This monthly Baja California digest will provide information on events and openings from Tijuana to Ensenada and everything in between, including Tecate, the Valle de Guadalupe and Rosarito. Have a tip, opening or event? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Restaurante Al Sabor
Restaurante Al Sabor celebrated its grand opening last week Tijuana’s colonia La Cacho. It’s run by Mario Medina, formerly of Berninni’s Bistro and Finch’s in La Jolla as well as The Main Course in Ramona. Traditional Mexican favorites will be served for breakfast lunch and dinner.
Scott Koenig of A Gringo in Mexico says of the opening, “Chef Mario Medina was known for California modern and steakhouse cooking here in San Diego. Now he’s followed his passion for the flavors of his home country and offers an extensive menu of traditional Baja California and Mexican dishes at Al Sabor.”
Cereus Bar in Tijuana will celebrate its Grand Opening on Thursday, January 31. It’s a conceptual bar that will offer a menu of classic and craft cocktails, craft beers and wines from the Valle de Guadalupe.
Viaje Oyster Bar
Located at Quinta del Mar in Rosarito Beach, Viaje Oyster Bar’s grand opening will be Thursday, February 7. The menu is designed by chef Marcelo Hisake of Restaurante Amores in Tecate.
SouthNorte Brews a Cross-Border Beer
Last year, SouthNorte (with the help of the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana) founded Dos Californias Brewsters, a cross-border group of women in the beer industry empowering future female brewers through education. They debuted their first collaboration at the Ensenada Beer Festival and all proceeds raised went to fund four partial brewing scholarships through Tijuana’s Technical Institute, which is a lower-income school.
This year, they are brewing their second collaboration at SouthNorte’s space inside of Telefonica Gastro Park. The brew date is February 2 at 9 a.m. and they have 20 women from both sides of the border signed up. The U.S. Consulate in Tijuana is also sending representation. Thanks to generous donations from White Labs and YCH hops, South Norte will be brewing a pale ale with Eukanot hops and the beer will debut at the Ensenada Beer Fest in March. The beer will also be poured on tap at Telefonica, with a portion of proceeds going towards the fund.
Club Tengo Hambre’s Thanksgiving in Baja
Now in its sixth year, culinary tour company Club Tengo Hambre will be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner at Finca Altozano on November 24. $130 gets guests a welcome cocktail with multi-course Thanksgiving meal accompanied by wine and beer pairings prepared by Chef Javier Placencia exclusively for Club Tengo Hambre. Round trip transportation in a private, chauffeured vehicle is optional for an extra $40. Buy tickets here.
Discover Tecate Culinary and Cultural Tour with A Gringo in Mexico
“Tiny Tecate is often overlooked by north of the border foodies. But this little Pueblo Mágico has a lot to offer — from traditional Mexican and Kumeyaay influenced meals to refined European style dining utilizing the fresh bounty of Baja California,” says W. Scott Koenig of A Gringo in Mexico, who is running a culinary and cultural tour of the border “Pueblo Magico” during November. The date is currently TBD but those interested can keep posted here.
Estacion Central is up and running in Tijuana
La Revu is now home to Estacion Central, a new bar and restaurant from Neto Jimenez McFarland featuring a concierge service, cantina, cafe, full-service restaurant and food to take away.
Food Styling Workshop with Cintia Soto
Local food photographer Cintia Soto will be leading a food styling and photography workshop at Valle de Guadalupe’s Maglén Resort. Tickets are here and cost $250 per person.
Verde y Crema Fifth Anniversary Dinner
Celebrating its fifth anniversary and end of service in its current location is Tijuana restaurant Verde y Crema, which will host a multi-course dinner for $80 on October 26. More information can be found here.
Bodegas Henri Lurton Tasting at GSalinas
On November 9 Valle de Guadalupe winery Bodegas Henri Lurton will be hosting a tasting at Tijuana wine bar and bottle shop GSalinas, saving those coming from San Diego a trip down to Valle.
Madre opens in Ensenada
New to Ensenada is Madre, a restaurant from chef Miguel Bahena, who trained under well-known Baja chefs Benito Molina and Drew Deckman.
Baja Culinary Fest
From October 18 to October 20, the Baja Culinary Fest will take place in Tijuana at Club Campestre with this year’s theme centering around sustainability. Intended to highlight the region’s gastronomic tourism opportunities, 20 acclaimed chefs, mixologists, researchers and oceanographers including Joe Magnanelli of Cucina Urbana, Claudette Zepeda of El Jardin, Janina Garaya of Addison Del Mar and Alex Chang of Exchange LA will be leading extensive lectures and demonstration cooking workshops. Saturday’s main event will be held at the Club Campestre de Tijuana, where attendees will be able taste dishes from 30 culinary stations, enjoy live music and interact with chefs.
Valle Food & Wine Fest
The Valle Food & Wine Festival returns for a second run over the weekend of October 5-7, featuring a star-studded lineup of chefs including celebrity chef Rick Bayless, Netflix Chef’s Table stars Nancy Silverton and Dominique Crenn, acclaimed Baja chef Javier Plascencia, Top Chef Jonathan Waxman, Michelin-starred Drew Deckman and Michael Mina, San Diego-based chefs Jason McLeod, Brian Malarkey, Trey Foshee, Jason Knibb, and Andrew Spurgin, who will be heading up the cuisine in the VIP Experience. Also in attendance will be over 25 of Baja California’s winemakers, local craft brewers, musicians, artisans, and artists. The main festival will take place on Saturday, October 6 from 4 pm to midnight at Finca Altozano with exclusive break-off events featured throughout the weekend.
Berry Good Noche
For the first time in the dinner’s eight-year history, Berry Good Night will become Berry Good Noche. The annual dinner, which seeks to bring together like-minded people in the food industry with a specific passion for sustainability, will be held on October 18 at Troika, the casual dining location at Villa del Valle, which also houses acclaimed restaurant Corazon de Tierra and the Vena Cava winery. The dinner, which will be cooked by a nine Valle de Guadalupe chefs, can also be ordered vegan and will cost $150 with Baja wine pairings. Tickets can be purchased here.
Quercus Restaurant’s 5th Anniversary Dinner
On October 28, Seven courses from Quercus chef Luciano Gonzalez and Cantera Cocina de Baja chef Joel Quintana will be served at the Valle de Guadalupe restaurant Quercus’ fifth anniversary dinner. “Restaurante Quercus is a lesser-known gem in the Valle. It’s chef Luciano Gonzalez and chef Joel Quintana from Cantera Cocina del Valle are two to watch in the Valle de Guadalupe. As far as the fifth anniversary dinner goes, expect many big, delicious things,” says San Diego-based W. Scott Koenig, blogger at AGringoInMexico.com and author of the book Seven Days in The Valle: Baja California’s Wine Country Cuisine.
Cocina La Baja Seafood Festival
Baja chefs, restaurateurs and seafood producers will join forces to throw a big seafood party, the Cocina La Baja Seafood Festival, on Estero Beach in Ensenada on October 6.
Festival Los Lomas
The first annual Festival Las Lomas at the Valle de Guadalupe’s Maglén Resort will take place on October 13 and will feature a paella competition, wine, beer, live music and will be kid friendly.
Alex Barraza, who won the Tijuana Chiles en Nogada competition three times, opened a new bakery in August called Etéro Panadería on Avenida Revolución in the Pasaje Revolución next to La Justina and One Bunk hotel.