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Candelas Restaurant Review: You won't find chips and salsa at Candelas---this Mexican restaurant is unlike most in San Diego (or elsewhere in the U.S.). The alta cocina at this romantic downtown spot features indigenous Mexican ingredients such as nopales, corn, avocados, epazote and a variety of chilies---all skillfully prepared and artfully arranged with nary a margarita in sight. The many candles (hence the name) and gracious staff create an intimate, nearly magical environment. Start with an appetizer of callos Jean, pan-seared scallops sautéed with jalapeños, cilantro and onion, then move on to the ensalada de nopalitos---cactus pads topped with melted cheese and oregano vinaigrette. We prefer the very fresh seafood on the menu, especially the halibut with a silky corn sauce and the zesty grilled red snapper with tomatoes, chilies and garlic, but the beef filet with poblano chile and tomatillo sauce is also quite good. On most nights you can wander next door to the bar and listen to DJ music.