In the last couple weeks, I’ve had a run of excellent tacos with Yucatan stylings. The third stop in what’s turned into a series was Haltun Taqueria in Monday’s heat. This is the walk-up window for take-out only that’s attached to Haltun Mayan Cuisine. I’d not been back to this corner since our chowdown at the sit-down restaurant soon after it opened.
My two tacos, one with cochinita pibil and one with poc chuc, set me back $4.50, inclusive. On a base of doubled, very thin corn tortillas and topped with the “hot” salsa option spicy enough to make me wince, both were very satisfying eaten at the sidewalk table. The salsa's not just caliente but well-rounded and deep with charred complexity. The cochinita pibil was extra generous in its proportions and the pickled red onions on top made me extra happy. The texture and balance of seasoning were better than the first time at Haltun. I’d been supplied with a fork and definitely needed it as this taco was too top heavy to pick up and eat out of hand as served. The poc chuc had some good grilled notes but was just a tad dryish and lacked the bountifulness of the other. That said, both were excellent and any discussion of the best tacos in San Francisco’s Mission district needs to include Haltun’s taco window.
I also had a Jamaica (hibiscus) agua fresca, $2, that was intensely flavored, less sweet, and a little astringent. The aguas are kept in the refrigerator so that they are very cold and not diluted by ice. I appreciated this even more on this scorcher of a day.
Haltun Mayan Cuisine
2948 21st Street, San Francisco, CA 94110