Rosarito Restaurant Scene

The Baja Pig
BY: CHUCK WAGON

I knew I had to review the Baja Pig if only to satisfy my wild curiosity about  the strange name and the good reviews I heard from my friends. I had passed the Pig many times wondering how this tiny eatery had garnered so many raves from so many people who I knew to have excellent palates.

For starters we were the only customers when we arrived late in the afternoon, walking through a narrow kitchen and ushered out onto a really lovely balcony with an equally lovely ocean view. Okay, this was a good start. Maybe not the stroll through the kitchen part, but at least we know it’s clean.

The Pig has three tables and assorted chairs on a large terrace shared with two other businesses The owner is a young man named Abundio Castaneda, preferring to be called Julio for some reason. OK with me. Julio practiced up by having a restaurant and food truck in San Bernardino, where he had great success.

Julio presented us with menus that look pretty impressive. There were many choices of dishes that seemed to combine three different types of foods and I needed to understand what we might be ordering. Julio explained that the Pig was a fusion of Mexican, American and Asian foods. That presents an interesting combination.

My eye immediately caught what looked like a bizarre mess of ingredients and even after Julio explained that the Godzilla roll was his specialty, I really wasn’t sure I wanted to be that adventurous. But I sucked it up and ordered it anyway, and it was fantastic! Delicious, and yes still strange. The outside was covered with a flour tortilla and rolled up like a sushi roll. It was impossible for me to tell that the outside was still a tortilla. The inside contained rice, cream cheese, shrimp, many different kinds of spices, and it was fried absolutely grease free, in Canola oil drained well. It was so huge it was cut into three pieces. The presentation was totally gourmet with carefully arranged mixed cabbage pieces and spicy mayo and ginger teriyaki sauce swirled in a lovely design, and only $7!

My dinner partner experienced the tempura taco at $2 that was equally delicious. Yes, she is a dainty eater and promised to arrive more hungry next time.

There are bowls at $6, $7 and $8 that people are raving about. The Sinaloa and teriyaki bowls looked interesting. The latter is a combination of many kinds of veggies, shrimp and meat with Julio’s own spin on teriyaki.

Julio’s sauces are his own invention that we will try next time after we sample his tortilla soup that contains veggies, chicken, avocado and from what I am told is as good as it gets. Julio has sandwiches unlike any other restaurant I have been to, with breakfast dishes that a friend of mine can’t get enough of, like the shrimp omelet loaded with shrimp and enough for two meals. There are many other, more traditional breakfast options. Julio advertises that he serves food like none other available in Baja and he is absolutely right.

If you can ignore the simple entrance and take a chance on this restaurant, you will enjoy a taste of MexiAsianAmerican delicious food that will become a favorite stop on the free road. It’s at km 38 K 38, ocean side, two doors south of Calypso restaurant, next to a surf shop and pharmacy where they share a patio for dining.