Restaurant Review: 277 Cocina Artesanal is a brand new restaurant on Third Avenue.
I haven’t said much about Third Avenue yet, but I will in my upcoming “One Perfect Day On Third Avenue”. This neck of Chula Vista happens to combine Old Wild West charm with new age shops, music stores and my favorite bicycle store. The owners of these mom-and-pop stores have often been here for decades.
277 Cocina Artesanal, however, is brand new having recently changed ownership. You may remember my interview with A Gringo In Mexico who bragged about the previous restaurant named Zarco. While the establishment has changed hands–its grand opening was on June 25th–what makes this place special is that they serve wines from Valle de Guadalupe.
It’s unusual to find imports of Mexican wines even though they have won worldwide attention. To pair with these perfect libations, 277 Cocina Artesanal is cosy, upscale and the cuisine can only be described as deliciously gourmet.
If you don’t believe me, then listen to the San Diego Union Tribune, which gave them the award for Best Restaurant in Chula Vista this past September.
For starters, they offer Argentinian beef empanadas, grilled duck burrito, tuna tartar, queso fundido or oysters au gratin. We tried the signature Grilled Panela Cheese with Guavo Ancho Glaze, Bacon & Mezcal:
Then, I wanted to have a taste of the Xochitl Soup: a chicken broth with garbanzo, shredded chicken, pico de gallo, avocado, rice and a touch of Epazote:
They have a fantastic Tampiquena (tampico-style pan seared flank steak) on the grill.
Most importantly they have tacos, including Tacos Al Pastor (Achiote roast pork, pineapple and grilled onions), Lobster, Mahi-Mahi and Alambre tacos.
Make sure to ask for their wine list, which is a blend of California and Valle de Guadalupe wines. My favorite recommendation is always any Nebbiolo. I particularly recommend the Las Nubes Coleccion De Parcelas, Tempranilo.
This place gets packed, so arrive early or expect to wait.
Address: 277 Cocina Artesanal, 277 Third Avenue, Chula Vista. (619) 934-5701
Prices: Starters range from $7.50 to $13.50. Tacos are about the same. The grills are between $18.00 to $30.00. It’s fairly reasonable for an upscale, locally owned establishment. This isn’t, however, a taco stand, so expect to spend some money.