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If you’ve been to Señor El Taquero (435 Broadway, downtown, 619-550-5451), it was probably after you got out of some Gaslamp bar around 2:00 a.m. and needed solid food, like, now.

“Say one o’clock Friday night, the line outside’s way along Broadway,” says Esquivel, the taquero guy. Right now, it’s pretty much just me. Even though life out by the Ffth and Broadway bus stop is really popping with loud conversation.

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Thomas Lee Barbat waits outside Sr. El Taquero

Inside, an oasis of peace.

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Sarapes and an altar decorate one wall

How many times I’ve caught the bus here, and never noticed this li’l place? Yet Esquivel says it’s been open two years.

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Esquivel

Esquivel’s carving pork off the harpooned tower of meat that’s sizzling in front of burners. Adobado taco. Pawk, $1.79. He loads it with onions, guac, cilantro, the usual, and dang, but it’s good.

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My half-eaten adobado

I eat it at a table with the name “Oasis” written into it. If you look at the way-big wall photo of an Arabian oasis, you could be there...

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...except for the noise outside.

Whatever, it’s jes’ what I need to make it through the bus ride, and okay, it’s a kinda scuzzy stretch of Broadway, but inside’s clean, and the value can’t be beat.

Specially if you look at what you could pay in all those fancy conventioneer traps down in the Gaslamp.

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