Date dined: 3/15/12
Four of us enjoyed a nice meal at El Zocalo - it was my first visit. The decor is casual; almost diner-like. We all ordered pupusas - the cheese and zucchini ones were my favorite. They were plump, with bits of shredded zucchini blended into oozing melted cheese. Cheese pupusas with loroco were also excellent. I didn't like the revuelta pupusas as much, since the pork flavor was overpowering. But the pulled pork inside did seem to be of good quality and had a nice richness to it. Curtido (cabbage slaw) came on the side on a large bowl, and it was strangely under-salted (although this was easy to fix with the salt on the table). The tomato sauce was served in a squirt bottle, and it was decent, but I prefer a slightly thicker version.
One dining companion ordered a combo platter (which included pupusas, as well as a small pork pastelito and a chicken "Salvadoran enchilada") - the enchilada was more like a tostada; a crispy tortilla with toppings. Both of these were nicely prepared, but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to order them again.
We shared an order of fried plantains con crema - the plantains were very dark, and didn't look that appealing at first, but the taste was great. Soft and sweet.
We also ordered a tamal de elote (sweet corn tamale), and i found it disappointingly dry. It was served with sour cream, which moistened it up...but this tamale was definitely not cooked same-day.
They had a few different aguas frescas, and I chose arrayan (sour guava). Large glass, and quite good. The flavor had a hint of pepper (I wondered if there was actually a tiny bit of black pepper in the drink? But it was hard to tell). The salsa and chips served on the table might have been combining with the arrayan flavor to create this effect.
Friendly service, and a nice vibe overall. The music was funny though - a song would play, quite loudly, then silence for about 10 minutes. Then another song, then more silence. This continued throughout the meal.
Total bill for a lot of food, 1 juice and 3 beers was $50 for four of us (before tip), so overall a good deal.
3230 Mission Street
La Lengua Chronicles: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/838611