My two guests of the week had a dining adventure in Ensenada planned for our Thursday night. But, that plan aborted due to their restaurant choice being closed due to ??? When on Calle Once(11th street), you can’t go wrong with Barra Azul.
Meet and greet is always solid and beverages were promptly delivered. A chef’s complimentary appetizer of marlin pate makes for happy first impressions.
Of the 6 fish filets on the menu, our server announced that yellow tail, halibut and swordfish were available. BTW, they have menus in both languages. When ordering fish filets, you have a choice of 7 or 8 different sauces to accessorize your fishy.
Also learned two new-to-me cuisine names this night. Our server explained that Tiradito was similar to sashimi.
Of course the key to good Tiradito is the freshness of the fish. The joke I heard said that the fish must have been sleeping in the sea the night before, and still wearing its pajamas when served.
The other important element in Tiradito is elegantly sliced and presented seafood. It takes some skill to master this aspect of Tiradito. Truthfully, my slices could be a bit thinner, and my arrangement more refined. The trick is to use a long, thin, very sharp knife to glide through the flesh in singular, fluid movements. Sawing or hacking through the fish only leads to trouble (and a knuckle-whacking from the teacher). The fish must also be very cold. It’s then cut on a slight bias against the grain AND at a strong horizontal angle to the cutting board. It takes practice, and I plan to practice– so check back. In the meantime if you’d like to see how the pros at Cebichería La Mar in Lima slice the fish check out the photo at the bottom of the post.
Directo was the other term on the menu. That explanation was that of dishes in the fashion of aguachiles.
Will check out the Tiradito and Directo samplings on a future visit.
We ordered a mushroom in cure anything you’ve got garlic sauce as an appeteazer. Then had coconut shrimp, swordfish with basil on risotto and the above swordfish with red/green peppers on linguini. This was the second time I have enjoyed swordfish at Barra Azul. Yumm heaven with this approx 8 ounce sea steak.
Prices at B.A. are a very good value with so many offerings at less than 200mnp($8-$11USD).
One of my guests noticed that his Indio beer was not hitting him in the right spots with his Buick Le Sabre fish. His order of vino blanco happened to be Madera 5 sauvignon blanc/chardonnay. I was happy to enjoy a sip of this refreshing blend of fruit and acid.
Barra Azul’s ambiance for me is a combo neighborhood bar and campus lounge with tables that don’t crowd each other. For whatever reason, my handful of dining experiences here have never witnessed more than a few tables full.
I’m giving Barra Azul a solid Ajo Cuatro, 4 out of 5 garlic cloves. To find them, 11th street between Espinoza and the bridge over the river.