Had a very enjoyable meal at The Lobster House last weekend. For two, with drinks and dessert, we paid $65, after gratuity, for a meal which would surely have cost double that in a comparable U.S. restaurants. Second-level, window seating had good views of street and Pacific, with wandering mariachis providing music. Since it was our first visit to Puerto Nueveo, we have nothing with which to compare, but we were delighted with the charming dining.
We used to go to La Fonda at least once a month before Dmytri sold. We met the new owners, they said they were in the restaurant/hospitality business in Las Vegas.
After the handover, we had a string of very disappointing dinners and our complaints were met a an "eh" attitude. We have also heard complaints about their experience from other long-time customers, but nevertheless, La Fonda is still doing a bust out business.
The meal we had there recently is the first time we'd been back in a couple of years and everyone in our party enjoyed their selections,the service was excellent and its really hard to screw up the ambience of a candlelit dinner on an oceanfront patio on a soft summer night.
Regarding Puerto Nuevo, I ate lunch at the first restaurant on the left a few months ago (sorry, the name escapes me, but it's the only one with an ATM machine). Nice, friendly family-run place, they'll cook to your order and have a menu that include fish (whole & filet), squid, octopus and shrimp. I had the whole, deep-fried fish, cooked moist as requested. We chatted with a couple of guys from Westwood who drive down once a month just to eat lobster there. I've heard that Chela's has good food (the three story building on the southern edge of PN) and we liked the lobster at the little house that is perched on the edge of the ocean at the farthest northwestern corner of PN (you drive past Ortega's and turn right and follow the winding road down to the cliff edge (the owner is a lobster fisherman), but haven't been back there in a couple of years. We have eaten at Ortega's and know the owner, it's OK, but they do volume, volume, volume and you get the set menu.
A couple of months ago, I had the lobster feast at La Fonda at the La Mision exit on the toll road. $26 if I remember correctly - 3-4 smallish but tasty lobsters, moist & flavorful with a FULL dinner - chips, salsa, salad, black bean soup, rice and beans. It's the same thing they've been doing for years and they still do it well.
But, if you want my favorite places: In Rosarito, Vince's Restaurant and Fish Market, on the ocean side of the main drag, a few blocks north of the Festival Plaza Hotel, just past El Nido Restaurant. Run by a family that used to fish out of Popotla, they recently took over the closed bank building adjacent and tripled their space. They have live bugs in tanks and you can introduce yourself to your meal. They also will prepare the lobster "al gusto" (to your liking), which means you can have it steamed ("al vapor"), but they do fry it just right - tender and moist.
In Ensenada, I like Bahia Mariscos on Avenida Ruiz, 1 1/2 blocks up from the main boulevard lining the malecon and fish market. Huge royal blue awnings and heavy plastic see-through drapes shelter the sidewalk tables. Large menu, with lobsters and other goodies swinning around in the saltwater tanks.
Have a great time!
Gypsy Jan is your best bet for getting an answer to this question. She posts ocassionally on the CA board and sometimes here as well. She lives in Baja and her posts on her local area are usually spot-on.
That whole corridor from Tijuana to Ensenada is pretty touristy, and it's hard to escape that. I've had pretty good luck with the Ortega outlet on the southwest corner of the second block in. Not sure if it's really worth the trip down, but if you've never been you should go at least once. Watch the Maggie's though, they really put tequila in them and they are not slurppies.