Plancha: Fresh, Flavorful Mexican Dining, with a Twist

August 2017

PlanchaThe latest delicious addition to the restaurant roster in Ashland is Plancha, tucked away in a storefront in the heart of downtown at 165 E. Main. If you’re walking too fast, you just might pass it by. But don’t.

“Guests who come into Plancha can expect the best Mexican in Southern Oregon,” says owner and chef Tony Efstratiadis. And his unique, fresh, flavorful spins on food stand up well to that claim.

Plancha offers traditional Mexican dishes—tacos, burritos, enchiladas—but with bold spicing and unique flavors that pay tribute to Tony’s culinary training and his love of Mexican cooking.

“Plancha combines my passion for Mexican food and my history of culinary training,” he says. “We make everything from scratch, using as much local product as possible to showcase the depth, flavor, and playfulness of the best food in the universe.”

Although Tony is not Mexican, he has lived among and worked with the Mexican community most of his life. Born and raised in southern California, he moved to Texas as a teenager, where he started cooking with Mexican friends and families, and continued doing so as he moved around.

“I have worked in kitchens beside Mexican people all over the country,” he said. “I love the people, their heritage, and their food.”

Tony eventually attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island. He worked as chef and owner of several successful restaurants in the Midwest before moving to Southern Oregon in 2015 to be with his mother and grandmother. He opened Plancha on March 28th of this year.

“Plancha was derived from many, many years of working in the industry and learning the classic techniques of many cuisines,” he says, “but always having a love for Mexican food and being surrounded by all types of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Haitian, Cuban and South American kitchen staff.”

Plancha’s menu reflects this variety of influences. “I’ve fused my background in culinary training with the classic recipes that I’ve seen over all the years in the business,” Tony said. “Mexican has much more to offer than just refried beans and fajitas.”

The restaurant also boasts the largest selection of tequila in Southern Oregon, as well as non-alcoholic beverages and local wines.

It has been a busy and rewarding year for Tony, who in addition to opening Plancha, recently became a father for the first time. He is excited to have put down roots in the Rogue Valley, and looks forward to sharing what he most loves doing with locals and visitors to Ashland.

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