Explore the flavors of San Diego County
NO. 53 • SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019
MEMBER OF EDIBLE COMMUNITIES
Rooted in Flavor • Special Issue
IN THIS ISSUE
4 Publisher’s Note
6 Hot Dish, Liquid Assets, Let’s Grow
9 Five Ways to Eat a Cactus
12 Finfish Farming: Envisioning
Aquaculture in San Diego
26 Finding Bliss in Tecate
28 Check This Out, Events, In Season
31 Farmers’ Markets
32 Cóctel de Frutas: How to Make a
Mexican Fruit Cocktail
Find more regional recipes
and cross-border content on
ediblesandiego.com this May
Dining Out in Barrio Logan
The History of the Michelada
A Guide to Eating and Drinking
in Valle de Guadalupe
Craft Breweries to Try Now
The Ultimate Guide to Ordering
Eating Chiles for Health
All About Heirloom Corn
Weekend Escape to Tecate
The Story of Kahlúa
We Are Diverse
A Modern Infusion of
Cena con Mi Familia
Dinner with My Family
ON THE COVER: The marlin tlacoyos at Los
Compas are a twist on a pre-Hispanic
specialty made with heritage corn and
topped with marlin, avocado, and pickled
white peppers. Read more on page 18.
Modern Rituals and Traditional
Mexican Wellness Practices
Ten Essential Mexican
The Bonita Museum Displays
Cali-Mex Agricultural Heritage
How to Make Flour and Corn
Tortillas at Home
Destination Dining: A Master
Gardener in the Kitchen at
Corazón de Tierra
Fausto Polanco Furniture in
Rosarito, Mexico merges rich
traditions of the past with
modern influences of today.
SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 3
PUBLISHER’S NOTE |
f we are what we eat, then we are so many things. For just
a moment, think back to when you were young: What did
you eat, and who prepared it for you? Go back one or two
generations more and consider what culinary traditions shaped
your life today.
My ancestors made their way from England, Scotland,
France, and Spain to the US and Mexico generations ago, and
fast-forward, I am a mid-century Girl Scout who learned my
way around the kitchen by helping my mom from an early age.
She passed on the essential life skills, like showing me how many
different things you can put in a tortilla for an after-school snack.
Growing up as part of a very large extended family, I looked
forward to every holiday because something fun was always in
the works—sleepovers, camping, and big Christmas potlucks.
Nowadays, plant-strong or low-carb options may sit alongside the
holiday tamales, but we make sure one cousin brings the Jell-O
salad. One bite brings back memories of beloved aunties and
uncles since passed and the countless adventures, sunsets, milestones,
and hugs we shared.
Year by year, my childhood saw a formerly rural area become
suburbanized. Our little orchard and garden became like an
island as dairy farms and citrus orchards gave way all around us.
As the summer heat rose each year, my friends, siblings, and I
would climb apricot and plum trees, eating our fill, while my
mom would stay up late to make jam when the house was cool
and quiet. Those jars glimmered like jewels all year long in our
hall closet—special gifts to be given with uncomparable flavor on
We invite you to reminisce about your own food memories,
and to make some new ones. Since we celebrate authenticity,
Edible San Diego dedicates this special issue, Rooted in Flavor, to
the culinary traditions unique to our part of the world. Because a
plate of food can reveal so much about our shared past, present,
To add more spice, convenience, and aha moments to your
days and nights, make sure to visit ediblesandiego.com and subscribe
to our monthly newsletter and social media platforms. If
you enjoy our work, please patronize our advertisers’ businesses,
subscribe, and invite your friends to join our rapidly growing
Edible San Diego community—all of which enables us to keep
these essential conversations happening. Thank you.
Publisher, Edible San Diego
2011 James Beard Foundation
Publication of the Year
MEMBER OF EDIBLE COMMUNITIES
Editor in Chief
Executive Digital Editor
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COVER PHOTO BY OLIVIA HAYO
Edible San Diego
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SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 5
LIVING LOCAL |
and vibrant are
of the Creta
(far left), violeta
latte (left), and
Telefónica Gastro Park
BY KELLY BONE
“Food Has No Border” proclaims the billboard rising over the
sun-dappled dining patio of Tijuana’s Telefónica Gastro Park.
Wood-slat stairs rise to seats overlooking the plenitude of dining
options, including many vegetable-heavy dishes and a 100% vegan
taqueria. Here, local and global flavors hug an onsite brewery
decorated in fluttering piñatas, and murals scratch at the surface of
issues like immigration, community, and humanity at large.
La Taqueria Vegiee
Chef Antonio Quintero’s La Taqueria Vegiee is beloved on both
sides of the border (they also have a food truck rooted in South
Park). The adobada taco highlights the classic flavors of Tijuana
with the craft of a vegan kitchen. Stuffed with trigo—a chewy
seitan made with wheat, barley, and rye—marinated in achiote
paste and thyme, the protein comes folded in a corn tortilla
with cilantro, chopped onions, and guacamole.
The spirit of the Mediterranean rises in the vegetable-loaded
Creta. This portobello pita (above) rolls flame-grilled mushrooms
with cherry tomatoes, paper-thin red onions, fat cuts
of avocados, and baby greens (hold the basil aioli for a vegan
option) in a pillowy flatbread. More greens are tossed with
chopped tomatoes and cucumbers dressed in a briny Kalamata
olive tapenade and served on the side.
Colorful vegetables laze across a flour tortilla in the hongos
mixtos tacos at Satabu. Roasted mushrooms and juicy poblano
peppers come threaded with fideos de arroz (rice noodles), pinto
beans, and bits of corn under pickled purple cabbage, cilantro,
and guacamole. A self-administered splash of salsa will blend
the flavors together perfectly. Cash only.
Telefónica Gastro Park
Boulevard Aguacaliente #8924
Tijuana, Baja California 22000
KELLY BONE; ERIN JACKSON (2)
BY ERIN JACKSON
Three ways to satiate your thirst with modern
Mexican beverages in Barrio Logan
Where the chefs shop.
Open to the public everyday 8-5 pm.
Border X Brewing
Any of the brewery’s beers can be michelada-fied with a splash of La
Diabla mix, but the Pepino Sour, a Berliner Weisse with lime and
cucumber, serves as the ultimate pelo del perro (hair of the dog).
Unique drinks like violeta latte, spicy mango lemonade, and
horchata cold brew are offered at this neighborhood coffee shop
and art gallery. But the mazapan latte, served hot or cold with
De La Rosa mazapan crumbles, is a standout.
The Chicano-style mimosa features a mini bottle of Mexican bubbly
upended in tropical punch with key lime juice and chamoy. A
Tajín rim adds a salty, spicy bite that boosts the fruity flavors.
BY JESSICA GONZALEZ
Native to Latin America, specifically Mexico and Guatemala,
chayote was a staple in the Aztec diet for centuries. San Diego’s
proximity often affords us a similar climate, providing a spectacular
opportunity to grow one of Mexico’s prized culinary gifts.
This tropical squash is a perennial favorite and gardener’s dream
as it produces year after year. Likened to dense cucumbers, chayotes
can be consumed raw or cooked. Thinly sliced in fresh ceviche,
added to soups, or pickled atop carnitas tacos, chayotes deliver an
exceptionally versatile harvest.
