine. With “Bo” referring to Bohemian style and “Beau” signifying beauty, this newest neighborhood destination offers old-world charm and new-world polish in a French-inspired setting. A most unique feature includes an entrance into the restaurant through an imported ancient Egyptian gate. Adding to the approachability of Bo-Beau is the Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Choose from soups, salads, and a variety of house-made pastas as well as house- made pâté and various tartines such as the Croque Madame Tartine, which features a delectable combination of sliced pork belly, gruyere cheese, fried egg, and a Parmesan cheese reduction. The menu also highlights flatbreads adorned with flavorful ingredient medleys ranging from roasted brie, beets, and curry onion marmalade to braised short rib, horseradish, smashed potatoes, and chives. Bo-Beau Kitchen + Bar, 4996 West Point Loma Blvd., San Diego, CA 92107; (619) 224-2884; bobeaukitchen.com; French; $$$.
©San Diego Food Finds, By Maria Desiderata Montana
Located on a rather quiet residential street just 1 block west from the South Coast Highway, this small gastropub is a hidden gem. Husband-and-wife team Rodney and Aaron Browning have deep experience in the local culinary community, working with some of the most respected chefs in Southern California.
This eatery is dedicated to the slow-food movement, a farm-to-table philosophy utilizing locally sourced and fresh ingredients. Rustic American cuisine is featured throughout the menu, with a touch of Southern-style comfort. One of the signature dishes is the Durac Pork Belly served with collards, caramelized apple, and polenta spoon bread.
Offering everything from cookies and pies, to cakes and homemade marshmallows, Sugar & Scribe Bakery serves authentic Irish specialties all year long. “Every item is made from recipes of family or friends,” says owner Maeve Rochford. “My mother did not like camping, but we often set up a tent in our living room where we had “camp” food, including delicious homemade marshmallows with hot chocolate. It was so much fun!”
With a menu that rotates seasonally, choose from popular selling sweet treats including small personal pies as well as miniature cupcakes and carrot bundt cakes “Our mince meat pies were a holiday tradition at our home and our rhubarb pie is my aunt Margaret’s recipe,” explains Rochford. “My grandmother taught me how to make the blueberry pie when I was five. We began by going out to the bog and picking the blueberries, which are called bilberries in Ireland.”
Highly-anticipated Restaurant Offers Sneak Peek!
After months of anticipation, the first level and the inside dining room of the second level of Chef Javier Plascencia and Luis Pena’s two-story establishment, Bracero Cocina de Raiz , is opening its doors in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood on Thursday, July 9. This 4,800 square-foot restaurant, inspired by the Bracero Program of the mid 1900s, is Plascencia’s second establishment in the U.S. and will ultimately offer two unique levels of interactive dining and bar service. Bracero will offer daily dinner service.
From the moment you enter, Bracero Cocina de Raiz will transform your spirit with thoughtfully designed spaces that are rustic yet modern, nostalgic and at the same time, impressively forward-thinking.
Opened in 2006 and located in San Diego’s Bonita neighborhood, Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro is part of a legendary group of family-owned restaurants, including Villa Saverios, Casa Plascencia, Caesar’s Restaurant and Giuseppi’s located in Tijuana, along with Finca Altozano in Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada. The Plascencia family offers an old-world ambiance at this hidden gem boasting a traditional wooden bar and black-and-white bistro floors.
Recipes utilizing Mediterranean techniques continue to delight food critics, locals and out-of-towners. “We opened Romesco so that our friends and family could enjoy Mediterranean-style dishes featuring the distinct flavors of Baja cuisine that we love here in San Diego,” says Executive Chef Javier Plascencia. The Tapas Bar offers a lively, casual space with an extensive happy hour menu. Favorites include Caesar’s Piquillos Rellenos De Salmon, stuffed sweet piquillo peppers topped with mango basil vinaigrette, and specialty drinks like the acclaimed Tamarindo Martini. (romescomexmed.com)
©Written by Maria Desiderata Montana