Restaurants & Bars

Mexico Trip Report

Todos Santos and La Paz Trip Report (long)

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Restaurants & Bars 9

Todos Santos and La Paz Trip Report (long)

sweeterpea | Jan 8, 2011 07:47 PM

Hi, here in La Paz and thought I would write this up before I get home and forget.

Todos Santos is impressive in it's restaurants and here is where we visited:

Cafe Santa Fe: Our fave restaurant hands down - ate there three times and ordered numerous pizzas for the kids. The food isn't especially creative, but they do a fantastic job. I can't recommend one thing as EVERYTHING is good, really and truly. Go and be happy.

Hotel Guaycura: I know locals aren't going to believe this but we had an amazing tasting menu on New Year's Day. The poblano risotto was done perfectly and you know a good restaurant when the risotto is done perfectly. The place has a bad rep in town and locals were shocked when we told them what a great meal we had. In fact, we returned for lunch (to see if we had been just lucky) and had a very tasty and tender "cured" beef sandwich and tomato and olive salad. Service was impeccable and the house-made breads were simply delicious. (no, I don't work for them). We found prices a bit high and servings maybe a bit small, but food quality was excellent. There was a young manager who was very concerned about how we found the food, so maybe they did get a new management team in. Very romantic central courtyard for dining.

El Zaguan: The fish tacos were superb and my husband loved the Dorado. Simple entrees emphasizing seafood. I only wish we could have gone back again.

Tre Galline: Service was rather poor and the kitchen very slow, but we had a fantastic baked eggplant with mozzarella and our pastas were superb. We were advised to just go there for the pastas and that's what we did. Husband and kids had the rigatoni with meat ragu (highly recommended) and I had the shrimp and zucchini pasta. Very fresh flavours and perfectly made pasta. Plus the complimentary almond cookies at the end were a nice treat.

Hotel California: We ended up here our first night - long story that involves arriving late in town with hungry kids. DO NOT eat here unless you are desperate for food. Burgers are passable. I had a "recommended" Beef and Pappardelle Pasta. Was probably the worst pasta I had ever had in my life. The "pappardelle" could have used a few more runs through the pasta machine and were very heavy and gummy - almost inedible. Service was very good, however. Only go for a drink, as the hotel is quite atmospheric.

Taco stands: Tacos Georges - not bad, felt the fried shrimp could have been fried a bit more crispy, but very friendly service. Carnitas Barajas - rather unfriendly service but the shrimp tacos were better than Georges'. The carnitas was a bit dry. I thought overall, El Zaguan had the best tacos.

La Paz:

Buffalo BBQ - overall, service was good and quite knowledgeable. Husband on the waiter's recommendation had the smoked Kobe beef short rib. The thing was enormous, worthy of Fred Flintstone. Excellent and a fantastic thing to order. Kids and I shared the Kurobuta pork baby back ribs and though they were tender, did not seemed "smoked" and were rather flavorless, even with the sauce on it. I would not order them again.

Las Tres Virgenes - Someone in Todos told us it wasn't up to par with Cafe Santa Fe (so we wouldn't be let down) and unfortunately they were right. The only way to describe service was a comedy of errors (too long to go into) When we finally ordered, the tuna tataki was beautiful, and probably the best dish that we ordered. I had the Bone-In Tenderloin which would have been fantastic if it was done to medium rare as I asked. Was well-done on the edges, medium, and medium rare right next to the bone - and slightly dry. Mesquite flavour was excellent. The potato tacos would have been better left off the plate or done very small, as they overwhelmed. Husband had the poblano risotto, which was a bit better than Hotel Guaycura with the tenderloin medallions. Though done medium rare as specificed, they were cut rather crooked and haphazardly. We found the flavours creative, but the service was a bit of a bring down. Overall, we would return.

Overall, great eating in Baja and I hope this trip report helps!

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