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   PACIFICA SEAFOOD & BAR  BAJA, SINALOA & CALIFORNIA CUISINE
 
 
 
2012 - Spring Issue
¡Comidas Sabrosas!
Restaurant Opening
 
Article: Jessica Muncrief
Photos: Jesse Ramirez
 
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There is no denying that you can find some superb and authentic Mexican food in this area, but if you are in the mood for something a little unique and different, you absolutely must try Pacifica Seafood and Bar. Nestled in the corner of Quail Hollow Plaza on Mesa Street in El Paso, the restaurant is the perfect blend of relaxing, comfort and city chic.

    Information:

Pacifica Seafood & Bar
5801 N Mesa St.
El Paso, TX 79912
915-581-1336
pacificaseafoodandbar.com
With bamboo ceilings, art work constructed from old beer bottles and patron graffiti covering the bar walls, it is reminiscent of your favorite beachside cantina, but the décor is done with a modern flair that also makes you feel like you are at an upscale, urban venue. And trust me, once you taste the food, you will know you have truly stumbled upon something special.

Fresh, flavorful seafood is the name of the game here and I can attest that it is pretty spectacular and certainly unlike anything you will find in the area. What sets this restaurant apart from many other seafood restaurants is that they truly emphasize quality over quantity. Don't worry, you will still leave full and satisfied, but you will have gotten something with authentic flavor and just the right amount of spice.

The authenticity stems from the team behind the restaurant. Primary owner Jorge Rodrigo Cruz has lived and traveled throughout Latin America and all along the Pacific coastline. Likewise, the kitchen team has also honed their culinary talents in Mexico and working in seafood and sushi restaurants. The result is, as Jorge notes, "a kitchen that creates a blend of Baja, Sinaloa (states on the Northeastern coast of Mexico) and California cuisines." He says the idea for the restaurant originally stemmed from a trend that he noted growing in popularity across the border. "In the past ten years in Mexico, trendy seafood restaurants are places you go to get a drink and a few small dishes as opposed to a full meal. We noticed this as a new concept and wanted to bring it to El Paso." And while they will continue to thrive on this concept, Jorge notes that they are also adapting to meet the demands of their American clients that are more accustomed to the traditional three-course meal.

Whether you prefer to try an eclectic sampling of small dishes or get a larger helping of your favorite seafood fare, you will not be disappointed. The sopa Azteca (tortilla soup) is an excellent starter. Flavorful, creamy, and perfectly spiced, it is served with a generous topping of crispy tortilla strips, avocado slices, and a dollop of fresh sour cream. If you are a true seafood lover and perhaps feeling a little adventurous, I suggest you try the tuna tartare. At first glance, it looks like a simple chips and salsa appetizer, but instead of tomatoes it is tender bites of fresh, raw tuna mixed in with the cucumbers, red onions, radishes and Mexican spices. This light, citrusy dish is pleasantly satisfying. If you are overwhelmed by the many scrumptious menu options, the tacos Gobernador are highly recommended. Plump shrimp are cooked to tender perfection in a beer batter and wrapped in warm, thick, homemade corn tortillas. The peppery, cilantro blend of the tacos is offset perfectly by a side of black beans topped with a mildly tart cheese.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the fantastic bar area. Jorge modeled it after Bodegita de Enmedio, a popular bar in Havana, Cuba, in which patrons are encouraged to graffiti the walls. Jorge notes, "I liked the sense of ownership that the patrons have in that bar and our goal was to recreate that here." In addition to a great atmosphere, you can also count on some superb drinks. Naturally, the mojito is the signature drink here. I tried the traditional version and it was crisp, smooth and refreshing with generous amounts of lime and fresh mint. However, there are also six other varieties of the drink, such as the blueberry and ginger mojito. The full bar is also stocked with all your favorite traditional drinks and an impressive supply of liquor brands. Be sure to check out the restaurant's website for daily drink and food specials. ///
 
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