Restarante La Estancia in Rosarito is located way off Benito Juarez, the main north/south boulevard for the city, north of the old Comercial Mexicana and Calimax markets.
Faded black writing on a white wall invites you to turn towards the beach for "Hotel El Dorado" and "La Estancia"
The restaurant is a free standing, two-story building on the left , with a rough wood exterior and several water treatments, large and small, made from what appears to be rescued materials; rough cut logs, old water pumps and well-weathered iron bouys. A hollowed out log has running water and two life-sized wooden ducks floating inside.
The menu covers all the bases - land and sea (beef, lamb, rabbit, fish, shrimp, lobster, squid, etc.). After only two visits, all I can report about is the seafood.
First, they bring complimentary chips and salsa and a bowl of escabeche - vinegar marinated nopales (cactus), onions and jalapenos.
On the first visit, for an appetizer, we had queso fundido (melted cheese). On our second visit, we tried the onion rings. The queso fundido was very good. The onion rings were fresh and sweet, but not spectacular.
We have had the seafood combo special with vegetables, the seafood combo in garlic sauce, (it comes with whole cloves of roasted garlic) the shrimp in garlic sauce (with the whole roasted cloves,a lso) and the mesquite broiled salmon, a filet that must have weighed tweve ounces.
All entrees come with soup and salad, tortillas and baked potato -- and -- an alcohol soaked, flaming sugar cube on the plates, a spectacular visual presentation.
Everything was prepared with care - I ask for my fish to be cooked rare and that is what I get. The potatoes are bakeded on the charcoal fire (no foil wrap!) and are served with real butter and sour cream.
I should also mention that the service is outstanding, and, on a midweek afternoon, the customers are mostly locals or vacationing Spanish speakers.