Chayotes are opportunists: The hearty vines are enthusiastic
climbers, so placement is key. Select an organic chayote from your
local farmers’ market and rest it, stem end up, on organic garden
soil in full sun. Within a few weeks your chayote will sprout
(think sprouting potatoes) and begin unfurling small vines. Once
the vines are five to six inches long, pop the chayote directly in the
ground, ensuring the vines are exposed. This rapid grower wants
organic compost, nitrogen, and a layer of mulch. Water your plant
when the soil is dry to the touch, adding diluted fish emulsion
every two to three weeks. Harvest chayote when they are four to
six inches long. They keep well refrigerated for up to a month.
SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 7
| EATING WELL
Low in fat, high in fiber
and antioxidants, tart
and crisp nopales grow
Five Ways to Eat a Cactus
BY FELICIA CAMPBELL
he most commonly eaten cactus is the prickly pear or Opuntia.
In Mexico, the pads or nopales are called lengua de vaca—
“cow's tongue”—and in Sicily, the fruit or tuna is referred to as fico
d'India, or “Indian fig.” Both the fruit and the pads can be eaten
cooked or raw and are a great source of fiber and antioxidants, but
they do require a little prep before getting started.
Nopales have a bright, vegetal flavor, like an amped-up stalk
of asparagus. Select paddles that are green and plump. Smaller,
thinner young paddles are more tender. While most store-bought
pads will already have their sharp spines removed, you’ll still want
to wash the pad. Hold it at an angle to slice off any remaining
spines and cut out the eyes where the spines were attached. Trim
off the outer quarter-inch of the pad and the thick base and the
nopales are ready to cook.
The tuna fruits are a great addition to any fruit-based dish or
salad, with a taste that’s somewhere between watermelon and
bubble gum. To prepare them, slice off both ends and make one
vertical cut down the body of the pear. Slip your fingers into the
slit and grab the skin. Peel off the thick outer skin and discard. The
flesh is filled with tiny seeds, which are completely edible. Chop
and toss with orange slices and mint for a simple fruit salad.
Now that your nopales and tuna are ready to go, here are five
ways to cook with them.
Preheat a grill to medium and brush the pads with olive oil
and a hearty sprinkle of salt and pepper. Grill them over medium
to medium-high heat until golden, about 3 minutes on each side.
Grilled nopales can be cut into strips and added to tacos
or left whole and used as a base for tostada toppings like salty
cheese, refried beans, or stewed meat.
Add cleaned nopal paddles, whole or sliced, to cold water in
a pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. As the cactus
cooks, it turns a darker green and releases a sticky liquid similar
SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 9
EATING WELL |
to your muffin or cupcake batter, or use the juice to add a complex
layer of flavor to your lemon bars.
Soften 4–5 cactus pads in boiling water with a pinch of salt and
½ teaspoon baking soda for 5 to 10 minutes. Process the pads
with a few sprigs of cilantro in a blender or food processor until
smooth. Add about 4 ½ cups masa harina to a large mixing bowl
and slowly add pureed nopales and warm water in batches, mixing
as you go, until the dough is the consistency of soft cookie dough.
Mix in 1 teaspoon of salt. Separate the dough into 16 small balls
and refrigerate for 10 minutes to an hour. When ready to cook,
flatten each ball between two sheets of wax paper with a rolling pin
until they are about ⅛ inch thick. Cook on a skillet or comal over
medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until they puff.
Enjoy in place of traditional corn or flour tortillas.
to okra; skim this juice and discard while the nopales simmer.
Continue cooking until the cactus is al dente, about 10 minutes.
Rinse to remove any remaining liquid and pat dry.
To make a simple salad, toss blanched nopales with tomato,
onion, cilantro, and ranchero cheese with lime and salt to
taste. You can also add the blanched nopales to casseroles or
scrambles along with diced chiles to add a hearty texture to a
Juiced Prickly Pear
To extract the juice of the prickly pear fruit, place peeled
fruit into a blender or food processor and pulse until liquefied.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher or bowl and discard
remaining pulp and seeds. Six to 12 tunas will yield about
one cup of juice.
Add the juice to fresh lemonade, add an ounce to your margarita,
or simply combine equal parts seltzer water and juice for
a refreshing spritz.
Baked Prickly Pear
Swap peaches for prickly pear in a simple cobbler, dice and add
HUNGRY FOR MORE?
We publish new seasonal
recipes every week. Get inspired
Prickly Pear Soda with Tajín
By Olivia Hayo
Chili-Lime Avocado Salad
By Olivia Hayo
Grilled Elote: Mexican-Style
By Felicia Campbell
Cauliflower Chickpea Tacos
By Alexa Soto
From the left: Vegan
Chickpea Tacos and
Charred Corn and Grilled
Stone Fruit Salad.
Charred Corn and Grilled
Stone Fruit Salad
By Olivia Hayo
Grilled Green Tomato
By Olivia Hayo
Watermelon, Feta, and
By Olivia Hayo
Agua Frescas: Tasty Mocktails
By Miguel Valdez
Three-Step San Diego-Style
By Mitch Conniff
OLIVIA HAYO, ALEXA SOTO
LOCALLY MADE COFFEE,
CIDER, WINE, TEA,
SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 11
GROWING GOOD |
in San Diego
BY ELAINE MASTERS
bout three miles offshore, a fishing boat tethers to a large
circular ring bobbing on the surface—a fish pen swaying in
a current and moored to the ocean floor nearly 300 feet below.
Inside the carefully structured net, thousands of yellowtail flash as
they move up and down the water column. The pen casts a shadow
where wild fish cluster and claim shelter, while others shuttle
beneath looking for food.
This is the vision Don Kent, CEO of Hubbs-SeaWorld Research
Institute (HSWRI), shares with other scientists, the Port of San
Diego, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA). While local shellfish farms have been successfully
established for years, open ocean finfish pens in federal waters along
San Diego’s coast would be a first for the nation.
Eating fish is generally considered a healthy, environmentally
positive option and aquaculture could make the benefits more accessible
and affordable. The scientists at Sustainable Fisheries point
out that “the more seafood that is eaten in place of cow, the better,
since [industrial] bovine farming is the largest driver of rainforest and
biodiversity loss on the planet.”
Aquaculture, the practice of growing water based species, has been
going on for millennia. The Chinese farmed freshwater fish a thousand
years ago and people in the Mediterranean raised carp as far
back as the Middle Ages. Much later, in 1851, the state of California
began regulating fisheries. By 1970 the Aquaculture Development
Act declared that “it’s in the interest of the people that the practice
of aquaculture be encouraged in order to augment food supplies,
expand employment, promote economic activity, increase native fish
stocks…and better use the land and water resources of the state.”
California aquaculture has been in process ever since, along with
growing pains and well-documented aquaculture fails outside of
California that have left deep impressions, concerns, and mistrust.
In 2018, a marine salmon farm in the Pacific Northwest failed,
allowing over 300,000 Atlantic salmon to escape into Puget Sound.
There’s little evidence that many survived, and whether they’ll
compete with wild salmon has yet to be determined.
The yellowtail that HSWRI is proposing for pens are a local
species that is mostly caught in Mexico. San Diego waters, on the
northern end of their habitat, are just warm enough to potentially
make farming them sustainable.
