Richmond - El Tucan - Best tacos in California
Ok, I was giggling when I wrote the title, but it just may be true.
I am currently in the middle of a taco crawl, yet I just can't imagine finding anything better than these tacos.
Oven roasted carnitas
The two tacos were covered with lots of nice chopped onions and cilantro, but stuffed ... stuffed with meat ... great meat ... outstanding meat.
The two tacos filled one of those white Styrofoam containers. The container was heavy.
Those oven-roasted carnitas were long pieces of pork, crispy on the ends, with fall-apart tender, juicy meat that had a nice porkiness to it.
The deep red chorizo was also juicy with a few pieces nicely charred from the grill.
The only points off was for the house made salsa. Thick and blood-red, it was very salty and had more smoke than spice. The tacos didnt need it though. I wouldnt ruin that meat with any salsa, no matter how good. You shouldnt guild a lily.
They were only $1.50 and came with some pretty decent chips.
Taqueria Familiar was once at this location. It is on San Pablo Avenue near Pup Hut.
The new owners have been there about six months. I noticed driving by Friday night that it was filled. It has a parking lot right next door.
They have a mix of Mexican and Salvadorian food. The daughter said that they were planning to expand the menu.
Other meats available are beef, marinated pork, grilled chicken and chicken in red sauce. Vegetarian burritos are available in addition to garden burritos (dont know yet), regular burritos, super burritos and burritos ahogado. (or drowned in sauce and drizzled with sour cream).
Other Mexican items are sopes, flautas, fajitas, enchiladas, tortas, quesadillas (regular and zuisa), costillitas in chile verde, pescado frito, shrimp (al mojo de ajo, a la diabla, ranchers). They have soups and I have never seen shrimp soup before. Other soups include beef (res), menudo, 7 mares and sopa de pata.
Salvadorian dishes include pupusas, yucca sancochada, panes con pavo, yucca frita, empanadas, pollo encebollado, bifstek Salvadorano. The Plato guanaco has two eggs, rice and beans, sour cream and plaintains.
For dessert there is flan, pan dulces or cakes from Wileys bakery. Today it was frosted banana. They also have chocolate, strawberry and coconut cake some times.
The tacos were so good that Im sorry I didnt get the aqua fresca which included mango in addition to the usual flavors. Beer is available. The bottom of the takeout menu also lists burgers, BLTs, Lemon pepper chicken , Ham and Cheese. The $3.95 sandwiches come with fries.
The décor is very nice. This is going to sound tacky, but they made it work. From the now many El Salvadorian restaurants that Ive visited, either the decorating theme is soccer and Salvadorian money or moving paintings. El Tucan goes with some lovely moving paintings of water falls and tides. In between there are pictures of the dishes and dolphin etched mirrors. IMO, they pull it off and the place looks very pleasant and pretty. It is super clean. The daughter was very pleasant and friendly.
El Tucan Taqueria Y Restaurant
12469 San Pablo Avenue
Richmond, Ca. 94805
Im telling you, Richmond is the late night dining capital. The business card says they are open Saturday from 10 am to 3 am.
However, the take-out menu lists their hours as
10 am to 10 pm seven days a week.