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Romesco Baja Med Now Open for Lunch

El Chevere Nov 30, 2013 08:20 PM

Per their Facebook page, they will be serving "Tijuana Street Food" for lunch Tuesday-Friday from 12 - 4 PM....menu not yet up on their website, but will be within a week...could fill the void for me given the sudden and unexpected closing of Los Arcos.

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  1. k
    kriot RE: El Chevere Dec 2, 2013 04:21 PM

    How is Romesco's these days? Last time i went about 1.5 years ago it was kinda ho-hum. Seemed the menu had changed to more "italian" than mex.

    19 Replies
    1. re: kriot
      El Chevere RE: kriot Dec 2, 2013 08:11 PM

      They still have both, but I stick with the Baja Mex seafood items and their wonderful caesar salad--the Plasencia restaurant empire started out in TJ with Giuseppi's and then included Villa Saverios,among other restaurants, which I is why I suppose they offer Italian food at Romesco (plus, it was probably added to the Romesco menu to cater to many of the Tijuaneros who ate at these other establishments before fleeing Baja for San Diego last decade during the cartel violence period). I also like Romesco because they offer some tastey Baja wines, such as the Santo Tomas brand.

      1. re: El Chevere
        SaltyRaisins RE: El Chevere Dec 2, 2013 09:09 PM

        Why is it that the Plasencia brand is 'hip' while the Cohn brand is 'square?' I'm not trying to be a troll (I really like some of both empires a lot), but why?

        Apologie in anticipo.

        1. re: SaltyRaisins
          DiningDiva RE: SaltyRaisins Dec 2, 2013 09:24 PM

          Now there's an interesting question...

          1. re: SaltyRaisins
            honkman RE: SaltyRaisins Dec 2, 2013 10:18 PM

            Better (national) press coverage

            1. re: SaltyRaisins
              foodiechick RE: SaltyRaisins Dec 3, 2013 01:29 AM

              Valid question. Because Javier is hot and the press is currently in love with the thought of him singlehandedly bringing back the dining scene in Tijuana. The food I have had had at the Plasencia brand has been very good to middling, the food that I have had at the Cohen brand has been middling to poor. Just my humble, opinion.

              1. re: SaltyRaisins
                Fake Name RE: SaltyRaisins Dec 3, 2013 05:07 AM

                I've not eaten at Romesco, but as far as the brand goes, Placencia is BETTER.

                Their food is consistently awesome. Flavors are more evolved, technique is food-driven not profit determined.

                I think the Cohns do a great job running their business, and applaud their success.

                But the Placencia restaurants are the BMW compared to the Toyota Camry.

                1. re: Fake Name
                  El Chevere RE: Fake Name Dec 3, 2013 06:56 AM


                  1. re: Fake Name
                    DiningDiva RE: Fake Name Dec 3, 2013 08:43 AM

                    I don't know that I'd call the Placencia Groups' food consistently awesome. I've had fair to middlin' food at Ceasars, Mision 19 and Romescos, BUT I have never had a meal that was anything but stellar at Erizo.

                    The difference for me isn't necessarily in the execution of the menus so much as it is the items on the menu are just more interesting.

                    I agree with you 100% about the Cohn's running a great restaurant empire from the business standpoint, and that is something that is highly valued in the U.S. But their menus are stuck in that San Diego syndrome of tried and true, don't rock the boat safety and sameness that haunts 95% of the menus in town. Is there a short rib dish? Check. A burger dish? Check. A fish du jour? Check. Some sort of spinach or ceasar salad? Check.

                    There is a difference in doing business in Mexico and I think it allows the Placencia's more latitude and leeway to take more risks with their food concepts and push the creativity envelope more than is possible NOB.

                    Mision 19 and Erizo are Javier's expression of his food. Some of the other restaurants reflect the family business. Soemtimes their dishes work and are great, sometimes they miss, but they're not usually boring...(Okay, the milanesa at Ceasar's was boring, I ordered wrong)

                    1. re: DiningDiva
                      Fake Name RE: DiningDiva Dec 3, 2013 01:13 PM

                      Latitude and leeway, certainly. But latitude and leeway are the antithesis of good branding.

                      Do I care? Hell no. I enjoy the latitude and leeway as demonstrated in the difference between Mision19 and Finca Altozano. Loved both places, but truly a branding fail.

                      Oh, sorry: #brandingfail. See, I'm a social media expert.

