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I've been enjoying the homestyle, Zacatecas-style cooking at La Estrella in Salinas for more than ten years. But I've said little about it besides this older post,
Owned by a genial couple, the wife, Gloria, puts so much heart and soul into her food. Her soups and stews have all been wonderful, and even simple tacos use tortillas handmade to-order. Even with two assistants to help her in the kitchen, the food takes a little longer to come out, but it's well worth the wait.
After answering a question about Mexican food in Salinas, La Estrella was top of mind again and I dropped by last weekend for a quick snack. It was busy on Saturday and many of the patrons were enjoying the signature Siete Mares, bowls chock full of huge clams and crab legs.
For me, just a quick gordita filled with al pastor. One of the assistants made this, not Gloria herself, and the masa cake could have been a bit browner. The pork al pastor was in rough cubes, well-seasoned but a little dry. Garnished nicely with crunchy iceberg lettuce, pico de gallo and shredded cheese, the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. Especially when accented with the excellent smoky chile red salsa here . . . this was $3.75 well spent.
Something new since my last visit is a change in the liquor license. You can now enjoy a beer with your meal. Next time I'll ask if they can make a michelada.
More photos https://www.flickr.com/search/?sort=d...
La Estrella Liquors & Deli
124 Abbott St
Salinas, CA 93901
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