978 Garnet Ave. San Diego (858) 605-0093
I have called Pacific Beach my home since February of 2002. A typical week includes daily strolls down the town's main drag, Garnet Ave. These walks give me a chance to keep my fingers on the pulse of the myriad businesses that line the street. In late Spring of 2006 I noticed a major remodel had been undertaken in the space next to Zanzibar Cafe, near Garnet's intersection with Cass St. Hoping for a strong addition to the Pacific Beach dining scene, I patiently waited for Limonz Rostizados' grand opening in February 2007. The remodel of the space was extensive and complete. The new decor is hip, modern, and colorful, with the signature lime green and yellow (limonz), being the predominant colors in the dining area.
Here the you can see the color scheme carried to the self serve beverage area,
and the menu as well (double click to enlarge).
Living in balmy Southern California allows for year round outdoor dining, and Limonz delivers on this front with a comfortable, sidewalk dining option. People watching does not get much better than Garnet Ave. in PB (from the procession of stunning beach babes, to the entertaining homeless crazies, it is our own little captivating show).
Rostizados means roasted in Spanish, and let me tell you, Limonz knows how to roast. The centerpiece of the kitchen area is a German made, state of the art, Rational SCC 62 Self Cooking Center gas oven (msrp $21,010).
This bad boy is a convection oven that cooks with both dry heat, and steam. Limonz uses this beast to roast their citrus-spice marinated chicken. I ordered the Half chicken with house made tortillas, a double side of fideos secos, house made guacamole, cheese, and nopales salsa fresca ($6.99).
The combination of dry heat and steam used in the roasting process, produces chicken flesh that is moist and juicy, and skin that is nicely caramelized and crispy. The fideos secos (Mexican spicy pasta) is visible to the bottom of the photograph only, as most of it is covered with cheese. It is angel hair pasta cooked in a tomato-chipotle sauce, which has a nice bite. The salsa fresca features nopales (prickly pear cactus pads), which puts this condiment over the top. The guacamole is also top notch, with hints of cumin, lime, and cilantro. The roasted chicken at Limonz is fantastic. The combination of the marinade, and the Rational oven's cooking process, accomplishes amazing results.
Limonz also offers tacos and burritos that start with a house made 8" tortilla, and your choice of roasted chicken, pork carnitas, beef carne asada, veggies or cheese. The fun jumps to the next level when you move to the assembly line, and add in the condiments which include some unusual, and tasty alternatives.
The condiments consist of the following: black beans, cilantro rice, urban corn (corn, onions, epezote, and jalapenos), lard free refried beans with beef chorizo, fajitas veggies (sauteed onions, mushrooms, red and green bell peppers), fideos secos (pan fried angel hair pasta cooked in a tomato-chipotle sauce), and poblano chili rajas (roasted poblano peppers, roasted red and green bell peppers, all sauteed with onions, and garlic, then cooked with cream and mozzarella cheese).
Next, you move on to the garnish station.
The garnish selections are: onions, cilantro, tomatoes, cheese, house made guacamole, lettuce, cucumbers, limes, sour cream, salsa fresca with nopales, jalapenos, and a mixture of pickled jalapenos, habaneros, and onions.
Last, but certainly not least, you get to choose from an intriguing selection of house made salsas.
You can choose from: achiote (orange), (from the Yucatan, made from annatto seeds, with orange juice, vinegar, and onion), tomato-chipotle (red), mango-habanero (yellow), spicy peanut-chipotle (tan), cilantro-basil-tomatillo (green), and jicama with Japanese red peppers.
With all this at my disposal, I was a bit overwhelmed. Fortunately the manager Nick, proved to be a knowledgeable guide, who has a talent for combining all these flavors together. He helped me choose three different taco combinations that I call "Nick's picks." Tacos ($2.99 each).
Here are all three photographed together.
The bottom taco is roasted chicken, black beans, cilantro rice, jalapenos, salsa fresca, cilantro, guacamole, cilantro-basil-tomatillo salsa, and sour cream.
The theme was cilantro and the flavor went well with the chicken and black beans. I loved the salsa fresca with the nopales, the guacamole was great, and the jalapenos gave a noticeable amount of heat.
Opened up for display, the middle taco combined pork carnitas, fideos secos, urban corn, cucumbers, and tomato-chipotle salsa.
Here Nick used the chipotle in the fideos secos, and the chipotle in the salsa as the unifying element. The nicely flavored carnitas were excellent, and went well with the spicy pasta. I also really liked the tomato-chipotle salsa. This was a great taco.
Last in my Nick's picks trilogy, the taco on top consisted of roasted chicken, refried beans, poblano chili rajas, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
If this taco had a theme it would be "the poblano chili rajas is so good, I could eat it on shoe leather." I am not kidding folks, what ever you concoct at Limonz, find a way to work in the poblano rajas with something you order. It is rich, creamy, and spicy all at the same time. Since I have not mentioned this already, the flour tortillas at Limonz are scrumptious. They are tender, well crisped on the grill, and have just the right mouth feel.
After becoming familiar with all of the ingredient options thanks to Nick, the next night I felt confident enough create my own tacos (heh-heh, let's face it, Nick had the night off). I ordered two tacos (again $2.99 each) and a burrito ($4.99).
The taco on the left was carnitas, fideos secos, cilantro rice, and lots of cheese. On the right, was roasted chicken, poblano rajas, onions, tomatoes, and more cheese. This time I ordered the mango-habanero salsa, but on the side. Both combinations were excellent. The mango-habanero proved to be my favorite salsa. I am finding you just can't go wrong if you include either the fideos secos, or the poblano rajas as one of the ingredients in your taco.
For the burrito I started with roasted chicken, then added cilantro rice, poblano chili rajas, salsa fresca, cheese, mango-habanero salsa, and the pickled mixture of jalapenos, onions, and habaneros. This combination had serious heat due to the pickled mixture, the habanero sauce, and the rajas. If you decide to add the pickled mixture be for-warned, it is fiery. I enjoyed this burrito a lot since I like spicy food, but my mouth was on fire for another twenty minutes after I finished it.
On a subsequent evening, I called ahead and ordered a whole roasted chicken with sides of fideos secos with cheese, and poblano chili rajas ($10.99), to pick up at 8pm.
I could taste the results of the citrus-spice marinade in the chicken's flesh, and skin. This chicken was bursting with juices, and its beautifully caramelized skin was very tasty. The rajas and the pasta remained my favorite side dishes, and I noticed Limonz really upped the portion size when ordered with the whole chicken. Putting it simply, the whole roasted chicken at Limonz is excellent.
Now that I have dined at Limonz Rostizados on numerous occasions, I can tell you without reserve, they have surpassed all my expectations. Owners Juan and Bobby Pasalagua have have taken authentic Mexican flavors, fresh ingredients, a high tech kitchen, and their own, proprietary recipes, and combined them together to create some extremely enjoyable offerings. The menu reflects a philosophy of focus. What Limonz does, it does well. As an added bonus, they are open until 3am Thursday through Saturday (nice huh?). Limonz Rostizados is a valuable addition to the Pacific Beach dining scene. I highly recommend you give them a try.
Sun-Wed: 11am-close (8pm-9pm depending on customer volume).
Breakfast: Sat, Sun from 7am.
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