Start the car, and bring your appetite. Here are the absolutely best places to eat along Western highways
Romesco Baja Med Bistro, Bonita, CA. The suburban San Diego location is improbable. Still, this is the sole north-of-the-border outpost from Javier Plascencia, the mad genius of Baja Med cuisine and the most influential chef in Mexico at the moment. Must-try: Ahi tuna tostada. $$$; 4346 Bonita Rd., 4.3 mi. off I-5; 619/475-8627.
La Super-Rica, Santa Barbara, CA (pictured). Milpas Street’s Mexican dive is famous for serving freshly made antojitos to people who don’t necessarily know what the word means (little portions, aka appetizers). Must-try: La Super-Rica Especial (marinated pork and cheese-stuffed pasilla chile). $; 622 N. Milpas St.; 805/963-4940.
La Tarasca, Centralia, WA. At this family-run authentically Mexican restaurant, it can be tough to decide between carnitas from the cook’s home state of Michoacán and other must-haves like rellenos or posole accompanied by fresh-made corn tortillas. Must-try: Chile verde. $$; 1001 W. Main St.; 360/736-7756.