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Tijuana’s Mosto Restaurante: An Enjoyable Experience and Meal

Locally sourced ingredients and craft beers in Tijuana

June 2, 2012  By Kristin Díaz de Sandi of Life & Food. Reprinted with permission from SanDiegoRed.com 

Great meals, craft beers, and local wines

Gracing Tijuana with its presence for a little bit over a year is Mosto restaurante. The owner Javier Esparza, has been in the industrial kitchen business for 15 years now.

After being around the planning and equipment for so long, he finally decided to make his passion come to life. He decided that it was time to open up a restaurant of his own, and supply his kitchen with top of the line appliances. As we got to talking with him, you could see more and more how much passion he really has for gastronomy. He absolutely loves what he is doing, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Javier states that the menu at Mosto is developed from a Baja Modern theme. They use all fresh and local ingredients, while fusing them with flavors from around the world. We were presented with a six course meal, which was paired with local craft beers and wine. It seriously does not get better than tasting ingredients and drinks, that have been sourced and made locally.

The meal started off with a ceviche trio that was paired with Diablo Blanco lager. All three of these ceviches had their own personalty and exquisite flavors. Even their tostadas have a unique twist to them. They are always baked, and each and every one of them is individually cut out with a cookie cutter design. These are the little details that one will always remember from a dining experience.

The first one I started with was Mero fish, strawberries, cucumber, chipotle, and just a drizzle of olive oil. At first thought, you may think that the strawberry would make the ceviche sweet, but it actually provides a lovely acidity, rounded out by the little touch of olive oil. The second was local scallops from San Quintin, with a salsa verde. This one tied in closely as my favorite of the three.

The scallops are sweet and meaty, and the tomatillo salsa was bright and refreshing. The final ceviche of the three came out on top as my favorite. Octopus, Oregano, green olives, and Cherry tomatoes all combined to create beautiful textures, and bold flavors. The cherry tomatoes really do add their own flavor, and with the oregano, it’s just so delicious.

The second course was Smoked Marlin and Gouda spring rolls paired with Frontera La Rumorosa Brown Ale. Let me just start off by saying, the caramel notes in this beer are fantastic.

An optimal bite was constructed by dragging the egg roll through the plum and dried chile sauces, and then finished with a sip of the beer. It is just so magical when ingredients are paired well with drinks, that is really what the whole experience is all about.

We were told that the next course is the restaurant’s signature salad. Grilled romaine with Ramonetti cheese, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, all drizzled with a toasted garlic dressing. The romaine had a delightful crunch to it, with a smokiness in the background from the grill. The cheese was mild, but went perfectly with the acidity from the sun dried tomatoes, and garlic dressing. This is on the heartier side of salads, and I could easily go back and just have this with a glass of wine for dinner.

The next two courses were both rich, but were presented as the perfect portion. We sipped a Malbec, with both dishes, and it was divine. The filet of beef is seared on the grill, and then finished off to just the right temperature in the oven. Sharing the plate was a grilled squid and poblano risotto, and some baby vegetables. I can admit that I have never had a risotto with these two ingredients together, but I do want them back in my life again. I am an avid fan of poblano chiles and squid, so this was a match made in heaven.

Following the filet was duck breast, that was nestled on top of duck tinga in adobo. Two entirely different preparations, and the duck was such a star. The plate had a brushed on smear of poblano sauce, which you can use to your advantage. Take a piece of the duck and run it through the sauce, collecting even more flavor.

As we were finishing up this course, Javier informed us that they make all of their own ice cream in house. I knew that dessert was in our very near future.

The evening ended on a luscious note. Out came a rectangular plate with a piece triple chocolate cake and two scoops of ice cream. The layers are made up of brownie, chocolate mousse, and then the whole thing is covered in chocolate. Next to that were two flavors of their house made ice cream. Each one was enticing in its own way, and there was no way that I could pick a favorite.

The first was a mexican chocolate ice cream, that had wonderful notes of cinnamon mixed with the dark chocolate. The other was a refreshing, yet delicate lemon cream mascarpone. Between devouring each bite, I sipped the Ramuri Bucéfalo Imperial stout that it was paired with. This deep and dark beer, was the ideal pairing and a lovely ending to the evening.

Mosto Restaurante will take your taste buds on a journey through their interpretation of Baja Modern cuisine.

Follow this map to Mosto Restaurant

By Kristin Díaz de Sandi

lifeandfoodblog@gmail.com

Kristin and Antonio blog at Life & Food and you can follow them on Twitter at @lifefoodblog and Facebook.

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