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No. 32 -

Baja News & Entertainment

Plus: ■ The Origins of New Year’s Resolutions Page 31

■ Assisted Living in Mexico Health & Beauty

■ Banking Basics in Baja Page 25

■ Hell No, I Won’t go! People & Voices

January / enero 2010

{Best of}}

Best of 2009 This has been a tough year for Baja and Sonora, but we’re making a strong comeback. Mexico Living has spread the word from the border to the cape that not only is Baja and Sonora still one of the safest and best places to live, work and play, but we have the best of the best. Each year beginning in September we ask our readers to give us their choices for the best from each of the communities we cover, to find all the best Baja and Sonora has to offer—from upstarts to hangouts, bars to bakers, fishing to fine art. Each year our readers

battle it out for their favorites, and after counting thousands of votes, we have the results. Here’s the way it works: Each category is broken down by the city. To be included in the results, the nominees need to have at least five votes; we make no suggestions, and voters can not see other votes, so the winners are completely selected by the readers. The top 15 category winners with the most votes overall are featured. Congratulations to all the winners for being the best at what they do.


M. Dean Jones Architecture and Planning San Jose del Cabo Dean Jones has an award-winning architectural firm. He designs custom homes, thoughtful renovations and planned communities. The firm works with their clients to give them environments that express their needs, while creating interest through the sculptural use of form and materials. For over 30 years the firm’s efforts have been to create designs that are earth friendly, incorporating passive heating and cooling whenever possible. The firm’s designs use recycled materials and incorporate the principles of harmony, balance and the positive flow of energy. By integrating the interior spaces with the exterior site amenities, the firm’s designs enrich their client’s lives.

Architect Winners

Roberto Moreno, Rosarito Beach Sylvia St. Clair, MAR Architect, Todos Santos

Rosaline Ramos Lazcano, San Felipe Arq. Arturo Canseco, San Carlos


Augie’s Bar & Bait, Loreto

from behind and handing you a cold one e the bait is either smiling her e aus hotspot for nt bec ine p, em sho t pre bai e ón in Loreto, this is the This ain’t your averag lec Ma the on d ate Loc . g place; a Mexican a side of wisabi n, it’s a warm and welcomin the bar or it’s ser ved with era vet or in virg ie’s Aug ether you’re an e happy hangout with new friends, and a genuin the gringo community. Wh and nds frie old of is n atio ebr is a daily cel a.m.–10 p.m. daily, and it version of Cheers. Augie’s nt food and drinks from 9 elle exc ve ser to n ope They’re great food and good times. k well. at friends, and eat and drin gre ke ma to ce pla the per fect

Bar WinnersRosarito Beach Beach Bobby’s by the Sea, Fandangos, San Felipe


The Monthly Guide to Pacific Baja & the Sea of Cortez

The Whale’s Tail, Ensenada asco Thirsty Parrot, Puerto Peñ

MEXICO LIVING – January 2010


Art Gallery Baja Nueva, San Felipe

Baja Nueva is San Felipe’s premiere furniture, home decorating and gift store that is a “must visit” when in San Felipe. Located on Mar de Cortez in the Plazita, it is chock full of exciting and colorful items for the home. Original artwork, glass vases and plates, heirloom boxes, wall clocks, candles and holders, decorator shadow boxes and authentic local Indian pottery is just a small amount of the eye candy that keeps you looking from place to place in this wonderfully colorful and well laid out store.

