Map
39 Teniente Azueta, Ensenada, Mexico

Mexico City native, Benito Molina started his career in Boston, working under Todd English at Olives, where he fell in love with the bold, direct flavors of the Mediterranean. Returning to Mexico, he found in northern Baja a Med-worthy combination of rustic wines and stellar ingredients from land and sea. Molina takes full advantage. Local Manila clams arrive in a bacony broth tinged with saffron. Baby abulón, farmed in nearby San Quintin, is sliced into thin disks and seared on a hot rock, then sauced with mesquite-smoked tomato and cream. Tender grilled rib eye is seasoned with rosemary and served with strong mustard; on the side come buttery morsels of fat, twice-cooked to resemble crispy chicharrones. After nine years downtown, Manzanilla moved last year to an industrial garage in the shipyard district, which makes a funky stage set: raw-concrete floors offset by zany canvases and pink Plexi chandeliers. It’s a fine place to while away the day over a four-hour lunch.

Restaurant
Restaurante Manzanilla

Mexico City native, Benito Molina started his career in Boston, working under Todd English at Olives, where he fell in love with the bold, direct flavors of the Mediterranean. Returning to Mexico, he found in northern Baja a Med-worthy combination of rustic wines and stellar ingredients from land and sea. Molina takes full advantage. Local Manila clams arrive in a bacony broth tinged with saffron. Baby abulón, farmed in nearby San Quintin, is sliced into thin disks and seared on a hot rock, then sauced with mesquite-smoked tomato and cream. Tender grilled rib eye is seasoned with rosemary and served with strong mustard; on the side come buttery morsels of fat, twice-cooked to resemble crispy chicharrones. After nine years downtown, Manzanilla moved last year to an industrial garage in the shipyard district, which makes a funky stage set: raw-concrete floors offset by zany canvases and pink Plexi chandeliers. It’s a fine place to while away the day over a four-hour lunch.