                      1. re: Fake Name
                        DiningDiva RE: Fake Name Dec 3, 2013 01:29 PM

                        Somehow I'm thinking branding wasn't at the top of the list when the Placencia family was conceiving them.

                        1. re: DiningDiva
                          Fake Name RE: DiningDiva Dec 3, 2013 02:00 PM

                          Thus my point. : )

                          1. re: Fake Name
                            DiningDiva RE: Fake Name Dec 3, 2013 05:08 PM

                            You...you...you mean they *weren't* concerned with trying to come up with a clever fabric name? Or trying on next size in fedoras? (she said as the sarcasm dripped onto the keyboard...)

                            1. re: DiningDiva
                              Fake Name RE: DiningDiva Dec 3, 2013 05:41 PM

                              They got it all backwards. The made the food before the brand and the advertising.

                              Crazy, I know.

                              1. re: Fake Name
                                honkman RE: Fake Name Dec 3, 2013 08:57 PM

                                Food is overrated anyway

                    2. re: Fake Name
                      littlestevie RE: Fake Name Dec 4, 2013 11:53 AM

                      But I thought the Cohns were in a Lexus dealership not Toyota

                2. re: kriot
                  DoctorChow RE: kriot Dec 2, 2013 10:33 PM

                  I think Romesco's is a gem and basically agree with El C's assessment -- food in TJ and in other metro areas of Mexico is much more than burritos and surprisingly (to the uninitated) ethnically diverse. Which is to say, Italian isn't something that's unusual at all (quite the contrary) in TJ restaurants -- even moreso in the Ciudad Grande. I think Romesco's offerings are a reflection of the broader cut of TJ, in other words. I wasn't there 1.5 years ago, but can speak for it more recently, and think you owe it to yourself to drive out to Bonita to check it out again.

                  1. re: kriot
                    foodiechick RE: kriot Dec 3, 2013 01:23 AM

                    Hmmm. This does not cater to what I see is their core client. But maybe that is what they need to do to expand the business.

                    1. re: kriot
                      The Office Goat RE: kriot Dec 3, 2013 08:27 AM

                      We eat in the bar and make a dinner out of trying as many of the tasty small plates as we can.
                      I have yet to eat in their main dining area or try any of the larger entrees.
                      Some day!

                      1. re: The Office Goat
                        DiningDiva RE: The Office Goat Dec 3, 2013 08:33 AM

                        If there is a small plate/app with octopus on it, try it. I have never had a bad octopus dish from any of Javier's kitchens

                    2. foodiechick RE: El Chevere Dec 3, 2013 12:57 PM

                      They just posted new "street" menu items on FB.

                      SOME OF OUR NEW ITEMS.....

                      SHRIMP TACO: Chupacabras Pale Ale Batter / pico de gallo / fresh mexican cream / cabbage

                      TAQUITOS DORADOS DE CACHETE: Deep fried beef cheek tacos / tender greens / cotija cheese / marinated tomato and onions / mild salsa aguada / fresh mexican cream

                      CHALUPAS DE LENGUA: Tortilla in mild tomato sauce / beef tongue guisado/ tender greens / Cotija cheese / cilantro / onion / toasted cascabel chiles / fresh cream

                      TORTA DE COSTILLA: Artisan torta bread / slow cooked beef short rib / marinated tomato and onions / tender greens / mustard aioli.

                      TORTA CAESAR’S: Heart romaine lettuce / Tomato / Havarti cheese / red onion / avocado / Dijon mustard / mayonnaise / Caesars dressing.

                      GREEK BURRITO: Grilled Naan bread / cilantro jalapeno hummus / citrus marinated chicken / tomato / red onion / avocado / cucumber / kalamata olives / sweet pepadew peppers / tzatziki

                      ROMESCO THICK & JUICY CHEESE BURGER: 100% Black Angus beef patty / Havarti cheese / red onion / crunchy bacon / fresh ripe tomato / Romesco sauce

                      TIRADITO DE CAMARON CON CALLO: Shrimp and scallops / grilled cucumber, jicama, tomatillo & corn / ponzu / tostadas. “Ask for our aguachile versión”

                      SOUP & SALAD COMBO:
                      Combine any of our salads with your choice of a soup FOR ONLY $10.95

                      AGUAS FRESCAS AND MORE!!!!

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: foodiechick
                        DiningDiva RE: foodiechick Dec 3, 2013 01:30 PM

                        Note to self...time to head south for lunch without having to cross border...

