4:20 p.m. Stop number seven on the Baja culinary blitz took our grossly over-fed group to Cien Años. The kitchen here is headed up by twenty-one-year-old Talia Nunes, who prepares Mexico City-style alta cocina using local ingredients. Cien Años’ philosophy is similar to La Diferencia, but with a greater emphasis on Baja flare and an absence of six-legged creatures on the menu.
It’s a crying shame that Cien Años was scheduled so late in the afternoon. By the time we walked through its colorfully appointed dining room, our bellies were full to the brim, while our minds were wiped-out from sensory overload.
Cien Años flight of light bites included nopales tostadas (left), octopus tostadas (right, top), and chili shrimp on crackers (right, bottom). H.C. and I were feeling so overwhelmed that we split each of these small botanas (snacks) in order to fit everything in.
Next, we were served a ceviche of salmon and mango in tortilla cups (left) and shooters of spicy almeja de chocolata (chocolate clam – right). Native to Mexico, the chocolate clam was undeniably fresh and had a texture so appealing that it made me forget that I was supposed to be sharing with H.C. The wonton chip was a curious, but ultimately fitting pairing.
The finale, a shredded smoked marlin salpicon, was plated with care, but we were sadly too stuffed to give it proper attention. On occasions like these, I wish I were blessed with four stomachs like a cow. Moo.
1407 Calle José María Velasco, Zona Río
Tijuana, BC, Mexico