Romesco became one of the hottest restaurants last year. It was chosen by San Diego Magazine for Best Mexican and Chef Javier Plascencia was named Chef of the Year by Eater San Diego.
Romesco is one of a several of restaurants owned by Javier Plascencia and his family. The majority of the other eateries are in Tijuana, including the famed Caesar’s Restaurant (home of the original Caesar Salad).
Romesco has generated much buzz for their tapas menu, which features more than 40 items. I was invited last month to visit the restaurant. We left our meal choices up to the server.
First up was a round of tamarind martinis. We absolutely loved these. The sweet and sour drink tasted like an adult version of sour straws candy. It was light and mellow and very fun to drink. The rim was lined with salt and sour sugar crystals. I spent much of the evening analyzing the drink so I can recreate it for a party.
Orejas De Mar
Tender pieces of abalone were garnished in a mild chimichirri habenero sauce. I enjoyed the hint of spice and the crunch of the tostadas.
Roadside Ahi Tuna Tostada
This bite packed a powerful punch. The tuna tasted quite fresh.
Pulpo Asado A Las Brasas
The grilled octopus was expertly prepared, more tender than chewy. Mr. K normally doesn’t enjoy octopus because he finds it to be too tough, but he loved the version here. This was one of our favorites of the night. The flavor was fantastic as well. Spicy, acidic and a residual smokiness.
Cazuelita De Gambas
I didn’t enjoy this dish as much. It was heavy on the sour tomatillos.
Taquitos Dorado De Cachete, Gobernadores, Grandmas Tacos de Fideo
Next we were served a sampling trio of tacos. The deep fried beef cheek tacos featured some very soft meat. The Gobernadore was filled with shrimp. The Grandmas taco was stuffed with spaghetti. I’ve never had spaghetti filled tacos and this made me feel like a giddy child.
Bone Marrow Sope
I was enchanted with the presentation. You could scoop the creamy bone marrow directly into your mouth, or spread it on the warm corn tortilla.
Table-side Caesar Salad
Also offered at this restaurant is the original Caesar Salad, and we were lucky enough to be treated to a table-side presentation.
Slow Cooked Short Rib
After all those tapas, we also sampled their slow cooked short rib. Fall-of-the-bone meat was cooked in a rich Cabernet sauce. This was pretty good, but if I had to choose, I’d stick with the tapas menu.
Tijuana Border’s Churros
This was the perfect ending to our meal. The light and airy churros (some of the best I’ve tasted) were accompanied by dulce de leche dipping sauce, vanilla ice cream and mini Ibarra Mexican hot chocolates. I definitely recommend getting this dessert platter to end your meal here.
We had a really great time here and I cannot wait to come back and bring friends as well. It’s been one of the best meals we’ve had this year so far and I want to come back to explore the rest of the tapas menu.
Please note, as indicated above, we were invited to dine here and the meal was complimentary. I was not further compensated for this review and my opinions remain my own.
Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro
4346 Bonita Rd
Bonita, CA 91902
Yum! Romesco is one of my favorite San Diego restaurants, and your article has me wanting to return soon! The bone marrow sopes are not to be missed, and also served in the Plascencia’s Tijuana restaurants.
Scott (El Gringo)
Hi Scott! so nice to hear from you! I need to gather some friends and return. I love this place!
this will get you started!
and also found this recipe:
Want to serve the next in drink at your restaurant! 2 oz of high grade vodka, 1.75 oz of tamarind pulp concentrate, 2 oz of water/mineral water. Stir contents into the Martini shaker. Put lime arount the rim of the martini glass and coat rim with mexican chili powder (Tajin – sold at most grocery stores). This cocktail drink was served to Anthony Bourdain and Rick Bayless on their recent trip to Baja. Salud an enjoy.
yay! Thank you! I just unpacked my martini glasses. Now I just need to gather the ingredients!
the tamarind martini looks wonderful. I recently purchased some pureed Tamarind (in a specialty shop). can you share the recipe?
I don’t have the recipe, sorry! I want to try making it but I haven’t yet had a chance!
Oh, I think I want to try that bone marrow the next time I go here!
It was really good!