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“Fin de la Senda”
Review of Restaurante Laja

Restaurante Laja
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$32 - US$71
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Description: In Laja cooking wine region of Baja California is brewing . Over the years we have achieved the magical space that sums up the essence of Valle de Guadalupe ; Natural and simple elegance of where tastes and feelings so deep and clear capriciously endure over time arise . We offer a set menu that changes every day. The backbone of our kitchen is our own garden . The vegetable is our thermometer , our clock and our reference . We ranks and season ( not all years are equal). At your own pace , from vegetables , sprouts , herbs and seasonings our menu comes alive . The nearby Pacific Ocean offers great and always surprising ingredients and producers of cheese , oils and meats from the region deeply grounded our offer.
Reviewed 3 December 2013

Laja is a unique restaurant. It is much closer to Highway 3 than is Corazon de Tierra, so access is easy [although I inadvertently passed it on my recent visit and had to double back]. I like the crunch and the shallow dip of the gravel driveway as one enters the grounds at Laja. All is peace and quiet as I exit my parked car and gaze to the distant horizon. Then I hear it: even though I am over one hundred feet from the restaurant, I hear the incessant wailing of a baby. The sounds get louder and louder as I approach the building, and when I open the front door, the blare literally blows me off my feet. The baby is with a group of five who are seated at the first table by the door. I take my seat at my usual table in the far corner. No one in the group takes the baby outside as it continues to wail; They are too busy eating and drinking wine to bother. I chose the eight course meal, and the portions seem more generous than my last visit---I could not even finish the pasta "a la guitarra" The glass of wine for each course [I chose a wine pairing option, although the wine list is excellent if you want to go with a bottle] was promptly brought to the table by the kind and pleasant owner, Andres Blanco. I always enjoy chatting with Andres, about what he is doing at Laja, about Ensenada politics or about his visits to California. The dining room is all dark woods and white-washed walls, which creates a simple and serene environment. When I was in the middle of my meal, a group of 12 Americans came in, with children of various ages in tow. The women and girls all sported a garland of flowers encircling their forehead, and the men had bulky long lens cameras hanging from their neck. I called them the "Flower Children". The Flower Children proceeded to treat the space like a personal venue for a cocktail party---moving about with wine glasses in hand, the children running around in and out "to see the turkeys---gobble, gobble", one of the women exclaimed. Their food would be placed on the table and they would sit for a moment, then it was up again to move to and fro at their little private cocktail affair. When I left, they were still carrying on in front of a staid threesome who had entered and were seated near the bar. No one said goodbye to me when I pushed open the door to leave, and I walked out into the gravel walkway on my own. That was a sad oversight, because I enjoy Laja. The service had been smiling and good, but an oversight at the end of a restaurant meal is grave, since that is how the customer remembers his experience: It is what happens first and what happens last that is critical in the formation of our opinion of the restaurant experience: We can forgive what happens in the middle, but what happens at the beginning and what happens [or doesn't happen, in this case!] at the end, is ingrained in our mind forever.

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5  Thank CharlesCorreia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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97 - 101 of 247 reviews

Reviewed 29 October 2013

The place is so simple... Back to the basics with great ingredients. We had the 4-course meal and the 8-course meal. I am still savouring the pumpkin raviolis. Great service! Do not miss their garden at the entrance.
We tried Mero Toro in Mexico City, but this one was much better.

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1  Thank Gladysfp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2013

We had heard great things about the restaurant but weren't sure what we could expect at the awkward time of 5:00 on a Saturday evening. The staff greeted us warmly and immediately seated us at table that fit our party of 7. The wine list was very good with many choices including local wines from the region. The four course meal included one of two choices from each course, it was very difficult to decide! Our party was split about 1/2 and 1/2 on each of the selections. They also let us know that if we would like more of any of the courses, they would bring us an additional portion! The servings were generous enough that we didn't take advantage of it but it was a very nice touch.

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Thank Rsharplj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2013

We visited the restaurant as a group of 5 people, Saturday, mexican lunch time (3:00 pm). it was very busy, and we would not have gotten a table if we didn't have a reservation.

3 of us ordered the 8-course meal, 2 of us ordered the 4 course. The staff recommended against it as the dishes came at slightly different times, but it wasn't really a problem.

All the 8 dishes were fantastic. More expensive than the 4-dish option, you do get a bit more food, but the variety is worth it.

The service and experience was all good.

It is the perfect complement to a tour of the Valle de Guadalupe wineries, and it is easily accesible from highway 3.

Note : the portions were satisfactory, and enough for us, but definitely if you come in very hungry or regularly eat american size dishes (i.e 20 oz steaks), this place is NOT for you. Or maybe order two 4-dish meals !

It is expensive, but the price is proportional to the quality and variety of the food. We'll be back, definitely

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Thank CarlitosM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2013

One of the finest restaurants I have ever been to, the food and the wine were sublime. Service was good, the place is lovely. Highly recommended.

Thank NataliaMejia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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