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A Brilliant Gastronomic Adventure

Mision 19 captivating BajaMed cuisine

April 6, 2012  By Kristin Díaz de Sandi of Life & Food. Reprinted with permission from

Mision 19 is a dining experience in Tijuana that one will never be able to forget. Pictures by Kristin Díaz de Sandi

The Baja region along with its cuisine and Chefs have been all the rage lately. Whether you have read about it in articles, or visited on your own, it is truly an amazing destination.

Many of the Chefs are coming out with innovative dishes that are sure to break you of the typical Mexican food stereotyping. One of the more well known names in the restaurant business in Tijuana, is the Plascencia family. They own several restaurants in Tijuana, as well as one on the U.S. side.

The latest addition to their gastronomic empire is Mision 19.

Chef Javier Plascencia’s Mision 19 is located on the second level of the ecologically designed Via Corporativo building, in the Zona Urbana Rio of Tijuana BC. This sleek concrete and wood building is the first sustainable structure to be built in Tijuana. The restaurant itself is surrounded by floor to ceiling windows, and accented with warm touches of red color, and wood tables and chairs.

The food and its presentation tie in perfectly with the overall design of the restaurant. Each of the courses were exhibited on either lava rock, pieces of slate, or gorgeous white dishes. All of the ingredients used in the dishes are locally sourced within a 120 mile range, and their wine list is comprised up of wines from different Baja wineries.

By choosing to order the Chef’s 4,6, or 8 course meal, you will get to experience the most out of the menu.

The first dish was the Parfait de Callo de Hacha. A tall glass is filled with an avocado merengue, Persian cucumbers, Baja scallops, Chile Chiltepin, and then embellished with corn sand, and a sprig of green sea bean. Before going in for the first bite, you are told to mix up the ingredients to get the full flavor experience. Just one spoonful includes every layer in the parfait, resulting in a creamy and crunchy bite, with an added touch of sweetness and spice.

Following that came out one of the favorites of the evening. A tiny square toast surrounded by tuna tartare, and topped with a quail egg. We asked what the correct way was to go about eating it, and the answer was to assemble it as a sandwich with the egg on top. The egg was cooked to perfection, and dribbled down the tuna and toast with the first bite.There were bright notes of orange citrus that stuck in the background and even shined through the velvety yolk.

The next dish was the one to tie in closely as the other favorite of the evening. Presented on a square of slate was a piece of grilled octopus with a touch of garlic jelly, and then drizzled with a Pistachio olive oil. The addition of a charred Habanero salsa on the plate brought in the appropriate element of heat.

I can’t get enough of the pleasant texture brought on by the suction cups on the octopus tentacle. Eating octopus could easily become a part of every day life.

The heartier part of the meal was the next course of the Risotto Arborio. The risotto follows the tradition of being made with Arborio rice, but in comes a slightly unexpected twist.

Heirloom beans and barley create an almost meaty consistency to the intense creaminess. The dish is rounded out by a richness of black truffles and a light dusting of earthy Huitlacoche powder.


The final savory course was seared wild tuna that rested on top of brussels sprout and charred cauliflower purees.

You could not have asked for a more fresh and perfectly cooked piece of fish. An added contrast of textures came from the nopal relish, Chicharron de costilla de res, and pine nuts. Just when you think the dish is beautiful and can be eaten as is, the waiter comes along side and pours over a black mole caramel sauce. The luscious sauce entirely complemented the tuna and its components.

After a couple bites into this dish, out came the absolutely gorgeous bone marrow. We were told to eat the two together, which I can say that this was my first time trying tuna and bone marrow together as a combination. The two instantly joined together and became a couple tantalizing every taste bud.


The cheese course was made up of four different cheeses all from the Baja region. Just even watching the cheese plate being constructed by the waiter was a special experience. Along with the cheeses were two artisanal marmalades. One was made with flecks of Rosemary and pistachios, and the other with Jamaica. These could have easily been the best marmalades that I have ever tried in my life.


