Erizo Cebicheria: Contemporary Showcase for Baja Seafood

Mexican Food Tijuana

Erizo Cebicheria is one of the latest concepts from rising chef and tireless Baja proponent Javier Plascencia, and it’s just one of the places that Street Gourmet LA founder Bill Esparza introduced us to on a culinary tour of Tijuana during the inaugural Baja California Culinary Fest.

The recently expanded Baja Fish House and Market resides next to sister establishment Caffe Saverios. The space features a blue awning, communal tables, flat screen TVs, photos of local musicians and seafood workers, and a full bar by the jukebox.

Restaurant Tijuana
The market features a long display case backed by blackboard menus listing available fish (pescado), shellfish (conchas), ceviches, and smoked fish (pescado ahumado) like hamachi (jurel).

Mexican Food Tijuana
Our lunch, part of an all-inclusive BC Culinary Fest weekend, started with shooters of cool, creamy urchin in acid-kissed citrus “broth,” garnished with crunchy cucumber and too-dry, smoked tuna.

Mexican Food Tijuana
Plascencia is a huge proponent of naturally salty sea asparagus, known in Spanish as salicornia. He tempura-battered and deep fried the tiny stalks and served them with savory sesame soy sauce.

Mexican Food Tijuana
Marlin is popular catch in Baja, and Plascencia presented shredded meat on a crisp tostada with cilantro, tomato, cucumber, creamy slabs of avocado and a tangy cream base

Mexican Food Tijuana
My favorite dish, and that week’s Dose of Vitamin P, turned out to be callo de hacha ceviche. Instead of tortilla chips, Chef Plascencia cleverly used chicharrones. The firm, naturally sweet slices of sea scallop joined red onion strands and sliced cucumber in an acidic, chile’d broth that worked wonders on its own, and played even better on slabs of crunchy fried pork skin.

Mexican Food Tijuana
We enjoyed tacos of tender octopus, molten cheese, crisp lettuce, pico de gallo and avocado.

Mexican Food Tijuana
Since Erizo is the name of the cafe, we had order an additional sea urchin (erizo) taco ($3) with a similar complement of toppings, plus mixed greens. The corn tortilla was dry in comparison to the chile’d tortilla in the octopus taco, and while the taste of the urchin was good, there could have been more of it. Of course it wouldn’t have been a $3 taco at that point, but that would have been fine.

Plascencia is a proponent of local beer, so he served bottles from a fairly new Tijuana brewery, Cerveza Frontera. Their Guera Coquetona was a citrusy IPA that won’t replace Kern River Citra or Ballast Point Sculpin any time soon, but it was fine with the seafood.

Mexican Food Tijuana
One of the meal’s best surprises was a mildly sweet blueberry tamal with smooth masa.

Chef Tijuana
Bill Esparza posed with Chef Plascencia before we boarded the bus and headed home to Los Angeles. The two men were instrumental in organizing our latest Baja trip, and Erizo was just one final reminder of what Tijuana has to offer in terms of compelling local culinary products.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

Erizo Cebicheria Tijuana | Kitchen Le Lopez

[…] current destination of choice when we want a super quick getaway. A friend recommended that we try Erizo, a casual cevicheria / cebicheria owned by renowned  Chef Javier Plascencia on our next TJ visit. […]

Brilliant end to our weekend in Baja!

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