Art Gallery Winners

CEARTE, Ensenada Artesanias La Antigua California, La Paz Jill Logan Galería, Todos Santos Pez Gordo Gallery, San Jose del Cabo Galeria La Grande, Cabo San Lucas

BakerRyosarito Beach

Pie Shop, Diego’s Deli & lipe pecial, San Fe Panaderia Es Paz Pan D’Les, La


Nicholas, Bahia Cantilles, Rosarito Beac h Cuco (Pete’s Camp), San Felipe Louie (Al Capones), Puer to Peñasco

{{Best of}



l, Mongolin Gril e ido, San Felip Ej in Jaunito’s to re , Lo El Super Burro La Paz o, ej Vi o Ranch

Mamas Royal Cafe, Cabo San Lucas Mama’s Royal Cafe is said to have the “best breakfast in the whole country” and one of the oldest Gringo restaurants in Cabo San Lucas. If you’re looking for a big breakfast like your mom would make at home, this is the place. Mama’s Royal Cafe has it all, from fruit plates to more omelets than you can imagine and all the traditional Mexican dishes, along with a full bar to kick your morning. If you’re a fan of breakfast, there is no better place, possibly in the whole country!

Breakfast Winners La Bamba, Rosarito Beach Gorilla’s Grill, La Paz

Juanito’s in Ejido, San Felipe La Maria Bistro, Puerto Peñasco

Restaurant Sagitario, Loreto



Cha Cha’s, Rosarito Beach Baja Java, San Felipe Cafe de Lolita, Loreto Guiseppi’s, Puerto Peñasc o Barracuda Bob’s, San Car los

Contruction Ma


BJ Sweitzer Cons truction, San Fe lipe Loreto Inspectio ns, Loreto NewTek Constru ction Services, La Paz Cabo Tech Cons tructores, Cabo San Lucas

Development Club Marena, Rosarito Beach

Dr. Melina California, San Felipe Dr. Melina California Fierros Zatarain, or Melina, as her friends and patients refer to her, is a dentist and the owner of California Dental Spa on Mar Caribe Sur, across from the ABC terminal in San Felipe. California Dental Spa’s services include everything your mouth could need. When you enter the California Dental Spa, the atmosphere and warm greeting immediately make you feel at ease. The word has spread so rapidly that in just one year California Dental Spa has fast become the most popular dental clinic in the region.

Dentist Winners

Dr. Ochoa Medina, Rosarito Beach Angels Touch Dental Clinic, San Jose del Cabo Cabo Cosmetic Dental, Cabo San Lucas Dr. Lbarra, Puerto Peñasco Dr. Jorge Caesar de Castillo, La Paz

Baja real estate has now reached a new level in style and exclusivity. A prestigeous yet affordable lifestyle awaits you in Club Marena. This is a superb beachfront condominium with spectacular, panoramic ocean views and lush grounds in the most exclusive Baja real estate development in the region. Built to exacting American standards, with exceptional workmanship, these oceanfront homes offer modern day conveniences in a romantic setting, which is why our readers voted it as Baja’s Best Development.

Development Winners Playa de Oro, San Felipe Bella Sirena, Puerto Peñasco

Bobby’s by the Sea, Ensenada

Entertainment Denny Flannigan, San Felipe

Denny “Moondogg” Flannigan has appeared onstage and in concert with over 250 major acts including the Doobie Brothers, the Beach Boys, Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, The BeeGee’s, Tommy James and the Shondells, B.B. King, and many more. He has performed in every state in the continental U.S. The first song written by Denny in 1964, “You’ll Come Back,” became an instantaneous number one hit

Entertainment Winners

Deja-Vu, Cabo San Lucas

for five weeks running on Colorado’s giant, KIMN Radio. Denny was a writer, comedian and musician on many television shows including The Midnight Special, ABC’s In Concert, The John Byner Comedy Hour, David Frost’s Madhouse 90, The Merv Griffin Show and a host of others. Denny currently resides in San Felipe and enjoys performing and living “La Vida Loca” en Mexico.

Mark Mulligan, San Carlos


MEXICO LIVING – January 2010


{Best of}}

Happy Hour


Jolly Mon Bar, San Felipe

Minerva’s Baja Tackle, Cabo San Lucas Minerva’s Baja Tackle is a Cabo fishing legend. Minerva’s started back in the days when Cabo was just a sleepy fishing village with dirt roads and a couple of hotels. Now, fishing is what Cabo San Lucas is famous for and they’re proud to say that they have played a big part in not only starting the sport fishing industry in Cabo San Lucas, but also in preserving the resource by promoting conservation and responsible fisheries management. Minerva’s Baja Tackle has over 32 years of experience fishing Los Cabos and are ready to provide you with the ultimate fishing vacation.