The night came to an end on a sweet note. The flaky date filled Coyotas Caseras shared the plate along with 3 different flavors of ice cream; coffee, dulce de leche, and pumpkin. I wasn’t able to pick a favorite, each and every flavor had it’s own personality and flare. The other sweet sensation was a red velvet cake with a chocolate raspberry filling, vanilla ice cream, and green apple gelatin. Everything about both of these desserts left me speechless.

Mision 19 is a dining experience in Tijuana that one will never be able to forget. Venture down to the Tijuana that perhaps you were unaware of, and discover what this essential Baja cuisine is all about.

By Kristin Díaz de Sandi

Kristin and Antonio blog at Life & Food and you can follow them on Twitter at @lifefoodblog and Facebook. is designed as the first portal in Spanish that provides information/entertainment and news in SanDiego and the Tijuana / Baja California region. Our main objective is that you find all the information that you need in SanDiegoRed and BECOME  your preferred portal. We are committed to working tirelessly to meet your expectations and deliver the best website in Spanish. Contact or call (858) 454-511.

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Just how safe is driving in Tijuana and Mexico?

By Larry Crowson

Mexico is enchanting. It is not the cost of living that continues to attract us, but rather the way of life. We enjoy the warm climate, friends, sand between our toes, golfing, fishing and outdoor activities. Our lives are significantly simpler than they were before we semi-retired here six years ago.

The real hazards of Mexico's roads!

We find most Mexicans honest and hardworking. They have a love for family and a love for life. We count many as friends and trusted colleagues. There are bad apples and good apples in any barrel, but I feel that Mexicans get a bum rap in the news up north. The country is historically intriguing. We cannot get enough of the pyramids and colonial cities, the pageantry of parades or the small and large fiestas and local celebrations. We envy the Mexicans’ deep family roots and love for each other and their children. Mexico is about family values and believe me, Mexicans hate crime just as much as we do.

We feel safer in our little town and in most places we visit here than we do when we travel and visit many cities and towns north of the border. Having said that, we recognize that things have changed in the minds of many folks north of the border due to false and not factual reporting from the major news outlets like Fox or ABC.

Facts are, the US government wants to scare you, hoping to keep your US Dollars at home. I have lived or traveled around Mexico extensively for 7 years now and have never seen any crime or drug cartel activity.

We have given daily thought to how we should advise people regarding road travel and safety in Mexico. While we know a great deal about driving in Mexico, the highway system, rules of the road etc., we are NOT experts in law enforcement.

We do however have common sense and with our Mexican driving experience, we can tell you when we think something is fishy, not quite right, or altogether wrong. You use common sense don’t you at home when you’re driving?  Well, you should do that here in Mexico or anywhere you are in the world.

If you have traveled before to Mexico, then we believe you will not see anything different from your previous visits. We traveled thousands of kilometers during the summer of 2010 and did not see anything unusual except that the Mexican government is spending billions on new highways and improvements. Mexico’s roads are truly nice to drive on for the most part. We have gone out at night to restaurants and bars but as always, stick to the more savory side of town. Exercising common-sense precautions, as we would in any place unknown to us, we have been and felt completely safe. We don’t drive in many areas of Portland, Oregon when we are visiting there either.

During the past few months, we have talked to senior Mexican authorities, those involved in the tourist sector, hotel and RV Parks as well as gas station attendants and friends and family. Everyone has feelings of uneasiness and trepidation. We are definitely NOT saying no problema…..we are saying WE HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS.

As avid road travelers in Mexico, we have never seen a carjacking, a phony roadblock, or a murder. We have crossed using the Tijuana, Mexicali, Nuevo Laredo and Nogales border crossings. This summer alone we traveled nearly 7,000 miles without incident. The only difference we can see at the borders between this year and the previous years are that tourist traffic has been reduced.

There is no evidence to show that tourists are being targeted. The reported violence generally takes place in border areas and in isolated spots throughout the country. So, with this in mind, use your common sense and enjoy all that Mexico has to offer.

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