The cranes of the working Port of Ensenada loom over the approach to Manzanilla Restaurant (Blvd. Teniente Azueta No. 139, Ensenada) like Imperial Walkers over the Planet Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back.
Wherever there are working stiffs, there are empanadas. Oh, they may not be called that. In Italy, they’re called “calzones.” In England’s western reaches, Cornish wives sent their husbands into the tin mines with meat-filled pasties.
It definitely wasn’t Hell freezing over—more like Heaven. As the calendar turned, San Diegans had to contend with the unfamiliar: winter coats, warm boots and, in some far-flung reaches, snow. It brought me back to my East Coast college days and the comforts of a warming stew.
Corazon’s menu changes almost daily, so the dishes we tasted will likely not be yours. But those superlative gardens and Hernandez’s talent for using them to make flavors pop and dishes surprise are the reason to hazard those roads to get there.
The vareniki-pirogy at La Mesa’s The Village House Kalina (8302 Parkway Drive), which bills itself as a Ukrainian-Russian restaurant, are nearly indistinguishable from the pirogi my wife and I make for the Wigilia