Mision 19 – Tijuana

Mision 19 - Tijuana

Hours 24 through 28 in Tijuana were spent at Chef Javier Plascencia’s Mision 19. The five-month-old restaurant, which is located in Baja’s first LEED-certified building, is arguably the city’s most exciting place to dine at the moment. Named the “Master of a New Tijuana” by the New York Times, Chef Plascencia serves traditional Mexican cuisine prepared with ingredients sourced from within a 120-mile radius. The chef draws inspiration for his cooking from local farms, the vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley, and even San Diego’s farmers’ markets.

This forward-thinking restaurant is the eleventh member of the Grupo Plascencia consortium, which is headed by the chef’s father and anchored by Villa Saverios.

Mision 19 - Tijuana

Bill and I were guests of the restaurant this afternoon, along with journalists from Baja and San Diego, as part of a press conference about the region’s thriving culinary scene. Prior to the conference, we were treated to a five-course lunch complete with wine pairings. Needless to say, by the time the official announcements were made, everyone was feeling quite toasty. Or maybe it was just me.

Mision 19

All of the wines served at Mision 19 are from the Guadalupe Valley. We started off with flutes of bubbly and an effective glass of “Mexology.”

Mision 19 - Tijuana

The first course, cono callejero de atún aleta azul, was reminiscent of The French Laundry‘s famous salmon cornets. These ones were filled with avocado and tuna, and topped with sea asparagus and chicharrón crumbles.

Mision 19 - Tijuana

Along the rim was a light dusting of tamarind, salt, and pepper. According to Bill, the garnish was an homage to Mexican street food.

Mision 19 - Tijuana

The second course, ensalada “huerta y granja,” was visually stunning. The “garden and farm” salad included pine nuts, carrots, mixed greens, beluga lentils, squash blossoms, squash puree, and yellow and red beets in various forms. I adored the simply prepared vegetables, but the highlight of the dish for me was a trio of quail preparations. From the delicately roasted wing and leg to the rich pate and hard-boiled egg, every element of the bird was prepared perfectly.

Mision 19 - Tijuana

Next, we were treated to a plethora of breads served with softened butter. From the half dozen varieties on offer, I chose the “butter” and “Mexican” breads. Studded with peppers and chilies, I fancied the pillowy Mexican one most.

Mision 19 - Tijuana

The third course, pesca del dia con higo mision, was the strongest dish of the suite. The centerpiece was a filet of expertly cooked “capiculcho” wrapped in fig leaves. Garnishing the fish was a citrus foam, chicharrón crumbles, fig marmalade, and mission figs. The texture of the fish was fabulously flaky and moist, while the fruity accoutrements were bright and well-balanced. I usually don’t get too excited about cooked fish preparations, but this dish had me licking the plate clean.

Mision 19 - Tijuana

The final savory course, risotto con trufas, nopal y chicharrón de res, was an elevated rendition of traditional Mexican rice and beans. This version was dotted with black truffles and topped with salt-cured nopalitos (prickly pear cactus), citrus foam, and epazote (herb beans). The chewy shards of nopalitos contrasted interestingly and deliciously with the al dente grains of rice.

Mision 19 - Tijuana

For dessert, un estudio en datil, a two-bite treat meant to be “a study in dates.” After all that food and wine, it was just the sweet finish that everyone was in the mood for.

Mision 19

The press conference began as soon as the plates were cleared. Bill (left) took the mic, as well as Chef Plascencia (right), to tout the merits of Baja’s unrivaled ingredients and bustling culinary scene. My Spanish is pretty terrible considering I haven’t studied it since high school, so I didn’t extract as much information as I would’ve liked from the testimonials.

Fortunately, food is a universal language, and on that front, I understood every single word. Baja is a wonderland of good food and wine, and I feel incredibly lucky to have access to such a place. Please join me in supporting  our neighbors down south. It’s the delicious thing to do.

Mision 19
Mision de San Javier, 10643
Zona Urbana Rio
Tijuana, B.C.
Phone: 011-52-664-634-2493

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9 Responses to “Mision 19 – Tijuana”

  • Because of your last post I have already begun planning my trip to TJ to stay with relatives and now after seeing this, the trip won’t come soon enough! These plates look incredible and I really love the added touches like tamarind y sal. Thanks for sharing.

  • thats one nice restaurant… food presentation is awesome

  • Looks great! Can’t wait to go back to TJ

  • I def didn’t have this kind of food when I was in Mexico. Dang. Take me with next time.

  • Went there last night we ordered the duck, pork belly (both delicious), a steak (good, but a little over cooked), and the fish of the day (whitefish which was way too over cooked and tough, not flaky the way it should be), and two bottles of local wine. The wines were good but the price of the wine on the menu didn’t reflect the 150 peso corkage fee. When we got the bill, the waiter showed us where on the wine menu it says that EVERY bottle of wine gets 150 pesos added to the price…JUST ADD IT TO THE PRICE ON THE MENU! They also knew that the fish was overcooked (we left most of it on the plate untouched) and we still had to pay for it. There were 4 of us and we will not be going back to this restaurant nor will we be recommending it to anyone.

    There are many amazing restaurants in Tijuana, this is not one of them.

  • Eden – That is such a shame! I have yet to sit down for a proper dinner here, but plan to do so on my next trip to TJ. I hope that your experience last night was just a blip.

  • I love seeing you get toasty. 😉

    And I LOVE seeing you loving cooked fish!

  • Went there for the first time last week. The place is nice and spacious in a great building (have to go into the food court and watch upwards!!). The food is very good. I tasted everybodys plate. We ate fish, Chicken , lamb, and Pork Chops. Everything was ecellent, specially the pork chops. I do believe for Tijuana it is a bit overpriced and service was very slow. I will go back someday although I would recommend other places that I consider better before this one.

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