Issues and opportunities
Pen density is one environmental issue that local aquaculture
must manage. Elsewhere around the world, packed cages have
increased the risk and transmission of disease. Kent and fellow
HSWRI scientist Mark Drawbridge have been refining aquaculture
best practices to keep pen populations low and yield
healthier fish. Since 1982, HSWRI has worked with the state’s
Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program to grow
and release white sea bass spawned and raised at their Carlsbad
hatchery for both sport and commercial fishermen to harvest.
Meanwhile, HSWRI has been exporting technical knowledge
as well as hatchlings across borders to operations like Pacifico
Aquaculture, a striped bass farm in northern Baja California.
“Our investment in research is used across the border and then
we buy the product back,” notes Kent.
Striped sea bass came to Northern California by train for the
World Expo in the 1920s and were later released into the San
Francisco Bay. In Southern California, the fast growing striped
bass flourish in the Pacifico pens but can’t spawn successfully
outside of their freshwater hatchery.
Pacifico founder Omar Alfi and partner Daniel Farag both
graduated from USC with degrees in business and private
equity. Alfi felt that they “weren’t making anything tangible
or impacting the world” before looking at food spaces and the
growing global need for more protein. When they took over an
existing northern Baja aquaculture facility that was in bankruptcy,
they quickly realized that success was dependent on a
closed system. Today, their fish pens float above an offshore
submarine canyon. The health of the fishery is validated by the
nearly 200 diverse employees and weekly water and ocean floor
tests conducted by Mexican regulatory agencies.
Some environmental concerns with aquaculture are more
verifiable than others. A Coastkeeper report warns of “elevated
levels of antibiotic residues, antibiotic resistant bacteria… and
viruses in aquaculture raised finfish and shellfish.” Kent asserts
such reports are unreliable since regulations require that chemical
treatments can only be made with the consent of a veterinarian,
and only chemicals that are not retained in the fish flesh are used.
Problems with fish deformities, genetic integrity, and
ERIC WOLFINGER PHOTOGRAPHY
| GROWING GOOD
euthanasia have also been reported. Although, aside from
euthanasia, these harsh realities occur in the natural world
and inform the practices of raising healthy farmed fish.
Much has been learned and remedied in US waters and
local operations could continue to make improvements with
easier oversight, while reducing the carbon footprint by
harvesting closer to market.
Feed accounts for 50% of operation costs, and its
ingredients are another sensitive topic for consideration.
HSWRI is interested in a fish-based diet made from byproducts,
or fish cuttings that are currently considered waste.
This feed would reduce impacts on wild-caught fish and
keep protein out of landfills. Overfeeding or feed waste is
not a problem for aquaculture companies like Pacifico where
employees watch a video monitor as fish pellets drop into
the pens. When the fish stop feeding, they turn off the food,
which minimizes waste on the ocean floor.
Most wild fish harvests are reaching maximum
In US waters, fish stocks are managed carefully on many
levels. However, imported seafood, whether wild or farmed,
is not subject to the same verifications, restrictions, size and
capture limits, humane labor conditions, and water monitoring
regulations. Kent says, “If we farm it ourselves, we’ll set
our own standards.” We’ll know what we’re getting.
Fish farming could help address the confusion over labeling
or fish fraud: For example, LoveTheWild, a packaged farmedfish
product endorsed by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
uses labeling that reveals where the fish was harvested. Kent
envisions a QR code system at fish counters that would disclose
when, where, and by whom the fish was harvested.
Fishing jobs and the independent fisherman
Commercial and sport fishermen aren’t convinced that US
aquaculture development is in their best interest and demand
a place in the discussions at national and state levels. What
impact fish farming will have remains to be seen but there is evidence
that aquaculture pens can be fishery enhancement tools.
Pablo Sanchez-Jerez from the University of Alicante reported
at the Offshore Mariculture Conference in 2010 that
“the effect of attraction seems to be higher around farms than
around traditional FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices)…with
up to 2,800 times more wild fish in their immediate vicinity
compared to areas without farms.”
Drawbridge agrees, citing a study at their Catalina fish farm
that found “pens are aggregating devices where fish seek shelter
and create a thriving ecosystem, one that fishermen could use.”
Aquaculture creates fishing jobs, as Pacifico has shown, but
some fishermen prefer independence —though aquaculture
might also provide stability for those in the ever-shifting
industry. Kent says, “I know guys that leave from San Diego
and go all the way up to Oregon to fish for tuna, and they’re
tired of it. They’d like to make a living for their families here.
We need the boats. We need the labor. The 75 jobs on the
farms themselves aren’t guys in white lab coats. It’s going
to be guys that know how to work in rough water handling
product. We’ll create another 200 jobs upstream and down,
directly and indirectly. That’s 300 jobs from less than onethird
of a square kilometer of surface area in the open sea.”
The farmed species could also supplement wild landings, and
it’s possible that wild-caught seafood would continue its trend
towards greater value.
Aquaculture: Net gain or net loss?
Could aquaculture devastate the US fishing industry? Noah
Oppenheim, executive director of the Pacific Coast Fisherman,
claims that “this emerging industrial practice is incompatible
with sustainable commercial fish practices embraced by our
nation for generations.” The sentiment was supported by over a
hundred organizations in reaction to proposals easing aquaculture
permitting in Congress. Others are looking for one agency
to provide oversight of projects.
Hallie Templeton of Friends of the Earth, a non-governmental
agency (NGO) has attended NOAA public comment panels
around the country and also worries that pushing for corporate
profits will come at the expense of the environment and
fishermen’s livelihoods. Currently, less than 10% of the seafood
SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 13
GROWING GOOD |
consumed in our country is landed by US fishermen, so fishing
jobs have already been lost to other countries.
With increasing protein sources as a goal, other NGOs recommend
land-based fish pens, but to date operation costs make the
fish too expensive to compete in the marketplace. The abundance
of water necessary to operate is an issue and more than one
land-based seafood operation went under when oxygen levels,
overheating, or water quality issues decimated their stock.
Much has been made of the fact that only big players are
involved in the game. The pro-aquaculture lobby Stronger
America Through Seafood (SATS) has members in every part
of the industry. Their mission is to increase the “US production
of healthful, sustainable, and affordable seafood.” In truth, only
large, well-funded endeavors have a chance to build and operate
fish farms big enough to be commercially viable.
San Diego finfish aquaculture remains a possibility
The United Nations notes that about 8.6 billion people will
call earth home by 2030, indicating a great need for future
sources of protein—and aquaculture could be part of the
solution. The US has the opportunity to create new sources
for seafood or cheap imports will continue to dominate and
further decimate wild fish stocks. Our domestic fishing industry
struggles to compete.
The Port of San Diego is developing Blue Tech incubators to
promote aquaculture that is environmentally and economically
sound. They offer planning tools, look at spatial concerns, and
help to identify opportunities. Port program manager Paula
Sylvia helps locate finfish sites around San Diego, juggling
regulations that exist in federal and state waters with multiple
agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the
Coastal Zone Management Act and interfacing with NOAA and
the National Ocean Service Centers of Coastal Sciences.
HSWRI and its partners have invested significant resources
and time searching for viable aquaculture sites near San Diego.
