El Jardin at Liberty Station, San Diego

El Jardin is a beautiful restaurant in Liberty Station.  The food is authentic, regional Mexican cuisine - so, no smothering every dish in melted Mo Jack cheese.  We started with some great cocktails and then got started with the serious eats:

Our salsas eaten with blue corn tortillas

There is a delicious plantain hiding under the excellent mole sauce

We started with two appetizers.  For main courses we had one entree and two of the sharing plates:

Albondigas are a classic - meatballs in a rich tomato sauce.

Totopos (chips) in a rich mole

Fideos (pasta) is another Mexican classic comfort food

The food was great! It is nice to see the rich and interesting moles of Oaxaca made prominent on a menu.  I didn't think the totopos was a successful dish.  The chips were too crisp to eat with a fork, yet too coated with sauce to eat with the fingers without making a mess.  I think the dish is too one note and should have had fewer chips and more pickled onions and other vegetables.

Our dessert was a take on the flavors of the mamey fruit

The outdoor patio

The dessert menu was very interesting.  We had an homage to the mamey fruit.  It was a great dessert - flavorful and not overly sweet with a balance of creamy and cake textures.

We will definitely return!  The cuisine is a welcome addition to San Diego Mexican restaurants, which rarely include much beside the expected tostadas, tacos and enchiladas.


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