Prepare to be entranced by the captivating charm of Los Portales de García restaurant, nestled on the Pacific coast in Primo Tapia, south Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico. This cliff-side culinary gem is a true stunner, boasting an awe-inspiring location overlooking a rocky and dramatic cove where crashing waves create a mesmerizing symphony.
Los Portales de García: The Enchanting Castle by the Sea
Upon entering the magnificent, voluminous restaurant, laid with brick and natural stone, guests are enchanted by panoramic vistas of the vast Pacific Ocean. This sets the stage for an unforgettable dining experience. Embracing the heart and soul of the country, Los Portales exudes an authentic Mexican ambiance that complements its awe-inspiring surroundings.
Fondly dubbed El Castillo (The Castle) by locals, Los Portales de García stands as a truly remarkable establishment, boasting its grandeur across three enchanting stories. The main dining and live entertainment area beckon guests on the first floor, with high ceilings adorned with dramatic arches framing breathtaking vistas of the Pacific. A row of low tables, accompanied by hay bale benches adorned with vibrant Mexican blankets, creates a welcoming and cozy setting for eager diners.
Venturing up a set of winding, colorful, Mexican tile-adorned stone steps, a delightful surprise awaits on the rooftop—an enchanting dining area and bar, perfect for savoring delightful meals while being caressed by the coastal breeze.
But the true treasure lies at the lowest level, where guests can experience the thrill of being right at the water’s edge, with waves majestically crashing nearby. This level features a charming patio, an intimate indoor dining space, and a wine cave that exudes an irresistible allure. Within the cave, connoisseurs can delight in tasting a selection of house wines from Tecate winery Encino de Piedra, mezcales, and whiskeys, further elevating the already unforgettable experience.
Dining at Los Portales de García
The ambiance alone would suffice to whisk one away to a place of serenity, but even more magic unfolds in their kitchen. A culinary journey awaits as the restaurant presents a diverse array of dishes that wouldn’t be out of place in the Valle de Guadalupe. The menu also offers mixology, Baja California wines, and local craft beers.
At Los Portales de García, an array of appetizers are on offer. From cold to hot small plates, perfect for sharing, the entradas showcase the restaurant’s diverse culinary offerings. For the main courses, one may indulge in the finest Baja California seafood or savor the succulent cuts of Sonoran beef, all expertly prepared on the oak wood-fired grill.
Among the highlights is the mouthwatering aguachile de ribeye—an innovative dish where tender slices of steak are marinated in zesty lime juice and spicy chiles, accompanied by red onions, cucumber, and creamy avocado. Another delectable option is the camarones gallo, featuring deep-fried shrimp bathed in a tantalizing red wine reduction and smoky mayo de chiltepin, a unique ingredient from Sonora. Plated on a bed of fresh greens and adorned with radish sprouts and edible flower petals, this dish is a feast for the eyes and the palate.
For seafood lovers, the pulpo a las brasas, grilled octopus, is a must-try. Generously portioned and perfectly grilled over oak, the octopus is served with a delightful salsa macha of smoked chiles, cacao (raw Mexican chocolate), and jamaica (hibiscus juice). Accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes and sautéed squash, the dish is beautifully garnished with mayo de chiltepin, fresh cilantro sprigs, and edible flower petals. It’s art on a plate.
Breakfast at Los Portales de García is available daily from 10 AM to 1 PM. You can indulge in traditional favorites like chilaquiles or opt for the indulgent omelete costa azul—a sumptuous omelet featuring bacon-wrapped shrimp and cream cheese. For a taste of authenticity, try the burritos de machaca, featuring reconstituted dried beef from Sonora—a hearty morning option.
Exploring a Hidden Cave of Mezcal, Wine, and Whiskey
Before you bid adios to this extraordinary culinary haven, make sure to experience the unique tasting in the cave. As a mezcal lover, I relished sampling their surprising selection, including a peppery and herbaceous lechugilla—an agave found only in the Chihuahuan desert. The cave also offers a fine assortment of northern Mexican agave-based spirits, such as sotol and bacanora, also hailing from the state of Sonora. You can purchase your favorite wines and spirits from the cave as a memento of your dining adventure.
Los Portales de Garcia stands as a testament to architecture that not only captivates but also immerses visitors in a world of culinary delights and enchanting moments. Whether you seek a romantic evening, a joyous celebration, or simply a taste of the extraordinary, this exquisite venue promises to leave an indelible mark on your heart and palate alike.
Appetizer costs range from $300 pesos (approximately $18/US) for the yellowtail ceviche to $440 pesos (approximately $26/US) for the Mediterranean octopus. Entrée costs range from $400 pesos (approximately $26/US) for the fresh catch of the day to $2000 pesos (approximately $118/US) for the tomahawk steak.
Los Portales de García is located at Playas de Rosarito Baja California, México. Km 52 Carretera Libre el Campito, 22710 Rosarito, B.C., Mexico. www.facebook.com/losportales05. Hours: Mon – Thu, 10AM – 9PM. Fri – Sun, 10AM – 11PM.