The pens need to be in water shallow enough with acceptable
currents to tether to the ocean floor. Balancing the interests of
commercial and sport fishermen, the Navy, NGOs, and recreational
and environmental groups has been difficult. Once a
site is agreed upon, the long process of permitting will begin.
Local finfish aquaculture may be years away, but the vision
moves towards reality.
BY BETH DEMMON
PHOTOS COURTESY JENNIFER PESQUEIRA, EL INDIO
3695 India St.
any generations ago, the Pesqueira family paid
a flat fee of 50 cents to enter Arizona from
“Not like it is today,” laughs El Indio president
Jennifer Pesqueira as she shares the story of how
her great-grandparents came to the United States.
The pair moved to Los Angeles, where their family
continued to grow. One of their children, Ralph
Pesqueira, eventually became Ralph Pesqueira Sr.—
and Jennifer’s grandfather and the founder of El
“My grandfather started El Indio in August of
1940,” explains Jennifer. “He ran the business up
until he passed away in 1981, and then my dad
[Ralph Pesqueira Jr.] took over.”
Although El Indio has always been in the family,
Jennifer admits she didn’t expect to end up working
there. She’s the only one of her generation at the restaurant,
and even she didn’t officially join the staff
until after college at San Diego State University.
Still, some of her earliest memories come straight
from the kitchen.
“About the only thing I learned to do was ask the
people in the kitchen for my little burrito. My dad
would make me say ‘gracias’ to the whole room, and
they’d always giggle at me,” she recalls.
Over the years, El Indio grew to four locations,
but consolidated back to the original space around
1994. Even with these shifts, much remained the
same—especially the recipes brought from Sonora
by the first Pesqueiras.
While El Indio is famous for their taquitos and
their bagged corn tortilla chips at local food retailers,
they’ve added non-fried items to their menu
to meet the demands of health-conscious diners.
Jennifer also mentions recent laws aimed at reducing
plastic and styrofoam waste as bigger financial
hurdles for the small business to absorb, but both
she and her father are confident in their ability to
roll with the necessary changes.
After nearly 40 years at the helm, today Ralph Jr.
enjoys a more relaxed grip on the restaurant. “My
dad’s kind of retired. He just sort of sits back and
makes sure I don’t mess up,” chuckles Jennifer.
SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 15
We Are Diverse
Sacred Expedition with Captain Gaspar de
Portolá and his party of soldiers going through
Goat Canyon in what is the US-Mexico
border today. Painting by Benjamin Meza
San Diego-Baja Cuisine Has Been
Multiethnic for Two Centuries
BY BARBARA ZARAGOZA
n 1821, Mexico declared independence from Spain and Alta
(Upper) California came under the Mexican flag. By then,
a large community of men and women had come from Baja
California and Central Mexico during the late 1700s onwards
and settled in what today constitutes the state of California.
They forged a fiercely autonomous identity, and not wanting
to be known as Españoles or Mexicanos, they began calling
The Californios held prominent political offices in towns
throughout Alta California. They also raised cattle, as selling
hides became a lucrative business. Many of the Californios
traced their ancestors back to 1769, when Gaspar de Portolá
trekked from Baja California into San Diego with a large party
of soldiers who were of blended ethnicities precisely because
Mexico under Spanish colonialism had been such a vast melting
pot for centuries. The Californios, like those who came
before them, were of mixed backgrounds, including mestizo,
Afro-Latino, Spanish, Portuguese, Amerindian, and even Jewish
The Californios had a distinct way of cooking. William
Smythe, the first to write a definitive history of San Diego, described
their food as such: "The Californios naturally survived on
a diet of mostly meat. Alongside beef, they enjoyed veal, but did
not eat venison, mutton, or pork. Added to their staple protein
diet, they made tortillas, tamales, and chili con carne. They ate
fish on Fridays and their sugared pastries were highly prized."
PAINTING: BENJAMIN MEZA; PHOTOS: OLIVIA HAYO
After California became part of the United States in
1850, the Californios began to lose both their political
influence and their land. Many prominent families from
Old Town San Diego migrated to the border region
and their descendants continued living in towns on the
American side, such as San Ysidro, and owned small
cattle ranches outside Tijuana. While their prominence
waned, their cuisine experienced a renaissance thanks to
a native-born Virginian named Bertha Haffner-Ginger
who came to Southern California and published the first
known book of Californios cuisine, appropriately titled
California Mexican-Spanish Cookbook.
Her cookbook included recipes for salads, soups,
tamales, omelets, and beans, among others, and she
explained the early distinction of Mexican cuisine in her
introduction: "It is not generally known that Spanish
dishes as they are known in California are really Mexican
Indian dishes. Bread made of corn, sauces of chile peppers,
jerked beef, tortillas, enchiladas, etc., are unknown
in Spain as native foods; though the majority of Spanish
people in California are as devoted to peppery dishes
as the Mexicans themselves, and as the Mexicans speak
Spanish, the foods are commonly called Spanish dishes."
Today, the influence of the Californios persists in the
San Diego-Baja region. Their blend of Mexican, Indian,
and Spanish foods became part of the border culture,
with tamales eaten during Christmas and enchiladas
eaten all year round. In keeping with the multiethnic
heritage of the Californios, the continued growth of
diversity in this area also enriches the culinary terrain.
The Chinese began to settle in Baja California during
the 1800s and to this day tout their signature shark fin
soup at many restaurants. Jewish communities in Chula
Vista, Bonita, and Tijuana remain kosher, refraining
from pork as has been their tradition for thousands of
years and mirroring the diet of early pioneers to Alta
California. The Filipino community has made its mark
in National City where a bust of Filipino nationalist
icon Jose Rizal stands in front of Seafood City, a market
that offers traditional Filipino delights including
lumpia and pancit. Individuals from these communities
have sometimes intermarried, their children tracing
their descendants to ever more diverse heritages. The
children of Filipino and Mexican parents, for example,
identify as Mexipino and continue to shape San Diego-
Baja cuisine through new culinary traditions such as
adding longaniza sausage to Mexican scrambled eggs
As everywhere, so too in the border region the adage
remains true: We eat our culture. Old and new at once,
these food traditions represent 200 years of the ever-changing
multiethnic heritage of the San Diego-Baja region.
SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 17
BY FELICIA CAMPBELL
Chefs Mario Peralta and Juan Cabrera come from two different
worlds but were united by a mission to preserve the indigenous ingredients
of Mexico’s past through seasonal, modern dishes that point to
an exciting and sustainable future.
uan Cabrera was born in Mexico City and earned his
cooking chops at the world-renowned Pujol restaurant in
the capital, while Mario Peralta, a native of Tijuana, worked up
north under award-winning chef Javier Plascencia at Misión 19
and at Fuego Cocina del Valle in Valle de Guadalupe. The pair
met in 2017 on the second season of Top Chef Mexico. A year
later, in July 2018, they opened Los Compas in Tijuana. The
restaurant’s name loosely translates to “buddies” or “compadres,”
but as they explained, it implies a mission-oriented connection
closer than friendship. Their bond was forged over a shared passion
for celebrating traditional Mexican cuisine and elevating
At their small, stylish restaurant, heirloom corn varieties are
nixtamalized each day and ground for use in everything from
tortillas to dessert tamales, which retain the corn’s vibrant pink
and blue hues even after being cooked. Though corn has been
cultivated in Mexico for over 10,000 years —with an amazing
diversity of regional variations—this essential ingredient is
in danger of being lost to a monocrop of industrialized yellow
corn. According to Rafael Mier, the founder of the Fundación de
Tortilla Maíz Mexicana, at least 59 varieties of native corn are on
FELICIA CAMPBELL; OLIVIA HAYO; COURTESY LOS COMPAS
The restaurant has a full bar
menu of cocktails, wine, and beer
with plans to offer a selection of
craft beers made in collaboration
with local brewers.
the verge of extinction. The reintroduction of heritage corn varieties
by innovative restaurateurs and chefs, like Peralta and Cabrera, is a
vital part of efforts to raise awareness and promote farming of this
At Los Compas, marlin tlacoyos (pre-Hispanic masa ovals, thicker
than a tortilla) are made using pink heirloom corn and come topped
with locally caught marlin, house-pickled güeros chiles, and wedges
of avocado. Tostadas de ceviche verde (green ceviche tostadas) feature
a citrus marinated local catch served on crisp tostadas alongside
smoked cauliflower and draped in a cilantro pesto.
n addition to their focus on corn, many of the menu items are
built around seasonal ingredients that reflect the pair’s close
relationship with local farmers. The romanesco asado dish stars
grilled romanesco and mustard greens from Wulf Ruiz’s Cengrow
Organic Farm near Ensenada. The tender, smoky vegetable is
served over what they describe as a Mayan romesco sauce made
with roasted onions, chiles, garlic, and toasted sunflower seeds.
This, and pretty much everything on the menu, benefits from a
drizzle of earthy housemade hot sauce made from chile de arbol,
peanuts, garlic, and dried shrimp heads still bobbing in the spiced
oil and emparting their salty complexity.
Other dishes take inspiration from international influences
that have informed the borderland cuisine of Baja Norte. There
is a prevalence of Chinese food in Mexico thanks to several waves
of Chinese immigration that began in the late 19th century, and
Peralta explained that when he was growing up, Chinese was his
family’s special occasion treat. At Los Compas, such flavors are
incorporated into the taco Chino (Chinese taco), which features a
slightly sweet, Chinese-style sausage, a smear of hoisin sauce and
fresh pickled vegetables served in a silky corn tortilla. Carnitas de
papada de cerdo (pork jowl with kimchi Mexa) features a luscious
fried pork jowl served over a bed of finely shaved, house-pickled
vegetables inspired by the increasingly popular Korean kimchi
variations served at gastro parks around Tijuana.
The playful surprises and pitch-perfect execution continue through
the dessert menu, which features the likes of creamy-as-cheesecake
guava flan and an inventive pan caramelo cornbread bread pudding
topped with white chocolate, cornflake praline, and vanilla ice cream.
Far from a traditional menu, the dishes at Los Compas are a vibrant
celebration of sophisticated, modern Mexican cuisine that is informed
by deep heritage and history, without being limited by it. This
approach makes it one of the most exciting places to taste the terroir
of the region’s past while experiencing a glimpse of its future.
Boulevard Agua Caliente 10594, Aviacion, 22014 Tijuana, BC
NOTES ON GETTING THERE: You’ll need your passport. The restaurant is
a 30-minute drive from downtown San Diego and crossing into Mexico is
simple. Getting back to the city can take longer‚ over an hour during peak
traffic. Alternatively, park behind H&M at Las Americas Premium Outlets and
take a 10-minute well-lit walk to the border crossing pedestrian bridge. Use a
ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft for a 10 to 15 minute drive to the restaurant.
SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 19
• Best Italian
• Best Chef
• Best Service
• Best Wine List
Local organic produce,
meat & seafood
Authentic Italian cuisine
Food, wine & spirits
Fresh & Local
OPEN TUES 8AM–3PM
Fish Market | Food Demos |
Committed to sourcing better seafood
choices from responsible fisheries or farms.
2820 Roosevelt Road • Liberty Station, Point Loma • (619) 270-9670 • solarelounge.com
5202 Lovelock St., San Diego 92110
619-297-9797 | www.catalinaop.com
BY MARIA HESSE
f you’ve lived in San Diego long enough, you may have learned that there’s more than tacos at the
heart of regional Mexican cuisine. Ask around and you’ll hear warm childhood stories depicting a
mother’s various renditions of sopa de fideo and quesadillas, sometimes served twice a day. Others will say
it was the first bite of a California burrito that led to a secret guacamole recipe reserved for special occassions.
In this age of modern conveniences, it’s also about knowing which friends keep a fresh tub of La
Salsa Chilena and a bag of El Indio tortilla chips regularly stocked. These are the foods and experiences
we share with our loved ones, embedded deep within our core, a single bite transporting us back, flavors
manifest memories rich with emotion. Cena con mi familia is Spanish for “dinner with my family.” Here
we share the memories and recipes of cherished dishes from three Edible San Diego readers, their stories
represent a broader picture—that love for delicious foods connects us all.
Edgar Chong (page 24)
sits in grandmother Irma’s
lap, along with greatgrandmother
Maria, and other family
members in Guadalajara
PHOTO COURTESY EDGAR CHONG
SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 21
or a paper towel. Set aside.
Peel and roughly dice potatoes
to 1-inch cubes and boil
in lightly salted water until
tender, about 15 to 20 minutes;
drain potatoes and place
in a large bowl.
(Tip: Save the potato water
for wild yeast sourdough
Add goat cheese, salt, pepper,
and cumin to the potatoes
and mash with a potato
In a separate bowl, whip egg
whites and cream of tartar
with an electric hand mixer
until stiff peaks form, about 4
to 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare peppers, first slice
one side of the pepper to
open, making sure to keep the
MY FAMILY HAS A HOME IN
Baja California Sur. When I
visit, we adventure around
the area and try different
restaurants, then I try to
recreate the dishes I liked
at home. While dining at
Cielito Lindo in Cardinal, the
restaurant owner invited me
into the kitchen to learn to
cook my favorite version of
Chiles Rellenos de Cardinal.
BASIC RED SAUCE
3–4 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup beer or dry white wine
Ojai and Baja
1 15.4-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
1–2 tablespoons butter
6 poblano peppers
3 large potatoes
10½ ounces goat cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seeds,
5–6 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup–1 cup grated cheese
In a medium frying pan, over
medium heat, sauté olive oil,
onion and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally until
onions are translucent. Add
beer or dry white wine and
bring to a simmer for 30 seconds
to burn off the alcohol.
Stir in tomato sauce and water,
return to a boil; lower heat and
simmer for about 30 minutes.
Season to taste and I like to
add butter to finish the sauce.
Char peppers by placing them
over an open flame, dry roasting,
or broiling them. Turn
often to blacken skin evenly,
about 10 minutes. Allow the
peppers to rest until they are
cool enough to handle, 3 to 5
minutes. Place peppers in a
large plastic bag and seal it to
sweat off skins, about 10 minutes.
Most of the charred skin
should fall off easily, but rub
off any excess with your hands
Stuff the pepper with a small
handful of the potato mixture,
just enough to fill the inside
of the pepper.
Lightly dredge the pepper in
flour, shaking off excess. With
your hands, cover the pepper
with the egg white mixture.
