Restaurants & Bars 19

Taking On Imperial Ave with Masa Assassin SD

kare_raisu | May 19, 200809:10 AM

MA has damn fine taste. I honestly could not think of a better partner in crime in exploring San Diego's Mexican street food scene. Have to thank him immensely[!] for the invitation to lunch yesterday that turned into a crawl of amazing proportions.

>>La Fachada<<
We met up at the 'facade' to dine in the open air, next to the restaurant's outside dining set up. There was Abuelita was grilling up a storm of cebollitas, chiles, tomatillos and tomates. Also on her grill were good frijoles de la olla complimentary for the taking for a little side dish to your antojitos.

On the recomendation of Masa Assassin, I got a gordita and decided on a filling of tripas as well as a carnitas taco.

Man oh man, was that gordita executed with precision. Lighter than air, crisp masa encasing, light application of melted cheese with the delicious tripas. Topped off with crema, lettuce and the first grated queso enchilado I have seen at a SD mex restaurant. So nice! Add to this a balanced, extremely sabroso tomato-arbol sauce and thus further affirmation of my love for Mexican cuisine.

Hand made tortillas here set the facades tacos apart from your run of the mill taqueria. That they understand this alone and are willing to elevate the simple taco in the face of the powerful yet insuperior industrial machine is hard not to smile at and respect. The edges of the carnitas took on almost a chinese pork sung texture and flavor, so wispy was this filling. My only criticism would be that I wished for a portion of moist braised meat along with the crunchy part. But hey - its usually the other way around.

This Place will enter my rotation and you guys need to check this place out

>>Panaderia Lily's<<
I had been meaning to check out this 31st St bakery's Cemitas Poblanas - MA was up for it so it was a perfect opportunity to do so. This area is definitely sketch so be careful. The mother and daughter team running the bakery are extremely nice and offer different tortas on their menu.

We took the sandwich to the smoky Pollos al Carbon to eat. The bread was indeed the cemita in true form of Puebla. The milanesa left a lot to be desired. Absent was Papalo - the green traditional to these sandwiches and the quesillo [shredded oax cheese] and instead of pickled chipotles we got more of a chipotle based salsa. Not so good.

>>Tejuino La Dona<<
This little Palapa set up next to the Pollos al Carbon puts out a Tejuino that rivals that of Honey Bananas in National. Not one overpowering flavor, fresh key lime juice - very, very refreshing.

>>Dulceria Raspados<<
MA treated me to my first raspado - in this interesting Dulceria/Tiendita. I had the ciruehla con coco. The combination of a fresh plum based syrup and creamy grated coconut over shaved ice is unbelievable in 90 degree weather. I foresee many of these in my future.

>> Mariscos Acapulco<<
I was pretty KOed by this point but the unstoppable MA pressed on and I followed suit. Here MA had an artfully presented ceviche tostada. I started talking to the wife of the owner at a neighboring table about the menu. They have some really intriguing camarones dishes, like shrimp with a pineapple, cream sauce, & camarones culichi in a poblano cream. Even pescado Veracruzana. Then she mentioned they are famous for their oysters - they brought out 2. You will not believe how gigante these oysters from the Sol Azul in Baja are! Amazing. MA ordered a half dozen and I helped him with 2. Sweet, meaty, and a salty finish. Seriously some of the best oysters I have had - and this is coming from someone who works at a fish market. MA even took the largest shell home - seriously almost as long as the plate. This place must be looked into further.

Again, thank you MA for one of the best days of Mexican eating in SD ever.

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