Montesanto – The New Face of Mexican Food in San Diego
November 11, 2016
Featuring all the vibrant and colors and flavors of Mexico, Montesanto has opened its doors to local diners in the Old Town area. This new Mexican restaurant brings a fresh, authentic, and modern take on Mexican food to a San Diego neighborhood where Mexican restaurants are already present but are more influenced by the American Southwest and “Old” Mexico.
Montesanto’s cozy dining space is tastefully decorated with traditional crafts: striking Mexican tilework in cool hues of blue line the floor, bewitching black clay ornaments from the state of Michoacan dot the colorful walls while alebrije idols from the state of Oaxaca look out from across from the corners of the eatery. Despite being so traditionally Mexican in its decor, there is definitely a contemporary vibe to Montesanto’s dining area.
Without straying from neither modern dining or authentic Mexican fare, Montesanto’s menu features Mexican staples such as tacos, quesadillas and seafood, while also incorporating foods from central Mexico such as chiles rellenos, alambres, and sopes.
La Prensa San Diego was invited to sample some of Montesanto’s menu items during a tasting demo. In this tasting we were able to sample a rich and creamy tortilla soup with smoky tomato flavors dousing crispy pork rinds. A second item was a the chicharron de queso, a crispy grilled cheese sheet in a roll, which was paired with two of Montesanto’s signature salsas.
Lastly we were treated to two of Montesanto’s specialty tacos. First, we tasted rib eye tacos topped with pickled vegetables. The juicy rib eye lent its saltiness as a contrasts to the vegetables in an alluring balance. Afterward, we sampled al pastor tacos topped with pineapple and xni-pec salsa. The xni-pec salsa was a huge burst of tartness which cleared a path for the sweet pineapple and the spice of the pork al pastor.
Montesanto’s drink specials are certainly both eye catching and refreshing. Some standouts from their list include the Rojo Mojito which is made with freshly crushed berries, brown sugar, and herbs; and the Mangonada, made with sweet and spicy chamoy sauce. In addition to bottled Mexican beers, Montesanto also features a short, yet robust, craft beer selection.
In a quarter of San Diego that has branded itself as a window into the region’s dusty Mexican past, Montesanto arrives to shake things up with colors and flavors that are truly familiar and Mexican, yet feel new and exciting.
Montesanto is located on 2415 San Diego Avenue in Old Town.