We tried two other taqueria's in Scotts Valley last weekend. Los Gallos on SV Drive in the Starbucks/SV Market strip mall, and Taco Del Mar on La Madrona Drive next to the Mt Hermon exit.
I had the carnitas burrito ($5-something) at Los Gallos and the meat was overly salty, even after I tried to neutralize with extra squirts of lime. Also it's not the fried to crispiness dark style of carnitas, it seemed more like poached shredded pork. Actually kind of like Tacos Morenos' carnitas, so not bad.
The salsa bar is good, but they cleaned up right after we got our food so I only tried the pico de gallo (which was standard) and the darker of the 2 salsas with roasted blackened bits which was pretty good.
Taco Del Mar is a Bay-Area chain so I don't know if I should be posting on the Bay Area Board for this, but since I've only eaten at the SV location I hope this is ok. I was hesitant going here since I've read Matt's report:
But we needed to pick up a quick dinner to go and it's the last of the taco places we haven't tried in this town. So in we went. It just screamed chain inside, but it's kind of pleasant with the lively dark colors and thankfully cool A/C (Los Gallos and Tucson have no A/C).
For burrito assembly, as you and the server move along the assembly line, you specify your tortilla, choice of meat, and choice of toppings. Just like Subway. Or rather, like an Americanized La Costena if you've been there in Mountain View. I really like these assembly-line type of taquerias, I like choosing the toppings as my burrito is made, plus I like having the extra choices and being able to see my choices (is the meat dry looking? is the chile verde saucy or chunky? are the beans refritos or pintos?)
Anyway at Taco Del Mar I like the assembly style set up. White or wheat tortilla? (steamed by the way). Black or regular refried beans? (both looked more like smashed/mashed beans than classic refried). Meat choices up on the board are pretty standard: chicken, ground beef, shredded beef and pork mole. I looked down and saw a pile of finely shredded, dark, dry, almost crispy looking pork and asked if it was carnitas. No, that's pork mole. Really? Where's the mole? It's kind of missing the mole today. Okayyy...Well I'll have that anyway. I also added cabbage, pico de gallo (which he called "tomatoes"), and a few squirts of hot salsa (choice of hot medium or mild). Then I asked for a bit more salsa on the side, and he gives me more "tomatoes". Go figure. The burritos are also $5-something here.
Anyway it's a good thing he didn't give me more hot salsa on the side, my mouth was burning so bad by the time I finished I had to drink some milk. Whodda thunk that a chain would make salsa hotter than Los Gallos darkest looking salsa? And that pork "mole"/carnitas-looking meat was pretty tasty: salty (not overly salty) and savory in a kind of umami way. Dry and loose but in a slightly oily way if that makes any sense. And a lot closer to carnitas than Tucson Taqueria's diced pork "carnitas".
But avoid the fish burrito. Hubby made the same mistake Matt did (I didn't feel like telling him what not to eat so I let him). The "fried" battered cod looked limp and cold and he said it was fishy tasting. Dang, missed a good "told you so" opportunity. Anyway I think I'll try the San Jose Almaden location and will post on the Bay Area Board later.
My previous burrito reports (Tucson Taqueria and Tacos Morenos):