                        1. re: DiningDiva
                          El Chevere RE: DiningDiva Dec 3, 2013 02:03 PM

                          thanks, might check it out this week...now if I could only get my cigars from that island south of Miami without having to cross the border (never mind, different topic).

                          1. re: DiningDiva
                            DoctorChow RE: DiningDiva Dec 3, 2013 03:00 PM

                            One of the things I like about Romesco's is the overall "feeling" I get there. Even before the new offerings, it felt like being transported to TJ w/o having to deal with the border. Just the whole aspect of the place. Maybe I was pre-conditioned to think that way by my born-and-raised Chilanga companion who went there before I did and said she got that feeling, but that's how I feel now when I go. I also like the food there and can't agree with FC's assessment that it's midling to poor.

                            1. re: DoctorChow
                              foodiechick RE: DoctorChow Dec 3, 2013 03:14 PM

                              To be fair, that was referencing the Cohen conglomerate.

                              1. re: foodiechick
                                DoctorChow RE: foodiechick Dec 3, 2013 03:19 PM

                                I guess maybe I mis-interpreted your meaning. If so, my appologies. Yes, you were referencing the Cohen group as an entity, not a specific restaurant. But I took that to embrace Romesco's. Wrongly so?

                                1. re: DoctorChow
                                  foodiechick RE: DoctorChow Dec 3, 2013 03:53 PM

                                  I said very good to middling at Romesco's. A Caesar salad that was dressed with way too much Worcestershire sauce and an overcooked halibut dish were the only off experiences there. Oddly, while I mention the Worcestershire sauce I am looking at the Caesar Salad recipe from the legendary SF Chef Judy Rodgers who passed away yesterday at the early age of 57. Her famous version does not call for the brown sauce at all...think I will give it a whirl.

                                  1. re: foodiechick
                                    DoctorChow RE: foodiechick Dec 3, 2013 04:05 PM

                                    Thanks for clarifying. I'm not familiar with either the Cohen or Placencia groups as such, and guess I got things mixed up in the discussion.

                                    1. re: DoctorChow
                                      Fake Name RE: DoctorChow Dec 3, 2013 04:09 PM

                                      < scoffs >

                                      1. re: Fake Name
                                        DoctorChow RE: Fake Name Dec 3, 2013 06:51 PM

                                        Ignoramus maximus here.

                                    2. re: foodiechick
                                      DoctorChow RE: foodiechick Dec 3, 2013 09:26 PM

                                      @FC: Worcestershire is something that can easily be overapplied. Did you have the server prepare the Caesar at your table? Maybe he got distracted somehow and just kept shaking the bottle...

                                      There's no excuse for overcooked fish though.

                                      Glad those weren't your only two experiences there.

                                      1. re: DoctorChow
                                        foodiechick RE: DoctorChow Dec 3, 2013 10:43 PM

                                        I'm always a little nervous when younger servers prepare it tableside, so we specifically asked him to go "very light" with the WS. Not a major crime, just not to my liking.

                                        1. re: foodiechick
                                          Fake Name RE: foodiechick Dec 4, 2013 02:34 AM


                          2. Fake Name RE: El Chevere Dec 10, 2013 07:44 AM

                            Horrified that Romesco is sporting a groupon thingie, but might be a good deal:


                            10 Replies
                            1. re: Fake Name
                              honkman RE: Fake Name Dec 10, 2013 09:04 AM

                              That's a sign that they are in trouble.

                              1. re: honkman
                                Fake Name RE: honkman Dec 10, 2013 09:13 AM

                                Thus, the "horrified".

                                But let's not jump to conclusions. I might say:

                                "A Groupon or other heavily discounted offer has often indicated an establishment is desperate for business".

                              2. re: Fake Name
                                foodiechick RE: Fake Name Dec 10, 2013 10:34 AM

                                I'm not too worried. They have offered the groupon thingie at least once a year the last couple of years.

                                1. re: Fake Name
                                  The Office Goat RE: Fake Name Dec 10, 2013 11:43 AM

                                  They've been doing that for years. We actually used the discount coupons the first two times we went.

                                  1. re: Fake Name
                                    El Chevere RE: Fake Name Dec 10, 2013 01:23 PM

                                    Nothing to worry about...they've also offered very good specials on Travelzoo for a number of years as well.

