Best of 2001: Best Mexican Lobster Feed

416 Third Avenue, Gaslamp

"Langosta Baeza" is the signature dish of Candelas' chef Eduardo Baeza. Although the name sounds like it might be a local spiny lobster, but it's really a Maine lobster with meat so tender it seems to be made from butter. The lobster tail's sweetness is set off by a bold but oddly delicate forcemeat stuffing of mushrooms, jalapeños, onions, and bacon touched with aged tequila. You'll eat it in a beautiful Spanish hacienda-style room and surround it with other dishes that blend Mexican, French, and Italian flavors into a new luxury cuisine -- a tower of ceviche wrapped in smoked salmon, for instance, or a fan-shaped array of Hass avocado slices abounding in fresh seafood, surrounded by an irresistible mango-basil vinaigrette.

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