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Conversations with the Inspiring Paulina Chaidez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paulina Chaidez.

Paulina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
COCINA 35 is a family-operated restaurant that specializes in Mexican Breakfast, known for having the best chilaquiles in town we work every day to bring to San Diego the flavors, traditions, and customers service that our grandparents teach us when we were growing up in Mexico.

Our parent (Chaidez Gonzalez) brought us to San Diego in 1999, due to the insecurity that our country was facing, leaving our family-owned restaurants that our parents started since 1986, and most important leaving our family and traditions. After some years of working in the United States, we wanted to bring our parents legacy to the US and decided to open La Loteria Comedor casual about seven years ago in the Otay Mesa region, after two years, we decided to open Cocina 35 which is the only restaurant in San Diego that specializes in Mexican breakfast, and now, we decided to rebrand La Loteria to Cocina 35 so we can serve all of our customers from the South Bay.

We have recipes from all over Mexico, but we mainly use the recipes from our Home state, Sinaloa, Like Machaca de res, chilorio, frijoles puercos, and sweet corn tamales.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, definitely has not been an easy road! But, in the end, every single thing is worth it! Being an immigrant in the US, a lot of doors were closed to us but after working really hard for 18 years, we can finally see that every single thing that happened to us, throughout the years was an experience for what was coming.

Struggle such as language barriers, money and discrimination, are really tough when you want to start a business, but now, we know that if you don’t try, no one will do it for you!

Keep on trying every single day! There is always a better day! (Because every day, you learn from your mistakes.)

What should we know about COCINA 35? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are really proud of our company, not just because we have been awarded for the best chilaquiles in town since 2016, but because we have been able to make every single staff member part of our family! We like to serve our customers as family, so they can see that we are a family too! And we love to see them back at our locations bringing family and friends in and enjoying our dishes as it was the first time they had it!

We specialize in Mexican breakfast mainly Chilaquiles (or breakfast nachos), and the fun part about is that as soon as you walked into the restaurant, customers would be able to choose their dishes from a display menu that shows you all of our amazing dishes.

From the chilaquiles especiales, topped with cochinita pibil, carnitas light, chilorio, cochinita pibil or chicken. To our best sellers: the samplers, with cajeta toast, tamales gratinados, machaca, or chilaquiles.

And definitely, our made from scratch drinks are to die for, our aromatic cafe de olla with cinnamon, cacao and cloves to our refreshing made from scratch aguas frescas.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
I think nowadays, anybody can make it, we are living in 2019, women empower women! If a female feels that she can’t do something because of the men’s barrier (she is not doing everything she can to succeed!).

We are the only ones that can bring barriers upon ourselves.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 1435 6th ave San Diego, CA 92101
    9335 Airway rd #112 San Diego, CA 92154
  • Website:
  • Phone: 6194315611
  • Email:
  • Instagram: cocina35
  • Facebook: cocina35
  • Other:

Image Credit:
Arlene Ibarra

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