Savor Elevated Drinks and Bites at Valle’s Bar

By Andrew Bender

Sophistication, great views, cocktails that defy the imagination, and the groundbreaking wines and cuisine of Mexico’s northern Baja Peninsula — they all combine to make Valle Bar at Mission Pacific a must-visit for an elevated happy hour in Oceanside, complete with complimentary wine tasting for guests. (Keep reading!)

Chef Roberto Alcocer opened his Valle restaurant in late 2021, drawing on his long history as a trendsetter in Baja. A native of the region, he trained in top kitchens in Spain and Mexico City before returning to his home turf. The opening of Malva Cocina in the coastal city of Ensenada, in 2013, soon catapulted him to fame. Valle is his first States-side venture, and Oceanside — and Mission Pacific — couldn’t be prouder that he chose to plant his flag here. Since opening, Valle has become a destination for epicures from all over San Diego County and, increasingly, elsewhere.

Situated on the ground floor of the hotel, with the Oceanside Pier and endless Pacific just across the street, entering Valle feels like you’ve been ushered into a modern living room awash in natural tones and materials. Expansive windows and patio seating (perfect for drinks with a view) help make the natural views a feast for the eyes — when you’re not feasting on the dishes and libations.

It’s an experience to be sure, or if you’re looking for something less formal, Valle’s bar is a great way to sample a selection of menu favorites over great drinks and wines in an inviting, relaxed atmosphere. Staff, who have won accolades for their care and attention to detail, help complete the experience.

Elevated Bar Bites

Valle’s bar menu is anything but ordinary. The basic tostada becomes a taste sensation thanks to ingredients like 30-day aged tuna, pickled carrots, sea beans, and chintextle (salsa of pasilla pepper and dried shrimp). California wagyu beef stars in the carne asada tacos, and even the humble quesadilla gets an upgrade with Humboldt Fog cheese inside a handmade corn tortilla. Order elote anywhere else, and you’ll get Mexican street corn on the cob; here it’s dessert: a corn-forward crème brûlée served with ice cream made from corn and white chocolate.

Hand-Picked Wines, Spirits, and Cocktails

Valle Bar’s one-of-a-kind cocktails keep the Mexican fusion theme going. The Malva riffs on a spicy margarita with reposado tequila, tamarind, and chili liqueur, while the Loca adds coconut liqueur and lavender syrup to tequila and lemon juice. To order El Elegido (“the chosen one”) select your spirit to pair with watermelon juice, spicy orange vermouth, and a watermelon candy. And the bar’s thoughtful mocktail menu features non-alcoholic versions of rum, gin, and — will wonders never cease? — tequila.

A side benefit of Chef’s experience in Baja’s culinary world: deep relationships with the winegrowers of the Guadalupe Valley region, which inspired the name of the restaurant and bar. In mountains at the north of the peninsula, el Valle has steadily gained a well-deserved reputation for quality among oenophiles on both sides of the border, who liken it to the Napa Valley of 40 years ago, when Napa was more rustic and less focused on tourism. Now el Valle is home to more than 100 wineries producing acclaimed wines: red varietals from Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot, Nebbiolo, and Zinfandel, and white wines including Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon.

Wine Tasting at Valle Bar

Guests of Mission Pacific (and The Seabird) receive exclusive access to a complimentary tasting from 4-5 p.m. every Wednesday and Thursday. Here you’ll get to sample a rotating selection of three wines per event — no matter which you choose, you can be assured it showcases some of the best of Valle de Guadalupe region.

Valle is open Wednesday-Sunday with the bar open from 4-10 p.m. and dinner service  available from 5-9 p.m. Reservations are recommended for dinner.