Fishing Winners

Azteca Sportfishing, San Felipe The Baja Big Fish Company, Loreto

Augie’s Bar & Bait, Loreto Baja Cantina, Cabo San Lucas Al Capones Pizza, Puerto Peñasco

Home Builder


Versoleil, San Felipe , La Paz La Paz Landscaping n Jose del Cabo Sa s, bo Ca Vivero Los

San Felipe Home Builders, San Felipe Zoe Custom Home Builders, Cabo San Lucas Baraka en Todos, Todos Santos

Home Furnishings The Cabo Furniture Company San Jose del Cabo

The Cabo Furniture Company provides top-notch customer service throughout the execution of all phases of the design process. Each of their dedicated and passionate staff strive to create unique interiors based on client’s individual needs at the best prices. Their suppliers have proven track records delivering quality products for over 12 years. Listening to their clients, this results in a home environment that is beautiful and functional by incorporating their lifestyle into their residence. Their integrity is based on their desire to deliver what they promise.

Home Furnishings Winners Baja Nueva, San Felipe Mueblería San Diego, La Paz Casa Bonita, San Carlos


Happy Hour Winners

Sergios Sportfishing, Ensenada Pancho Villa, Puerto Peñasco

Haircuir,t/RoSsaaritloo nBeach

Douglas Day Ha a, San Felipe Lilyanna’s Estetic La Paz Berenice Pozo,

Jolly Mon Bar, located in Plaza Paraiso (KM 178.5) has something for everyone EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK! It’s San Felipe’s hot new sports bar north of town. Every Friday they serve free champagne to the ladies and sushi for all! A new neighborhood bar San Felipe locals call home. The San Rail Pizza has moved in with their complete pizza menu—whole or by the slice— plus hot dogs, and on weekends tacos. This is a fun place to be.

The Monthly Guide to Pacific Baja & the Sea of Cortez

MEXICO LIVING – January 2010

Liquor Store

Marcado del Mar, Rosarito Beach Rivera Liquor , San Felipe Cactus Liquor , Loreto Cabo Duty Fr ee, Cabo San Lucas


Poco Cielo, Rosarito Beach Poco Cielo, loosely translated, means “little heaven.” This small, private hotel has nine intimate guest rooms, an on-site restaurant and cantina, and the most friendly staff on the coast. Located halfway between Rosarito and Ensenada in the La Misión area, on the coastline of beautiful Baja California, Mexico, guests will find themselves relaxed and at home within minutes. Adding to your entertainment are their themed rooms dressed in high quality bed and bath linens, one-of-a-kind furnishings intertwined in a setting of inviting styles, rich textures and vibrant colors to make your visit distinctly memorable. Their restaurant prepares and serves authentic Mexican and American Cuisines and the bounty of our local fishers. Enjoy the ambiance of their beachfront terraces while the ocean provides a naturally tranquil backdrop to your meal.

Lodging Winners

El Rey Sol Posada, Ensenada Hotel Luna, Loreto El Delfin Blanco, San Jose del Cabo

El Cortez Hotel, San Felipe Hacienda Del Sol, La Paz Los Milagros Hotel, Cabo San Lucas

Mail Service

Click-On, Rosarito Beach Sunr unner, San Felipe Mail Boxes Etc., Cabo San Lucas Mail Boxes Etc., San Jose del Cabo


Grocery Market/ Felipe Hipon, San reto Dali’s Deli, Lo z Pa CCC, La San Lucas Costso, Cabo

{{Best of}


New Business

Cabo Wabo, Cabo San Lucas

Sex City, Puerto Peñasco

One of the wildest and craziest, most renowned places to party (and eat) in Cabo San Lucas is Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo. The menu includes Sammy’s Drunken Shrimp, peppercorn crusted beef and many kinds of fresh seafood of the day. Nightly entertainment is provided by live bands and DJs (Sammy plays when he is in town). Look for the lighthouse jutting from atop the building, but don’t be surprised if it is too packed to get in.

