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Baja Chefs Coming to Playa This September

La Guerrerense's sea urchin tostada, in Ensenada
La Guerrerense's sea urchin tostada, in Ensenada
A. Scattergood

Baja cuisine is habanero hot right now, with food personalities like Anthony Bourdain (who said the region "feels like Tuscany") and Andrew Zimmern elevating the area's chefs to national prominence. If you've been stuck salivating stateside, unwilling or unable to make the jaunt south of the border, then consider yourself in luck, because some of Baja's top talents are bringing their skills to Los Angeles.

Starting Sunday, Sept. 16, John Sedlar will be inviting three Baja chefs to Playa to debut a series of unique a la carte dishes, with ingredients sourced from his brand-new rooftop garden, Cielo Verde. The first guest (at Playa from Sept. 16-18) will be Sabina Banderas of La Guerrerense, a seafood restaurant near the Sea of Cortez which cleaned up at this year's LA Street Food Fest, winning the "Best in Show" award for her tostadas topped with sea urchin, clam and sea snail and slathered in her super-hot homemade salsa.

Next up on Sept. 25-26 is Benito Molina, a Mexico City transplant who also brought the heat to this year's Street Food Fest, representing his Baja-based restaurant Manzanilla. After that, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, Tijuana new-kids-on-the-block Tacos Kokopelli will be serving up dishes such as halibut ceviche with sour cactus fruit and queso panela with oja santa, tomatillo, and chapulines.

Dishes are projected to be priced between $5-18 each, which is a heck of a lot cheaper than a taxi cab from Avenida Revolucion. Reservations are recommended.


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