Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina - San Diego, CA

After a quick transformation over three days, Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina opened in LIttle Italy, taking over the space previously occupied by the popular Bracero Cocina de Raiz. We were invited to check out the new brunch menu and immediately noticed one familiar item after another... especially the Albacore Two Ways. Our knowledgeable server James confirmed that the menu carried over many signature dishes from Bracero but also added in special dishes from Romesco in Bonita. We asked several staff about their favorites but with so many delicious options, not even they could agree on just one or two!

seared tuna at Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina in San Diego

Sesame Seared Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi (9.95) - jalapeno, ponzu

The sashimi made the initial cut for appetizers. The thickly sliced tuna showcased fresh fish with a beautifully seared edge. We loved the texture of the sesame seeds along with the subtle jalapeño bite. Splitting the third piece was almost a sin for me!

octopus at Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina in San Diego

Pulpo Asado a las Brasa (9.25) - grilled octopus, house marinade

Grilled octopus was one of the shining stars from Bracero so we opted to try this tapas variation at Romesco. The well proportioned meaty pieces exuded some char flavor while sitting afloat a well spiced oil marinade enhanced with a squeeze of lemon.

crab piquillos at Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina in San Diego

Piquillos Rellenos de Cangrejo (7.25) - crab stuffed sweet piquillo peppers

The vivid stuffed peppers were delicious bite-sized morsels with a saucy crab filling. The sweeter peppers were softly cooked and contained no spicy bite after removal of the seeds. I was wishing this was double the portion!

guacamole at Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina in San Diego

guacamole at Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina in San Diego

House Guacamole (12.45) - crispy beluga lentils, chickpeas, blackbean hummus, zaatar & sea salt chips

The guacamole arrived with a touch of lime and salt inside a very shareable platter. Pepita seeds gave a little resistance to each creamy bite. The chips themselves were sprinkled with vegetable ash (no 'burnt' taste in your mouth) and were thick and tasty like La Puerta chips. Hidden in the bowl was a black bean hummus lining, too thin to notice until server pointed it out to us.

TAPAS TUESDAYS - all tapas are 1/2 off, including everything shown above!

Marg Italiano and Czech Yourself cocktails at Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina in San Diego

Marg Italiano & Czech Yourself cocktails

Sipping on my drink was like savoring a glass of refreshing agua fresca except with an intense smokiness. Our other drink did not "taste" alcoholic and was way too easy to drink. At the bottom we ended up with mezcal infused limes!

Another great drink option is the bottomless mimosas with the purchase of any entree! That's what brunch is all about right? =D

red chilaquilles at Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina in San Diego

Chilaquiles Rojos (14.95) - Suzie's Farm fried eggs, crema, aged queso cotjia, nopales, avocado, red onion

The mild red sauce softly coated the chips which still had some crunch to them. On the side were very pliable potatoes and our choice of a fried egg on top (which can be ordered your way). Dennis really enjoyed the refried beans, which I later found out had pork mixed in. He was dipping the extra chips into it as well as the leftovers of the guac bowl. The Combo El Especial is basically the chilaquiles here plus machaca, which our neighboring table (Eat Drink SD) shared a sample with us. The machaca meats were very juicy with a nice flavor.

pork belly tacos at Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina in San Diego

Pork Belly Carnitas Tacos (7.85) - pipian sauce, pickled red onions, smoked pepitas

The tacos were the last to arrive yet we somehow managed to find room in our gently expanded stomachs. The best part was the pan-fried meat taste in contrast to the pickled vegetables. Mexa Thursdays is the day to return for tacos, tostadas, and tequila specials.

Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina in Little Italy of San Diego

Downstairs there are tables both inside and out as well as an extensive bar for drinks.

Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina in Little Italy of San Diego

We sat upstairs which had another large bar area with friendly staff ready to serve. Along the perimeter were huge glass walls giving curious diners a wondrous city view within the safe confines of the restaurant.

Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina in Little Italy of San Diego

Overall we're quite thrilled with Romesco's, especially how they've kept some of their acclaimed Bracero menu items. Everything on this day's menu was new to us but we'll definitely check out other classics on a future visit! Looks like foodie friend Canine Cologne visited the original location recently. Anyone tried the original location in Bonita or this new location in Little Italy?

Disclaimer: We were invited to dine here and our food and drink was complimentary. We were not otherwise compensated and all opinions stated are our own.

Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina
1490 Kettner Blvd
San Diego CA 92101
(619) 756-7864

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Comments's picture
Submitted by (not verified) on Wed, 08/09/2017 - 3:26pm

Fancy looking restaurant! I think I'd like the pork belly tacos.

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Fri, 08/18/2017 - 10:45am

try them on thursdays when they have taco specials!

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table's picture
Submitted by Laura @ Sprint ... (not verified) on Wed, 08/09/2017 - 5:17pm

I've been to the Bonita location - I'm so excited there's one right down the street now! Their octopus is amazing. I also loved the beef cheek tacos. I'll have to check out the brunch menu, for sure!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Fri, 08/18/2017 - 10:46am

i'm definitely interested in trying the original location. they only share a few menu items currently!

Faye's picture
Submitted by Faye (not verified) on Thu, 08/10/2017 - 9:32am

That still surprises me Bracero closed down :( I had read such amazing reviews yet never had the time to drive down there to try them out. But Romesco looks great as well - saw CC's review on them a few times I think. Never heard of vegetable ash - how interesting...

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Fri, 08/18/2017 - 10:50am

bracero was definitely great when it first opened but wasn't as good on my most recent visit, at least for a lunch visit. i hear good things about romesco though from my foodie friends! i'm glad it's not just ME enjoying the food! ;)

caninecologne's picture
Submitted by caninecologne (not verified) on Mon, 08/21/2017 - 9:40pm

I need to check out this new location of Romesco's. Little Italy parking is just so inconvenient though. I like the glass walled upper decked patio. I had brunch there when it was still Bracero with a friend. It was so nice sitting up there with a nice breeze and great food.

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Wed, 08/23/2017 - 4:18pm

I've lucked out with parking on the street nearby but also came on sunday for early brunch or early dinner... I recently tried saturday night after 8pm in the gaslamp and once also in little italy... never again if driving myself! Rideshare for the next time!

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