Lilian Vega proves that romance blossoms in tough economic times. It bears mentioning that there are some businesses that are doing so well that it’s time to open a second location. What business is that? Why, romance, of course! It makes sense that when fewer folks are able to go out on the town to wine and dine, there are some who will find ways to make staying home more fun than not. About a year ago, the lovely Lily Vega opened the first Sex City store in the strip mall (pun intended) across from SuperLey. Just this week, Lily cut the ribbon on her second location, located on the corner of Luis Encinas and Calle 13.

Nightclub Winners Rosa & Rita, Rosarito Beach La Iguana, Todos Santos

Jolly Mon Bar, San Felipe Elixir, Puerto Peñasco

ent Real EstateoAg Beach

New Business Winners

Mongolian Grill, Rosarito Beach Red - Food, Wine and Martini Bar, San Jose del Cabo Jacks Bar & Grill, Cabo San Lucas



Fatboy’s Pizza, San Felipe 1697, LoretoToscana, La Paz IL Giardino Pizzeria Trattoria, Todos Sant os Mamma Mia Pizza & Pasta, Cabo San Lucas Al Capones Pizzeria, Puer to Peñasco

The Mongolian Grill has fast become Rosarito’s favorite restaurant, having only been open a year it has already earned itself the “The Best Restaurant in Rosarito” title by our readers. If you enjoy good food, that’s healthy and affordable, you’ll love this place. They have several lunch items under $5 including Teriyaki Bowls, Korean Tacos, California Sushi rolls, large Asian Chicken Salads and, of course, the Mongolian BBQ (under $7). You will become addicted to a healthy way of eating. They are only two miles south of the Rosarito Beach Hotel, which is about 5–10 minutes from Diego’s.

Whales Tail Pub & Grill, Ensenada Baja Jimmy’s, San Felipe Afrodita Grill, Mulegé Loreto Islas, Loreto Tailhunter Fubar Cantina, La Paz Tequila’s Sunrise Bar & Grill, Todos Santos Manuel’s Creative Cuisine, San Jose del Cabo Felix’s, Cabo San Lucas Al Capones Pizza, Puerto Peñasco

Real Estate Broker

Baja Real Estate Group, Rosarito Beac h Amor Property, San Felipe Alexander Real Estate & Investments, Loreto Omni Real Estate Services, La Paz Leagan Realty, Puer to Peñasco

Sweets & Desserts

The Mongolian Grill, Rosarito Beach

Restaurant Winners

Larry French, Rosarit Bill Maine, San Felipe Eduardo Ramirez, La Paz o Bill Bar vitski, Puerto Peñasc

La Bamba, Rosarito Beach

In Rosarito, you can find the very best American classic dishes being served at La Bamba on Popotla Blvd., just two turnarounds south of the AM-PM. Look for the checkered wall and signage, and prepare yourself for some great homemade treats not available anywhere else in Baja. Your hosts, William and Susan, are always on hand, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The décor, reminiscent of ‘50s diners, provides the mood for the experience, in addition to the music background ranging from Elvis to Dean Martin and more. The menu is an array of dishes ranging from hamburgers to corned beef hash. Oh, did I mention that everything is homemade, from scratch! As you slip into the plush tuck-and-roll booths, the daily specials are before you on a your placemat, which change daily. And the desserts, to die for, as there are cakes, pies, muffins, cheesecakes and even sugarless pies for those of us curbing our sugar intake.

Sweets & Desserts Winners WiFi Location

Baja Chocolate Lovers, San Felipe Tio Lupe’s, Cabo San Lucas

Tre Galline Restaurant, Todos Santos

Fandango Bar, San Felipe Hangout Cafe, Cabo San Lucas Cafelix, Todos Santos


MEXICO LIVING – January 2010


Best of 2009  

The Best of 2009 was our first Baja only Best of Reader Poll.