Loading...
Food in Magazines

Read This Now: The New Yorker on Misión 19's Javier Plascencia

Comments (0)

By

Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 9:29 AM
click to enlarge "The Missionary" by Dana Goodyear - THE NEW YORKER
  • The New Yorker
  • "The Missionary" by Dana Goodyear

Misión 19 in Tijuana, chef Javier Plascencia's first independent venture, is celebrating its one-year-anniversary. Read "The Missionary," a profile of Plascencia by Dana Goodyear in this week's New Yorker, and you'll learn why that matters.

Plascencia's mission is to bring innovative but authentic cuisine to the notorious border city where he grew up, Goodyear writes. And he's created Misión 19 as an ultra-hip spot to draw locals and tourists alike into the fold. His ambition is no less than to spur a culinary renaissance in troubled but vibrant Tijuana.

Goodyear writes that Tijuana is uniquely positioned to achieve the revival that Plascencia hopes for: "...an unself-conscious, sophisticated local culture has emerged in Tijuana--mescal bars, elegant cafés, experimental taco stands with twenty-five salsas--that is now being discovered by the food-adventurous."

A handful of Angelenos may know Plascencia's cooking from his three-night stint at the Test Kitchen in 2010. (Our critic reported: "A short rib wrapped in fig leaves and roasted over wood was astonishing: The sweet, charred fragrance that floated from the meat when you unwrapped the package was intoxicating as perfume, and the few drops of black, bitter mole on the plate, flavored with raw cacao, were as different from most poblano moles as the space shuttle is from a Piper Cub.")

Plascencia also appeared last July at a Pasadena street-food festival, where he won Best in Show for "oyster asada" -- grilled oysters topped with short-rib chicharrones, lemongrass foam, and ponzu sauce, according to Goodyear. Otherwise, Plascencia has been drumming up such inventions at his family's several restaurants in Tijuana and Chula Vista. And now, at Misión 19.

Is it coincidence that Javier Plascencia opened Misión 19 on a street called Misión San Javier? Maybe it's fate. And if the chef achieves his mission, foodists just might erect his statue among the other Mexican heroes on Paseo de los Héroes a few blocks away.

Related Content

Now Trending

Slideshows

  • Ladies Gunboat Society at Flores
    At Ladies Gunboat Society, the new operation out of the restaurant that used to be Flores on Sawtelle Boulevard, the Hoppin’ John is served as an appetizer or a small plate rather than a side, and the price is the stuff of comedy.
  • Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar
    Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar, with chef Jason Fullilove at the helm, is in the two buildings at the pier’s entrance that used to be Beachcomber Cafe and Ruby’s Diner. Those buildings, which have been overhauled completely, reflect both the pier’s 109-year-old history and the cultural import of Malibu itself.
  • The Tasting Menu Trend
    In Los Angeles especially, but increasingly across the country, restaurants are either switching to tasting menus, putting a greater focus on a tasting-menu option (while offering à la carte items as well), or opening as tasting-menu operations from day one. The format that used to be the calling card of only the fanciest of restaurants is becoming ubiquitous, even at places where the waiter calls you “dude” and there isn’t a white tablecloth in sight.