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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 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 avocado with ceviche of shrimp, crab and scallop in a mango-basil vinaigrette, then move on to the hearts of palm, mushroom caps and tomato wedges sautéed with garlic and olive oil, set atop field greens and dressed with artichoke vinaigrette. Or opt for the classic Caesar, fashioned with the original recipe from Tijuana. We prefer the very fresh seafood on the menu, especially the pan-fried red snapper in a creamy chipotle sauce, but the beef filet with poblano pepper and tomatillo sauce is also good. End your meal with Mexican flan, and then wander next door to their small bar for an after-dinner drink. The bar sports 20 taps of beers and well-crafted cocktails.