Taco Thirty #6: La Taqueria

This taco thirty experience has officially left the state of Oregon. I visited San Francisco for the first time ever and proceeded to eat my way through the city. I ate dim sum in Chinatown, I ate greek yogurt froyo in Hayes Valley, I ate a month’s worth of French pastries at Tartine Bakery, and fancy schmancy Cali cuisine at Nopa. But the ultimate item for me to get was a taco at the legendary Mission District staple La Taqueria.

La Taqueria is really famous for their mission-style burrito. Their burritos are popular because it doesn’t have rice in it, instead it is packed full of meat, pinto beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream. The tacos have all of those elements, just on an open-faced tortilla instead of a wrapped burrito form.

I got a carne asada taco and a carnitas taco. Both were so good, and so different than the street tacos I ate in Portland. For one, you can tell that both the beef and pork were slowly braised before they are grilled or fried. While you stand in line to order your food, you’d find yourself drooling when a guy starts chopping a giant hunk of grilled meat with a knife in each hand.

The real highlight of their taco is the pinto beans. These beans had the perfect saltiness to them, and each pod stayed perfectly intact through what I imagine must be a very gentle and long cooking process. The beans have a creamy, oozy sauce that helped make all the other flavors stand out. Their pico de gallo had a really chopped quality (to the point of almost mushy) that made their tacos taste quite different than traditional street tacos with chopped white onion and cilantro.

Overall, it was worth the wait and these tacos are definitely up there in my favorite taco list. My only criticism is that the tortillas used for the tacos were not as good as everything else in it, and their salsas were just meh. Other than that, I can definitely see what the La Taqueria hype was all about.



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