Javier Plascencia from San Diego takes over the kitchen to bring “a way to anchor Lola deep to the authenticity of Baja cuisine,” says Dave Query, founder of Big Red F Restaurant Group.
Plascencia — who has Mision 19 and Erizo in Tijuana, Finca Altozano in Valle de Guadalupe, Baja, and Jazamango in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur — helped define Baja’s cuisines and food scenes, serving as Baja’s culinary ambassador and as the inventor of Baja-Med cuisine, a fusion of the culinary traditions of Baja California and the Mediterranean. He’s appeared on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain, Mexico, One Plate At A Time with Rick Bayless, and Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman. His San Diego restaurant Bracero Cocina de Raíz was nominated for a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant.
Once the restaurant reopens May 21, Plascencia unveils a new menu with fresh seafood such as Baja oysters on the half shell with charred pineapple tepache and whole fish of the day grilled zarandeado style. He uses ingredients such as ponzu and olives, which are part of Baja’s immigrant-influenced cuisine.
Lola’s menu also honors the Caesar salads, invented in Tijuana at Caesar’s, a restaurant that Plascencia’s grandfather worked at and his father eventually bought and still owns today.
Executive chef Sheila Lucero will oversee Lola’s kitchen and continue the sustainable seafood sourcing standards she’s known for at Jax Fish House.
Hollywood interior designers Kari Whitman oversees the renovations that include “organic materials such as twine, bamboo fabrics, and earth-friendly lighting to transport you to coastal Mexico.” Oceanic blue tones, brass lights, and large-format photography from artist Roberto Dutesco complete the look.
• All Coverage of Lola Coastal Mexican [EDEN]