Contributed by Guest Blogger Vasudha Mukherjee Bal
Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Meal for 2: US$
Address & other details: La Fiesta
I was in San Diego for work recently and was craving for some authentic Mexican food. Living in Boston can leave you with a craving for spicy favorites if you are in Southern California for sure! There is this one dish that I love called “Mocajete” which is my way of measuring whether or not a Mexican restaurant is authentic or not! So we looked up reviews in Yelp, found the “La Fiesta” in the Gaslamp area of downtown San Diego and decided to go in.
We started with the free nachos (corn chips) which were served with a homemade roasted tomato salsa. I requested for the habanero salsa and mixed it with the mild one for a spicier zing on my tongue. Yum! It certainly had the kick!
For the main course, I got the molcajete (of course, how could I not?) Molcajete is described in their menu as “a mix of fresh seafood, white fish, crab meat, mussels, scallops, clams, octopus, shrimp and a prawn. Baked in our roasted red pepper sauce. Garnished with fresh cilantro, red onion, and panela cheese. Served with black beans, Mexican rice, and fresh tortillas.” It comes in this huge stone bowl and is served steaming hot. I loved the softness of the panela cheese as well as the prawns.
However I have tasted better molcajete in New Jersey (believe it or not, there are some authentic Mexican places there too!). The sauce could do with more flavor and I definitely missed the flavor of the smoked sausage in the other places I have had this dish.
We also tried chiles relenos, which are two ortega chilies stuffed with cheese, batter fried , and topped with ranchero sauce and melted cheese. Served with rice, beans, and tortillas. This dish was worth raving about, the cheese was melt in the mouth and the ranchero sauce offered a nice topping to the chilies.
Lastly, we tried vegetable fajitas, which were served on a sizzling plate. The sautéed bell peppers, onions and tomatoes were marinated in a chili spice and served with refried beans, rice, sour cream, and guacamole. The veggies were grilled right, and tasted good overall. However, overall it was not outstanding. I remember a little Tex-Mex place in Dallas which had home made tortillas that made all the difference to their fajitas. These tortillas were the usual factory made ones.
Overall, a nice environment, the prices are a little on the higher side (below $30) and service is good. Worth a try.