Repeat with remaining peppers.
Heat 1” oil in a medium frying
pan over medium-high heat.
Carefully place 1 or 2 peppers
in the oil and fry until you see
a beautiful golden brown color
around the edges, about 1 minute;
gently turn peppers with
tongs and brown the other side.
Place on a paper towel-lined
plate and fry remaining peppers.
Cover the bottom of an ovenproof
casserole dish with a bit
of red sauce. Place peppers
in casserole dish, cover with
more red sauce, and top with
Bake in the oven until sauce is
sizzling and cheese is melted,
about 25 minutes.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: PHOTO COURTESY SANDRA BELCHER (2); THE MARMOT ON FLICKR
AS A CHILD I LOVED THE
warm comfort of the Mexican
bread pudding called
capirotada. This love came
before I knew what salty and
savory meant and before I
knew cheese and dried fruits
paired so well. It was sweet and
a little salty and I loved it.
As a teen, I finally watched
my grandma make it and was
taken aback by everything that
went into it (and, quite frankly,
maybe even a little grossed
out?). She started with a layer
of tortillas, then added queso,
nuts, and pieces of crusty
bolillo soaked in butter or lard
mixed with brown sugar and
cinnamon. She threw in some
raisins and topped everything
with another layer of tortillas
to keep it moist —all this and I
never saw measuring spoons!
Now, as an adult, it’s comfort
food—yet it’s also something
else. Slightly salty from the
nuts, with sweet cinnamon
syrup and rich, creamy cheese,
it’s everything sophisticated.
3 cups water
3 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
2 cups dark brown sugar
6 corn tortillas
4 stale bolillo rolls or French
bread, sliced into about 20
slices (for layering)
6 tablespoons lard or butter,
divided by tablespoon
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts (almonds
or your choice)
1 cup queso Oaxaca or
Monterey Jack cheese cut
into small cubes
½ cup sweetened shredded
(Tip: I buy bolillo bread already
bagged, sliced, and toasted
in Mexican markets. But you
can toast bread if it’s not stale
enough. You want the bread to
be hard. Capirotada is typically
a Lenten food so the bread is
easily available around Easter.)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Make a syrup by bringing
water, cinnamon sticks,
cloves, and sugar to a boil in
a small saucepan over high
heat. Reduce heat to medium
and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove cinnamon sticks and
cloves and set syrup aside to
In an 8-inch round pan, rub 2
tablespoons lard or butter to
coat the bottom and sides of
the pan and line with 4 of the
Dip sliced bread in syrup mixture
and begin to layer in the
pan over tortillas, sprinkling
¹/ ³ each of the lard or butter,
raisins, nuts, cheese, and
coconut over the bread.
Repeat for 2 more layers
and drizzle with any remaining
syrup. Top with 2 tortillas
rubbed with butter to keep
moist while baking. Bake until
tortillas on top are crisp and
capirotada is moist in the
center, about 30 minutes.
SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 23
I GREW UP WITH MY
grandmother in Torreón,
Coahuila, Mexico, where I had
the most humble and delicious
meals of my life. One particular
taco that my grandmother
made for me is called Tacos a
La Malinche. I’d help get all the
ingredients ready for her to cook,
like getting the hen from our
backyard, going to the tortilleria
for a kilo of freshly made tortillas
for 5 pesos, and asking Doña
Chachina for permission to pick
avocados for guacamole from
her backyard tree.
The tortillas are heated directly
on the fire for a unique smoky
burnt tortilla flavor. The chicken is
slowly braised with fresh herbs
and hoja santa, then served
on a bed of guacamole, and
garnished with crispy chicken
skin chicharrones and homemade
crema de rancho (sour cream).
My grandma still makes this
meal for me on my birthday
every year, and I think it’s an
example of family traditions and
embodies how Mexican cuisines
are represented. It’s all about the
remembrance of childhood and
the love of family that was put
into making a simple taco. This
will be a memory that’s in my
head every day of my life.
Tacos a La Malinche
4 quarts water
3 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 leaf hoja santa
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 pound boneless, skinless
CRISPY CHICKEN SKIN
2 sides of chicken breast skin
2 cups kosher salt
4 quarts canola oil
½ serrano chile, minced
1 teaspoon salt
CREMA DE RANCHO
1 pint heavy cream
½ cup buttermilk
4 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
White corn tortillas
Make the chicken: Bring water
and salt to a boil in a large pot;
lower the heat to medium and
add the herbs. Simmer for 3
minutes, then add the chicken.
Cook chicken on low until it
will shred easily, about 30
minutes. Remove chicken from
the pot and finely shred.
Make the chicharrones: Place
chicken skin on a sheet pan
and cover completely with
salt; remove excess. Air dry
for 2 days. In a large cast iron
Dutch oven, heat oil to 350°
and deep fry chicken skin for
45 seconds. Drain on a paper
towel lined plate.
Make the guacamole: Smash
pitted avocados with serrano, a
squeeze of lime juice, and salt
until well incorporated.
Make the crema de rancho: In
a mixing bowl, bring heavy
cream to room temperature
and stir in buttermilk. Cover
the bowl with cheesecloth and
let it sit overnight. Mix in lime
and salt to serve.
Assemble tacos by reheating
tortillas on an open flame. Add
guacamole, top with shredded
chicken and drizzle with
crema de rancho. Garnish with
microgreens and chicken skin
Now the executive chef at
Puesto at the Headquarters,
Chong plans to offer
this taco on the menu. Below:
Edgar with his grandfather at the
mango fields in Jalisco.
PHOTO COURTESY EDGAR CHONG
SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 25
Day Trip to
BY DEBRA BASS
f you’ve ever had any trepidation about crossing the border,
this might be the perfect local excursion for those who want
to be spoiled. Rancho La Puerta is located in Tecate about
an hour east of the Otay border. The spa and health-centered
resort renowned for its luxurious weeklong accommodations
offers single-day excursions on select Saturdays of every month.
The day trip includes a 50-minute classic massage, fitness
classes, free time to get in touch with nature or relax by the
pool, healthy morning snacks, Mediterranean lunch, a tour of
the organic garden, and a cooking demonstration and buffet at
La Cocina Que Canta. Round trip transportation to and from
San Diego is included for $345.
My day started with a 7:30am bus ride from the Mission Bay
Visitors Center, and within two hours I found myself seated on
the second floor of a rustic dining hall nibbling on a breakfast
snack buffet of breads and muffins (with and without gluten or
dairy), seasonal fruits, and freshly squeezed juices.
I indicated my food preferences as non-dairy and pescatarian,
and servers and supervisors attentively directed me to the most
suitable choices on the buffet line before I even had to ask. Ingredients
and preparations were readily communicated at every
meal, making it clear that dietary restrictions are addressed with
We split into groups for a tour of the grounds after breakfast.
It seemed a bit overwhelming and sprawling at first, but once I
learned to make the loop I realized the property is a series of circuitous
paths that make getting lost nearly impossible. Rancho La
Puerta is designed with accidental exercise in mind and the amenities
are purposely sprinkled throughout to incentivize wandering.
