Crudo Cevicheria & Oyster Bar, which opened last summer in Little Italy and brought a taste of Baja-style seafood to San Diego, is celebrating its first anniversary on Thursday, September 28 with a special guest chef in the house. Diego Hernandez of Valle de Guadalupe’s Corazón de Tierra, which was named one of Latin America’s 50 best restaurants, will be in town cooking up dishes created just for the occasion that present the essence of Baja, including uni toast with cucumber, mint, and Fresno chile and spider crab with crushed potatoes, soubise, and sorrel.
Hernandez, who grew up in Ensenada and attended Tijuana’s Culinary Art School, founded Corazón de Tierra in 2011 as part of an early wave of excellent farm-to-table restaurants in the region. Though the restaurant shuttered during the pandemic, the chef reportedly plans to relaunch it by 2025. In recent years, Hernandez has opened a hifi bar in Ensenada and partnered in a seafood and natural wine spot in LA’s Venice neighborhood.
When asked about the possibility of his own project in San Diego, Hernandez said, “I’m always looking for the right opportunity to keep doing what I love; San Diego sounds pretty cool. The city has always had very good restaurant concepts but were mostly Asian restaurants in my opinion, but recently it became very serious with food from all origins and it’s now easier to eat well in other parts of the city.”
The anniversary event will start at 2 p.m. on September 28, featuring Hernandez’s a la carte menu as well as dishes from Crudo chef Carlos Diaz, a San Diego native who was raised in Tijuana and started his cooking career at Pez in Miami under Javier Plascencia, another renowned Mexican chef. Diaz now collaborates with the India Street restaurant’s founding chef Miguel Angel Gomez.
As for what’s next for Crudo, co-owner Eduardo Bustamante shared that the group is hoping to open a second location in San Diego sometime next year.