                                    1. re: Fake Name
                                      ChowHound3443 RE: Fake Name Dec 11, 2013 11:51 AM

                                      I bet Romesco’s is only doing the Groupon deal to launch their lunch. It's always so good!

                                      1. re: ChowHound3443
                                        Stiflers_Mom RE: ChowHound3443 Dec 11, 2013 12:20 PM

                                        NIce first post there, Chowhound3443! Welcome!

                                        I've noticed there is usually an uptick in restaurant-related discount coupon thingies (particularly for better restaurants) during fall/winter as tourist numbers dwindle and people stay home more during cooler weather. I bought some deals this fall from Barrio Star and Salt & Cleaver. I'll take happy hour prices during lunch hours if a biz is offering it up.

                                        1. re: ChowHound3443
                                          Fake Name RE: ChowHound3443 Dec 11, 2013 01:06 PM

                                          Tremendous opportunity for a wisecrack about "launching one's lunch".

                                          1. re: Fake Name
                                            DoctorChow RE: Fake Name Dec 11, 2013 10:56 PM

                                            Certainly is.

                                            Well, I know you wouldn't jump at that opportunity.

                                            Of that I'm sure.

                                            1. re: DoctorChow
                                              Fake Name RE: DoctorChow Dec 11, 2013 11:17 PM

                                              I have a responsibility to use my gift in a manner that is worthy of its grandeur.

                                      2. Gypsy Jan RE: El Chevere Dec 14, 2013 02:58 PM

                                        From the Food and Life blog:

                                        "Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro: New Tijuana Inspired Lunch"


                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Gypsy Jan
                                          DoctorChow RE: Gypsy Jan Dec 14, 2013 03:08 PM

                                          Can't wait to try the lunch menu.

                                          Thanks for the link. An interesting site.

                                          1. re: DoctorChow
                                            Gypsy Jan RE: DoctorChow Dec 14, 2013 03:26 PM

                                            You are very welcome! :)

                                        2. foodiechick RE: El Chevere Dec 23, 2013 10:48 AM

                                          While we did not sample the new lunch menu (we were there for dinner), I'm happy to report that Romesco's appears to be doing just fine. There was not an empty seat in the house last night, they were even turning people away because there was no room at the bar or in the tapas restaurant for them to wait. Food was very good, entrees included steak, halibut with garlic, beef short rib (which Troy Johnson recently proclaimed as the best in the city) and the Chile en Nogada (Pork tenderloin and beef fillet picadillo with dried fruit and apple stuffed into a poblano chile with walnut sauce). Not sure how authentic or seasonal it is (my first time tasting the dish), but it was very tasty.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: foodiechick
                                            DiningDiva RE: foodiechick Dec 23, 2013 11:08 AM

                                            Fairly traditional, but being a restaurant, probably embellished. The traditional picadillo for chiles en nogada does contain both beef and pork and should be finely minced by hand, not ground. The fruit can be fresh, dried or a combination of the two; apple is a common ingredient.

                                            Did anyone in your group happen to order the Mexican Coffee after dinner? It is prepared tableside and includes lots of alcohol and lots of flambe-ing. Friend had it last month and said the whole thing from presentation to the actual beverage was spectacular.

                                            1. re: DiningDiva
                                              foodiechick RE: DiningDiva Dec 23, 2013 11:26 AM

                                              Ohhhh...next time!

                                          2. d
                                            DoctorChow RE: El Chevere Mar 13, 2014 05:29 PM

                                            It's been a while, but went here today with my GF and a close friend of ours and ordered a number of items from the lunch menu. A decent crowd but not full mid-afternoon, and we were seated immediately. Absolutely wonderful gracious service -- true TJ style.

                                            The tacos cachete and costilla (three of each) were both quite good, if not outstanding, as was the penne arrabiata (which our friend ordered).

                                            On the other hand, my companion absolutely LOVED the ahi tuna tostada and ordered a second -- a rare thing for her to do.

                                            As for me, I had the cochinita pibil, and while it wasn't what I was expecting, it was nevertheless very enjoyable. The shredded pork had a sauce mixed in that included orange and habanero and other spices -- very flavorful. The special part, though, was that our server was kind enough to provide me with a whole fresh ripe habanero, which when chopped and sprinkled on the taquitos elevated them from "very good" to "excellent".

                                            For dessert, we all thought the Mexican flan ("Grandma's recipe") was delicious -- very delicate and smooth, not to sweet. The crème brulee was good too, but not a standout.

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