Following the morning tour, the itinerary in my welcome
packet described a schedule of fitness classes ranging from
intense core workouts to gentle meditation. I selected the abs
class, followed by yoga—and then it was already time for the
Mediterranean lunch buffet. The maître d' recognized me from
breakfast and guided me to accommodating dishes. I ended up
with a plateful of salads and vegetables that included a blend
of roasted eggplant, bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, snap peas,
tomatoes, and sweet potato, plus a side salad topped with spicy
There was just enough time after lunch for a massage and nap
under a blanket in a quiet lounge area, so I decided to skip the
two-mile hike up Alex’s Oak Trail.
At 3pm we were whisked off to the resort’s culinary center,
La Cocina Que Canta, which translates to “The Kitchen That
Sings.” It was named after the delightful bird songs from the
property’s morning visitors.
We toured the six-acre organic farm attached to the culinary
center and cooking school and got a lesson in devotion.
The farm uses no commercial or animal fertilizers, and we
were introduced to an abundance of happy worms working
through compost. Chef Denise Roa, who has been with the
ranch for eight years, said that the worms are just one of the
many things that make the soil so fertile and the produce so
PHOTOS COURTESY RANCHO LA PUERTA
As we sauntered through the farm rows, she encouraged us
to bend down and snap off tiny stalks of broccoli and leaves of
different varieties of arugula, spinach, and mustard greens. We
stopped often to sample and almost everyone smiled in surprise
at the pleasant flavors of the raw leafy bits. The arugula was
spicy and the broccoli sweet. The real selling point was when
Roa tugged up a bulb of celery and passed around pieces of it.
It was vaguely peppery, earthy, and faintly sweet; certainly not
your typically bland, crunchy stick used as a delivery system for
something with actual flavor. This was celery you could snack
on cheerfully, even if you weren’t on some torturous diet.
The evening meal was made largely from the garden and included
Moroccan sweet potato lentil stew, citrus-marinated kale
with apple and pepitas, arugula salad with quinoa and avocado,
and roasted shrimp and turnips served on cedar planks with
Dessert was a chocolate coconut ginger mousse. We all agreed
that the cups for this heavenly concoction were much too
small—and like the day—ran out too quickly.
SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 27
LOCAL ATTRACTIONS |
BY ERIN JACKSON
Check This Out
TASTE VENTURE TOURS
As founder of Taste Venture Tours, Dominique
Cancio guides curious explorers to
Barrio Logan to experience the neighborhood’s
unique culinary offerings and learn about its history
“I want people to have real conversations—
and the best way I know how to do that is over
food,” says Cancio.
Tours typically depart from Iron Fist Brewing
Co. and include a guided stroll to view the
Chicano Park murals, a behind-the-scenes look
at Thorn Brewery with tacos from Chicano Soul
Food, and a taste of something sweet before a
final stop at Border X for loteria or Latin jazz
night. From start to finish, the experience typically
lasts three to four hours.
Cancio is expanding the company’s offerings
to include daytime Barrio Logan tours and crossborder
excursions to Tijuana and Ensenada.
Gator By The Bay returns with classic
New Orleans cuisine, live music, and
bon temps from May 9–12.
Join executive chef Jeff Jackson and
Matt Gordon (of Urban Solace) for Playing
With Fire, a wood-fired dinner at
The Grill at Torrey Pines on May 6.
AVANT’s culinary team will teach you how
to make a delicious dinner that’s light on
calories and rich in flavor at the AVANT
School of Cooking on May 8.
Journey to Wild Willow Farm for a
South Bay Culinary Tour featuring a
coffee demo, farm-to-table lunch, and
wine tasting on May 25.
The Seedling Soirée is the Olivewood
Gardens & Learning Center’s
annual fundraiser that showcases the
season’s bounty with garden-inspired
cocktails and a chef’s culinary feast on
Taste of Little Italy returns with
tasty bites and beverages on a
self-guided tour through one of San
Diego’s most vibrant dining neighborhoods
on June 19.
Go behind the scenes on a Beer
Geek Tour that starts at White Labs,
followed by lunch at Brothers Provisions
and a tour at Societe Brewing
Company. The info-packed beer experience
takes place on June 29.
Find more events online at ediblesandiego.com/event-list.
a comfortable, affordable healthy home awaits you
Healthy Homes, Consciously Crafted
Gelato, Coffee & Panini
Small Batch Gelato
Featuring local produce from our community.
| LOCAL ATTRACTIONS
BY THEODORE R. NIEKRAS
FORAGING IN MAY AND JUNE
Although our spring showers have already
come and gone, that old adage about May flowers
still stands, especially this year. Hike any
ditch or crevasse and find greens like dandelion,
sow thistle, purslane, wood sorrel, wild fennel,
mallow, wild mustard, and watercress.
Sow thistle, dandelion’s close cousin, is one
of my favorites. Everything from root to shoot
can be eaten on this plant and similar ones, but
watch out for the central stalk that tends to have
small thorns. Kumquat stands out as a citrus
that’ll be plentifully available. Burdock should be
prime for its artichoke-flavored stalk and root.
Last but not least, forage for the common garden
snail in the evening. This snail was reportedly
introduced to California during the Gold Rush
by a Frenchman who dearly missed his escargot.
Disclaimer: When foraging for food, anything
collected should be properly identified and prepared
... and explore an endless array of fitness classes and the
beauty of a sacred mountain. Fill up with fresh air and
sun-kissed fare grown on our organic farm. Rancho La
Puerta marries simplicity with splendor. We don’t just
renew minds and bodies. We tend carefully to your soul.
Destination Wellness Resort & Spa
877-440-7778 • RANCHOLAPUERTA.COM
SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 29
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
Neighborhood Dining Guide
These restaurants are either locally owned, passionate about local sourcing, or both. Enjoy a delicious meal
and make sure to tell them that Edible San Diego sent you!
11480 North Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla
858-453-4420 • lodgetorreypines.com/ar-valentien
The Torrey Pines Lodge’s signature restaurant,
A.R. Valentien, highlights regional San Diego
cuisine served in an elegant, timbered indooroutdoor
dining room overlooking the 18th hole
of Torrey Pines Golf Course. Executive chef Jeff
Jackson sources only the best local provisions,
and the menu changes frequently based on
seasonal fare available. The restaurant takes
its name from a talented early-20th-century
California artist whose works are exhibited
throughout the restaurant.
122 South Kalmia St., Escondido
760-745-6500 • escogelato.com
Located in the heart of Escondido, EscoGelato is
made fresh daily using the highest quality ingredients
and fresh fruit sourced from local farmers.
The result is a luscious, super-creamy gelato that’s
full of flavor. You will taste the difference. In addition
to the main event, enjoy a nice selection of
paninis, soups, salads, coffee, and tea.
3733 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach
858-488-0800 • juicewavesd.com
What began as San Diego’s first organic juice truck now has
two happy homes in Miramar and Mission Beach. Still, their
commitment rings true: “Refresh and nourish the soul by
using the best quality farm-fresh ingredients from local farms
that reflect the radiant growing season in Southern California.”
Check out their creatively named cleanses, like Lettuce
Love, Turnip The Beet, and Kalefornia.
