Popotla, Baja California, Mexico
Seafood and Southern California – the two go together like Italian food and The Hill. Unfortunately, the food prices in San Diego are just as outrageous as their housing prices. Even the coastal Mexican towns have been overrun with Gringos and their green cash. However, if you follow the “Scenic Road” (which is Mexican for toll road) 20 miles down the Baja California coast from the U.S. border, there is a little fishing village turned restaurant town where there are still deals to be found.
Poputula is right beside Fox Studios-Baja (where Titanic and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World were filmed), but it is a world away from Hollywood. There are no tourist buses or Americans in condos, simply a large concrete arch over a dirt road. We found a patch of dirt to park the car, attached our Club to the steering wheel, and made our way past a row of restaurants with their owners shouting to us in Spanish and holding up the day’s catch of lobster. Following a little haggling in the vernacular, we found the best deal at Agua Brava Nayarit, and what a deal it was! Six of us bought three lobster dinners with all the fixings (salad, rice & corn, and shrimp) and drinks for $30. That’s right: for the same price you’d pay for a single dinner at Red Lobster, we had an oceanfront feast.
And this wasn’t just a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Okay, so it was just a hole in the wall, but a hole in the wall overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With the sounds of the waves crashing below us and the harmonies of Mariachis serenading locals in the other restaurants, it was a perfect Mexican afternoon.