It is high time I post a review, given that what I usually do is open my big yapper without providing useful information (just my opinion).
Last Saturday, a friend stopped by after visiting Anza-Borrego, and was in the mood for Mexican cuisine. I had read about Hacienda de Vega in Escondido (mostly good things), but had yet to try it.
They suggest reservations, but last Saturday was not incredibly busy, so we were able to get a table within 20 minutes. They have a nice outdoor bar / garden area for those waiting for tables, which is nice.
While waiting, I ordered their signature Margarita - the Hacienda. It is made with "top-shelf" tequila, tamarind, and has a rim of chili powder (mild) instead of the usual salt. Very tasty - one of the best margaritas I've had in San Diego. I've seen some online reviews gawking at liquor prices here, but I didn't find their margarita prices to be out of line with what you pay at some of the other places in San Diego for comparable ingredients (e.g. Su Casa).
I had to try the Sopa Azteca, based on some online reviews I've seen. It was a bit less spicy than I expected based on the reviews, but very, very good. My wife had a salad that had some citrus elements to it (I can't remember exactly what it is - their online menu isn't working), which she enjoyed. My friend ordered a variety of sopes, which he enjoyed.
For dinner, both my wife and friend ordered the chiplotacos, and I had the sabana invierno. The chiplocos are corn tortillas filled with pork (carnitas), chipotle sauce, and a mexican cheese (Manchego) - sort of a familiar theme, but at the same time being different than what you usually might find in a Mexican restaurant. My dish was a very thin steak, served over beans and topped with the Manchego cheese. We all were quite happy, me especially with my choice.
My wife and I split an Impossible Cake for dessert - a flan / chocolate cake / caramel concoction. My wife loved it; I thought it was pretty good but probably would have been happier with another margarita. :-) My friend had churros with various dipping sauces - which I think will be my choice upon my next visit if I'm not in a flan mood. Sure, churros are familiar, but these were *so* good.
Basically, this place is located on the "frontage road" of South Centre City Parkway, just north of where it splits off I-15 northbound. If headed from the south, you take the Centre City Parkway exit, and then take the first right that you can, followed by an immediate left to get onto Escondido Blvd.
I am hotlinking the AAA Westways Magazine capsule. Here are some other relevant web pages, some with description of the food, maps / directions, etc.
Hacienda de Vega web page:
North County Magazine dining review: