Younger sister of the Gaslamp district original, this Candelas opened in 2008, and is over the bridge from the city on Coronado. The restaurant has a fine view over the bay, and there is outside seating in addition to the large main dining room. There is a casual atmosphere, with no tablecloths, a tiled floor and muzak playing. In the evening the appetisers are priced between $11 and $15, main courses $15 to $36, but there is a more restricted, cheaper menu available at lunch.
I began with pork pibil ($11), served in a tortilla, resting in a baked Parmesan taco cradle. The pork was marinated and slow cooked in a banana leaf, traditionally cooked in the earth and then dug up and unwrapped. The pork was tender and the spice mixed worked well, and the Parmesan taco was good (12/20). This was served with a side dish of red onions and jalapenos. I also sampled some rather ordinary guacamole, but also a couple of different salsas, one spicier than the other, which were quite lively in their spicing.
A burrito ($9.95) was stuffed with red and green bell peppers, chicken, onion guacamole, strips of smoked pork, pieces of rather dried out chicken and pico de gallo (a mix of tomatoes, onions and chilli). Unusually, instead of a tortilla it was wrapped in jicama, a cousin of the sweet potato, which has a taste that hinted to me of apple (just about 11/20).
Service was friendly. The bill came to $25.81 with just water to drink at lunch, but this beng America there was more food than a sane person would eat. This was a slighly uneven but certainly pleasant meal, considerably better than plenty of Mexican food that you can find in California.
RT @Caterertweets: Chris Eden of Driftwood to join Gidleigh Park as executive head chef https://t.co/HM3HU6Gs3R https://t.co/mmzRpdGp5I