OCEANA COASTAL KITCHEN
3999 Mission Blvd., San Diego
858-539-8635 • catamaranresort.com/dining-entertainment/
Oceana Coastal Kitchen features chef-driven California cuisine
and a modern, ocean-inspired design. Oceana offers bayfront
dining at an iconic Pacific Beach hideaway. Executive
chef Steven Riemer’s playful interpretations of classic dishes
highlight the purity and flavors of California local produce
and a commitment to sustainable ingredients. A cold bar with
sushi options, small bites, and main dishes includes the freshest
seafood available from the coast of Baja and the Pacific.
2820 Roosevelt Rd., San Diego
619-270-9670 • solarelounge.com
Solare is an authentic Italian restaurant with a special
focus on southern Italy and Sicily featuring a menu made
with fresh ingredients selected daily. Blending modern
and traditional tastes, the results are light and healthy
dishes brimming with natural flavors. Complement your
meal with one of 2,000 bottles of wine from the cellar or
30 wines by the glass. Solare is committed to serving the
cuisine of today, created with all the love and attention to
detail from generations past.
DOWNTOWN / LITTLE ITALY
3986 30th St., San Diego
619-725-0844 • bivouaccider.com
As a center for experimentation and
camaraderie, Bivouac Ciderworks
is a welcome home for active, creative,
and outdoorsy cider and food
enthusiasts alike. Their goal is to inspire curiosity and
foster a passion for what craft cider brings to the table.
The outdoor-inspired tasting room, right in the heart of
North Park, features a full menu of food options. Don’t
miss the Impossible Burger, award-winning tuna poke,
and vegan jackfruit sliders.
PHOTO COURTESY SUZANNE SCHAFFNER ESCOGELATO
Escondido—Welk Resort †
8860 Lawrence Welk Dr.
1st St. & B Ave., Ferry Landing
262 East Grand Ave.
2:30–7pm (2:30–6pm Oct to May)
Mira Mesa *
10510 Reagan Rd.
2:30–7pm (3–6pm fall-winter)
Otay Ranch—Chula Vista
2015 Birch Rd. and Eastlake Blvd.
4–8pm (3–7pm winter)
Pacific Beach Tuesday †
Bayard & Garnet
2–7:30pm (2–7pm fall-winter)
People’s Produce Night Market
5010 Market St.
San Marcos NEW!
1035 La Bonita Dr.
UCSD Town Square
UCSD Campus, Town Square
10am–2pm, Sept to June
Vail Headquarters *
32115 Temecula Pkwy.
Little Italy Wednesday *†
501 W. Date St.
4900 block of Newport Ave.
4–8pm (4–7pm winter)
State Street in Carlsbad Village
State St. & Carlsbad Village Dr.
3–7pm (3–6pm fall-winter)
40820 Winchester Rd. by Macy’s
2885 Lemon Grove Ave.
Linda Vista *†
6939 Linda Vista Rd.
3–7pm (2–6pm winter)
North Park Thursday *†
2900 North Park Way
Oceanside Morning *
Pier View Way & Coast Hwy. 101
16535 Via Esprillo
Campanile Walkway btwn Hepner Hall
& Love Library
10am–3pm, Sept to June
Horton Plaza Lunch Market
199 Horton Plaza
28246 Lilac Rd.
3–7pm (2–6pm, Nov to Mar)
700 Palm Canyon Dr.
7am–noon, Oct to May
Horton Plaza Lunch Market
225 Broadway Circle
Imperial Beach *†
10 Evergreen Ave.
2–7pm, (2–6pm winter)
La Mesa Village *
La Mesa Blvd. btwn Palm & Allison
Mission Valley *†
7960 Civita Blvd.
3–7pm, Apr to Jan
13330 Paseo del Verano Norte
City Heights *†!
Wightman St. btwn Fairmount & 43rd
1050 Camino Del Mar
8725 Ariva Ct.
Little Italy Mercato †
600 W. Date St.
4150 Mission Blvd.
14134 Midland Rd.
Rancho Penasquitos YMCA
9400 Fairgrove Ln.
10380 Spring Canyon Rd.
Temecula—Old Town *
Sixth & Front St., Old Town
325 Melrose Dr.
Allied Gardens Sunday
5170 GreenBrier Ave.
3960 Normal & Lincoln Sts.
La Jolla Open Aire
Girard Ave. & Genter
185 Union St. & Vulcan St.
Village Walk Plaza
I-15, exit west on Calif. Oaks & Kalmia
North San Diego / Sikes Adobe †
12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido
Rancho Santa Fe Del Rayo Village
16079 San Dieguito Rd.
21887 Washington St.
410 South Cedros Ave.
* Market vendors accept WIC (Women, Infants, Children Farmers’ Market checks)
† Market vendors accept EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer)
! Currently only City Heights accepts WIC Farmers’ Market checks and the WIC
Fruit and Vegetable checks.
All San Diego County markets listed except SDSU and Seeds @ City are
certified by the County Agricultural Commissioner.
Visit ediblesandiego.com and click on “Resources” for more complete
information and links to farmers’ market websites.
SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 31
BY OLIVIA HAYO
How to Make
Cóctel de Frutas
Mexican Fruit Cocktail
he pucker of lime and heat of chiles are addicting
sensations, but couple them with cooling fruits
and vegetables and you’ve got a recipe for the ultimate
refreshment: cóctel de frutas. You’ve undoubtedly seen
fruterías, Mexican juice bars or kiosks lined with cups of
fresh-cut fruit doused in lime, chile powder, and dripping
in a deep red sauce, and you either bought a cup
and found yourself hooked, or wandered by curiously
vowing to try it another time.
Here’s a quick guide to create one of your own at
home with natural ingredients that will make you a
devoted fan in no time.
1. Chile Powder
Popular under the brand name Tajín, this seasoning
blend is made from chiles, salt, lime, and an anticaking
agent. While we’d grab Tajín from our pantry in a pinch,
there’s nothing like making your own that’s completely customized
to your palate and free of any preservatives. Here’s
a recipe to get you started: Remove seeds and stems of 1
cup dried chiles de árbol and 1 whole ancho chile. Toast
in a skillet until fragrant and set aside to cool. Break chiles
into smaller pieces and finely grind using a spice grinder;
mix with 2 ½ tablespoons ground dried lime (available at
international markets) and smoked salt to taste.
Sweet, sour, spicy, and salty: This condiment is a secret
weapon you’ll want to find any excuse to use. Aside from
its use as a sauce on cóctel de frutas or swirled through a
fruit smoothie, it’s also great in savory dishes (just imagine
it as a glaze brushed over grilled chicken). There are many
brands available at the grocery store but making your own
with a few ingredients means you always know what’s in
it. Soak 5 dried apricots in warm water for 30 minutes
or up to overnight. Discard liquid and add the fruit to a
blender with 1 cup apricot jam, ¼ cup fresh lime juice,
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon ground ancho
chile, and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth. Store in
the fridge for up to a week.
Spices and condiments can only do so much, so be
sure to select seasonal fruits and vegetables with varying
textures, colors, and sweetness for the best result.
Favorites include mango, watermelon, jicama, cantelope,
cucumber, pineapple, and young coconut. Cut into
spears, wedges, cubes, or slices, and arrange on a serving
platter, or divide into cups.
Dust everything with chile powder, drizzle with
chamoy, and top with dried coconut, chile mango,
crushed peanuts, or pieces of tamarind candy.
E X C L U S I V E E V E N T S E R I E S
B A J A