Restaurant Review: Cocina de Barrio in the Midway

by on October 29, 2021 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

Restaurant Review


Cocina de Barrio
3924 West Point Loma Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92110

By Judi Curry

Over a decade ago there were four younger ladies that were members of the Peninsula YMCA.  They attended the Water Aerobics classes daily and became friends.  However, as time passed, these four ladies went separate ways, and although kept in touch on Face Book, only met together one time in the past 12 years.

Things were about to change due to a chance meeting in the Stumps Market parking lot a few weeks ago and those same ladies, a little older now – and certainly wiser – managed to clear their busy schedules to meet for lunch at a restaurant that used to be Swami’s, and local for all of them.  Meet Anne, Judy – with a “y”, Joelle, and me.

The ladies left it up to me to decide where to go for lunch, and since Cocina de Barrio was relatively new and none of us had eaten there before it seemed like a good choice – and it was.

The menu emphasizes flavors of Oaxaca and many of you will find it very different than other Mexican restaurants you have visited. We were there for lunch, and I did not think to ask for a dinner menu, but I am sure that it is quite different also.  But let’s discuss lunch. Or…”Brunch” which is what they call it.

The menu is extensive.  There are 31 items on the menu, not counting the three “Los Curdos” – appetizers, and the 10 sides.  In addition to the food menu, the drink menu is as extensive with Mezcal cocktails, brunch cocktails, Sangria and Mimosas, red and white wines, craft beer on tap as well as bottled beer.  They also have nonalcoholic drinks and three varieties of coffee.

With a menu like this, it is almost impossible to tell you what is available. Suffice it to say that almost everything on the menu is “different” from other restaurants. There is a heavy emphasis on lamb, although the choice I was given included chorizo.  The griddle items were hard to pass up – Crème Brulee French Toast; Cheese Cake Pancakes, etc. Our waitperson, Armando, was very patient with us and explained and recommended items on the menu.  But here is what we went with:

Sopas Benny

Anne had Huevos Rancheros – two crispy corn tortillas, refried beans, lamb birria, guajillo sauce, fried eggs, queso fresco and home potatoes. Anne said that the lamb was the tenderest she had ever had.  It was $17.95.  You can tell from the picture that there was a tremendous amount of food, and all of us took some home.

Judy and Joelle both ordered the Sopes Benny – fried corn cakes, beans, lamb birria, poached eggs, Chipotle Hollandaise and home potatoes.  It cost $16.95, and the servings were enormous.  They both raved about the meal.

Huevos Rancheros

Because I do not care for lamb, I wanted to find something that did not include it but also wanted something that showed off the food. I went for the Tlayuda, a large thin crunchy tortilla, refried beans, choice of chorizo ltsmeno or beef birria, queso Oaxaca cilantro-serrano aioli, fried eggs, and it was $18.95.  I have to say I have never seen such a large tortilla filled with so many things.

Armando asked me how I wanted my eggs and I said “scrambled.” In retrospect, I probably should have gone with the fried egg, and I suspect there were 3 scrambled eggs, all very tasty but a great deal of food.  I took home over half of it.  I probably needed a lesson on how to eat it, because it was served with a relatively sharp knife and I am not sure what I was supposed to cut – the tortilla was so crispy that to cut it would have had it “shatter”; there was really nothing else that needed cutting. However, it was very, very good, and I might order it again.

It should be noted that the menu states that “they are not a Gluten Free certificated facility” because of the possibility of cross contamination.

Over all, the four of us were very impressed with the restaurant, and have stated that we will be going there again. The service was good; the hostess was friendly.  Like Swami’s there are four eating areas – two outside, one in a covered patio and one inside.  I had made reservations, and I suspect that was a wise thing to do. As they become more known in our area – they have another one in Hillcrest – I think that they will be very busy.  And when you do go – be prepared for a delicious, different meal.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy October 29, 2021 at 2:33 pm

Great review and true! Fun lunch, let’s do it again.


judith curry October 29, 2021 at 3:30 pm

The leftovers were just as good the second day!


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