Today I stopped in at Taqueria San Jose #2 for an agua fresca and couldn't resist trying their al pastor. I usually go to #1 directly across the street on Mission & 24th. This was a vastly better al pastor than I have had to date, even across the street (no pineapple, though). Juicier, the tortillas were slightly crunchy. Maybe I just got lucky with the cook. Fine melon agua, but disappointingly chalky horchata (whereas #1 had spectacular horchata last time I was there).
Guess my perfect meal will consist of an al pastor from TSJ#2, chips from La Corneta, and the horchata at TSJ#1 across the street. Maybe I've gone a little chowhound-mad.
On Tuesday, with Shocker's post in hand, I dragged a few friends to Lol Tun for Yucatecan food (Folsom & 19th). I loved the bowl of spicy black relleno negro and couldn't get enough of it. My friends weren't crazy about how spicy it was, which meant more for me. Eric wondered if the "meatloaf" was a stale pumpernickel bread--I wish the mayans knew about pumpernickel!
We got a few tostada/soft taco like antojitos which were enjoyable and beautifully prepared (slice of ripe tomato, pickled red onion, slice of avocado, shredded chicken or pork). A whole fried fish was tasty with fluffy rice with peas and carrots in it and refritos good enough that even I liked them, but less unique than the other choices.
We also got an empanada de plantano which turned out to be a fried plaintain; served as an appetizer but I'd get it for dessert next time. Juicy and greasy.
The clincher was the pupusas, however, which they forgot, and we had to ask for a second time. Cheese only, hand-made corn wrappers, and the slaw! what a perfect blend of pickled and spicy. The salsa didn't thrill me, but everything else did.
Service was amazingly slow, considering we were the only ones there. I think everything is made to order. Eventually we got to meet everyone in the kitchen--the guy with the cowboy hat, his wife, the little girl shooting tanks on the video game. With drinks, dinner for 3 came to $24.
Finally just wanted to put in a plug for L'Amyx tea room on Piedmont across from the movies. I'm sure it's been written about before, but I haven't noticed. It's sort of a teahouse and bar--they're open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and we were definitely encouraged to linger. The woman at the next table was setting up her laptop for a long stay.
I seized upon their 3 for $3 promotion and got to try three cups of premium tea from an extensive list. The assam was lovely if more lightly brewed than I would prefer; I had a splendid grassy green tea that I don't know the name of because it was a substitution after I tried to order the eyelash tea.
Service is really friendly, even though it's basically self-serve. They stopped by to see how we liked our teas, refilled my friend's teapot with water, cleared the cups away afterward. They offer gray, pink, and green mochi, slices of attractive looking cakes, and Fenton's ice cream.
(We also had a disappointing fish taco from the taqueria up the street. Fresh fish decently prepared, mayo, no flavor whatsoever, $3. I think a San Diego/Ensenada fish taco crawl is still in order.)