After listening to an NPR segment on San Diego's best Mexican restaurants, I decided I had to try El Vitral. It won the reviewer's choice for best high-end Mexican restaurant in San Diego (best cheap eats was Super Cocina).
I've eaten tons of great Mexican cheap eats in San Diego, but not a lot of high-end Mexican cuisine. I feel it's underrated - generally when they hear "Mexican" people think about burritos and tacos rather than the mole dishes or the Mayan delicacies.
El Vitral is located right next to Petco Park, and it would make a great pre- or post-game spot for drinks, appetizers or dinner. They have a tequila list of probably more than 100 different kinds of tequilas. Their margaritas vary from classic to inventive, and they're all made from scratch - no mix, no simple syrup, no bottled juices. You can taste the quality.
I started off with "The Smoking Tippler" - reposado tequila, mango puree, chipotle syrup, lime juice. It's a great choice for those who like smoky flavors like I do. It had a nice sweet and spicy thing goin' on. The honey had the "Tre-Some" margarita, with grapefruit juice, lime juice, orange juice, and habanero salsa. It sounded horrible to me but tasted refreshing.
We decided to do small plates for dinner. Three was the magic number, as we had a trio of guacamoles, a trio of ceviches, then quesadillas with squash blossoms, salmon al pastor tacos, and tacos with shrimp and mushrooms. Also rice and beans and platanitos (little plantains).
Everything was amazing. The tortillas are all handmade and I could eat them all day. The flavors in this food really jump out at you - even simple dishes like rice and beans were full of bright, fresh cilantro, and creamy black bean flavor. A meal like this makes you realize how bland some Mexican food can be.
El Vitral is not cheap... we ordered a bit too much food, but after three margaritas and all that food we were at around $110 before tax and tip. But I think it's well worth another visit, and next time I'd like to try a Mayan dish. I've heard the churro dessert is great.