Erizo Cocina de Mariscos

Mexican | Oyster Bar | Seafood
legendary
Worth driving from anywhere!
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Javier Plasencia is Tijuana’s most influential chef. After earning his chops in the first family of Tijuana dining, the Plasencia Group (Caesar’s, Casa Plasencia), he started his own restaurant empire and invented the most notable new Mexican cuisine in recent years: Baja-Med. Baja-Med takes Baja ingredients and prepares them with a Mediterranean flair (with some Asian influences snuck in here and there). Most of the time, we prefer classic Baja seafood to high-concept fusions, but Plasencia’s iconic fish bar is incredible. It’s really a love letter to the Baja coast with tasteful global flourishes.

Erizo means sea urchin. They and diver scallops are served in season. Such exotic shellfish will set you back some, but not everything is so expensive. Lunch of Peruvian ceviche with Pisco cocktails can be had for much less than you might fear. Add some tacos and Baja-Med innovations, and you’ve got an affordable seafood extravaganza.

Ceviche is made with ocean fresh fish and snappy vegetables. Very different from the gloppy mayonnaise version tyupical of Mexican seafood dives, ceviche blanco is a mix of fresh fish with lentils, barle,y and avocado. It eats more like tangy seafood salad that what we’d normally think of as a ceviche.

Full ceviche portions are sharable, but most ceviche is also available as a personal-sized tostada. Shrimp ceviche verde tostada, tinted emerald from tomatillo, serrano chili and avocado stars gently acidified shrimp that are plump and taste of the sea. It’s really more like an aguachile than typical ceviche.

One of the most impressive dishes on the menu is octopus carpaccio, which sees thinly pounded shavings of tentacle adjoined into a long sheet of octopus. It’s sorcery, appearing especially witchy drowning in the black soy/Worcestershire juice that it comes with. We don’t share Baja’s preference for pungent black sauce on delicate fish, but it works with meaty octopus.

If you want to do Erizo on a budget, you’d be fine just getting a few tacos and beers. The octopus and carnitas taco hit all the right notes for us. We like it drowned with a shot of leche de tigre with a fresh oyster floating in it. “Leche de tigre” (tiger’s milk) is the salty lime juice marinade left over after scooping out the fish for ceviche. It is said to give energy and help cure hangovers. High-rollers can shell out for a scoop of sea urchin in their tiger milk shots.

Also available are interpretations of such classic mariscos shack fare as fish tacos and seafood cocktails, along with freshly shucked shellfish.

In short: Erizo is the best restaurant in the upscale neighborhood of Tijuana’s Chapultepec. It’s an often-missed, genteel side of a gritty border town.

What to Eat
Erizo Cocina de Mariscos, Ceviche Blanco
Ceviche Blanco
Must-Try
An unusual preparation of lime-marinated fish with lentils and barley. Hearty and delicious.
Erizo Cocina de Mariscos, Ceviche Verde de Camarones Tostada
Ceviche Verde de Camarones Tostada
Must-Try
The fresh shrimp are just barely starting to change color from the lime, all the rest is green.
Erizo Cocina de Mariscos, Leche de Tigre
Leche de Tigre
Must-Try
Vodka, ceviche marinade and a pristine raw oyster. Liquid courage!
Erizo Cocina de Mariscos, Octopus Carpaccio
Octopus Carpaccio
Must-Try
A paper thin round made from octopus, topped with shaved red onions and sea beans.
Erizo Cocina de Mariscos, Tacos Pulpo y Carnitas
Tacos Pulpo y Carnitas
The unexpected combination of octopus and carnitas really works!
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday11am - 9pm
Monday11am - 9pm
Tuesday11am - 9pm
Wednesday11am - 9pm
Thursday11am - 9pm
Friday11am - 9pm
Saturday11am - 9pm
Information
Price
$$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
Yes
Website

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