Grace’s Table, Napa, CA
Tropisueno, San Francisco, CA
Loteria Taco Bar, San Pedro Marketplace, San Jose, CA
Loteria Taco Bar is a relatively new tenant at the San Pedro Market serving Californian style Mexican bites. The tacos were decent but a bit pricey for what they are. Had the shrimp one and al pastor one. Both tasted fine but nothing significantly better than what you could find at any other Mexican eateries. For a $3+ each, the taco size is surprisingly small.
The $4 churros order came as basket of half a dozen churro chunks with chocolate dip on the side. Make sure you have friends to share them with if you want to get that. The agua fresca was good.
I love their clever use of technology. You can opt to get a text message alert when your food is ready. You can also check the status of your order to see how many orders are in front your yours.
Food: 3/5. Fresh ingredients but perhaps a bit too healthy and too Californian.
Service: 3/5. Cute little counter with smart use of technology.
Ambiance: 3/5. Common dining area shared with other tenants at San Pedro Square.
Price to Value: 3/5. A bit pricey for tacos.
Catch Isle, Westfield Shopping Mall, San Francisco, CA
Cheap bites at the Westfield Shopping Mall food court.
The fish tacos weren’t so great. Topping were weak. Tortilla shells were dry and the flavors were very bland. You can have your fish grilled or fried but neither was impressive at all.
The blackened catfish was surprisingly good. Portion is tiny but the fillet was tender and full of juice. Wish it came with something else other than the fairly tasteless blackeyed peas.
Food: 2/5. Fresh fish with little flavors.
Service: 2/5. Order from the counter and wait patiently for your buzzer to go off.
Ambiance: 1/5. Mall food court common dining area.
Price to Value: 3/5. Cheap light bites that will fill you up for just a few bucks.
Island Taco, Waimea, Kauai Island, HI
The tacos here were the most memorable things I have eaten during my Kauai trip. Just because they sell tacos don’t immediately assume it is a Mexican eatery. It is a 100% Hawaiian place with a lot of island flair.
Ahi and Mahi Mahi tacos were both heavenly. If it is your first visit, do not leave without trying either one (preferably both). You will be really silly to order something like pork or chicken and pass up the seafood. The fish tasted very fresh and the seasoning really complimented it well.
One thing you need to know - these tacos are not human size. A single one is filling enough for most. Don’t even think about getting two unless you are training for an eating competition. Their freshly made tortilla tasted amazing. The fried tortilla chips on the side were irresistible too. I love the variety of dipping sauce available. Cilantro Lime and Shoyu Curry were both so very delicious.
Make it a must stop on your way to Waimea Canyon.
Food: 4/5. Really can’t say no to those fish tacos.
Service: 5/5. Very friendly and full of smiles.
Ambiance: 3/5. Very small restaurant with mostly outdoor table, you get to enjoy the island sunshine.
Price to Value: 4/5. Big and tasty.
Kilauea Fish Market, Kilauea, Kauai Island, HI
El Grullense, Redwood City, CA
Came back to this taqueria again for some quick munchies and left feeling completely satisfied.
Cheap food. Freshly prepared. Very gratifying meal.
Can’t go wrong with their tacos. Lots of meat choices and nothing I have tried so far wasn’t good. Chorizo, Cabeza (beef head) and Lengua (beef tongue) were particularity memorable. Quesadilla and enchiladas did not disappoint either.
Food was overall quite greasy and the tortilla wasn’t the best. The flavors though, were spot on.
Taqueria Latina, Sunnyvale, CA
Cheap and very tasty. Granted most Mexican taqueria aren’t that expensive, the food here is really quite a steal for the quality. It is a very clean place and the staff are friendly and helpful. They actually took time to explain the menu and made good recommendations. That was some good customer service.
Food was good. Everything is made to order. You will get fresh food served piping hot but expect a little bit of wait. Tried various tacos, flautas, quesadilla and nothing disappoints. They have really good super crispy tripa (tripe). The goat meat was very tender and flavorful too.
Pancho Villa Taquerie, San Mateo, CA
Pancho Villa is definitely a very popular place in San Mateo downtown. I have never seen it without a line no matter what hour of the day it was. I guess being the only taqueria in the neighborhood you can guarantee good business if the food wasn’t terrible.
The restaurant is clean, bright and spacious. Not your typical ghetto or a whole in the wall Mexican eatery. It is an open kitchen cafeteria style place. You simply go up to the counter, place your order, wait patiently for the cashier, find a place to sit down and they will bring you the food when ready.
I wouldn’t call it great Mexican food but the ingredients were fresh and taste wasn’t too shabby. Granted it was certainly not cheap (in taqueria standard). We are talking about over $3 for a basic taco. The $7 for 3 tacos deal isn’t too bad though. Do take advantage of the happy hour $1 taco if you happen to be around for an early dinner.
I was slightly disappointed with their seafood tacos. Tried the prawn one, the fish one and the grilled salmon one and they all tasted so-so. Definitely had better elsewhere. (how I miss the seafood tacos at Día de Pesca) Stick with the meaty meat choices if I were you. Things like lengua or chorizo never disappoint.
They have decent aguas frescas that are available in a good variety of flavors.
Wahoo Fish Tacos, San Jose, CA
The fish tacos were really bland and were miles away from real Mexican fare. I suppose people like this place because it is a relatively healthy choice for dining out. Fish were grilled and there were almost nothing hearty in the tacos. (Lettuce in the tacos, really?) Very simple baked beans or rice on the side. Unfortunately that was not what I was looking for. Food really didn’t hit the spot. I left feeling unfulfilled.
If you are really watching your weight, you might like this place. If you are looking for tasty food, go somewhere else.