Encinitas’ New ‘Death By Tequila’ Blends Baja Cuisine With Encinitas Scene

The newest restaurant drawing buzz and crowds in Encinitas is the ominously-named Death By Tequila ! The restaurant combines fresh Baja cuisine with the attitude and spirt of the Encinitas scene to create a unique approach to Mexican food and cocktails.

“Death By Tequila was inspired by our surf trips to Baja and the excitement of the region’s growing food and wine scene; it’s so imaginative and fun,” said Jessica Mestler, co-owner of Death By Tequila along with her husband, Chad Mestler. “Our vision for Death By Tequila was to bring the flavors of Baja together with the energy of downtown and the surf culture of Encinitas.”

Ahi Crudo

Chad and Jessica, who are first time restaurateurs, engaged “Top Chef” and “Top Chef All-Stars” alum Angelo Sosa and local designer, Cindy Courson, to bring that vision to life. Sosa, along with Chef Ben McBrien, has created a menu of share plates that are both vibrant and colorful, made primarily with produce from local farms.

Fish Tacos

Signature dishes include:

  • Ahi tuna crudo, served in a coconut kaffir lime broth with jicama, chile oil, cilantro and dill
  • Red mole potato, grilled fish and carnitas tacos
  • The elote tostada, topped with sweet corn, aged cotija cheese, arbol chile, jalapeño and garlic mayo
  • Spanish octopus served with house chorizo, Castelveltrano green olives and cherry tomatoes

Spanish Octopus

Signature drinks, created for pairing with the cuisine, include:

  • Tres Cacti, made with Hacienda Silver tequila, lemon, prickly pear, agave and Jarritos served on the rocks in a Collins glass
  • Los Muertos, made with Milagro Silver tequila, lime, mango and chile ash, served on the rocks
  • Frothing in Puerto, made with Gracias a Dios mezcal, lemon, vanilla, pineapple and egg white served in a coupe glass

The drink is finished with a DxT logo that is airbrushed through a stencil with bitters. The cocktails are made and garnished with fresh seasonal fruits, vegetables and spices.

Jessica’s Hibiscus

The design is clean, comfortable and modern, blending the surf cultures of Baja Mexico and Encinitas. Along with Mucho Aloha Beer Co., the Mestlers commissioned local artist Juan Marante, also known as “El Gran Tocayo,” to create a Baja inspired 25′ x 8′ multi-layered mural that covers an entire wall of the restaurant.

Death by Tequila (DxT) is open daily – the bar opens at 3 p.m. and the dining room opens at 5 p.m.

See you there!