Walter Mencken 10:17 a.m., Dec. 18
Street foods are a vital component of nearly every culture the world over. Over the past few years, street staples like poutine, sausages and skewered meats a plenty have been getting their due and elaborate makeovers at the hands of gourmands, bringing heightened awareness to the gloriousness of everyday, everyman fare. From carts to trucks to bistros and high end restaurants, every class of food dispensary is takin’ it to the streets. Proof of the deep permeation of this trend will come in January when Puesto, an upscale fast-casual eatery specializing in edible Mexican comfort, opens in La Jolla.
Meals will be made to order using all natural ingredients from a walk-up griddle that, were this a trendy more costly eatery, would be referred to as an “exhibition kitchen.” A variety of proteins—fish, chicken, al pastor and carne asada—will be ripe for the grilling along with vegetarian options such as zucchini flowers, corn truffle (fungus-coated corn kernels; a delicacy known in Mexico as huitlachoche) and soy chorizo potatoes. Those meats will be the base for tacos, guisado (grilled foods) bowls and salad bowls.
The variety of it all, like with real Mexican seafood, comes in the form of a wide array of accoutrements. Customers will be able to add on fresh vegetables, grilled pineapple and nopales (cactus paddles) and six house-made salsas, including more out-there styles like jalapeño-pistachio and chipotle with hibiscus flowers.
Puesto is the brainchild of brothers and La Jolla High School alums, Eric and Alan Adler. These native, first generation San Diegans have family roots that trace back to Mexico, as does the chef they’ve enlisted to realize their vision, Luis Gonzalez. A native of Mexico City, Gonzalez figures to bring something far beyond typical enchirito-esque Mex-Americana cuisine to The Jewel. Let there be salsa, La Jolla. Puesto will be located at 1026 Wall Street.