Don Bauder 5:30 p.m., Feb. 13
Burrito Barato: Surfin' California at Lucha Libre
This Mexican wrestling-themed restaurant at Washington and India opened in January of 2008 and blew up last year after being featured on the Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food. I was present for some of the filming, and Lucha Libre co-owner Diego Rojano later told me that host Adam Richman, famous for his bottomless belly, ate at least one of nearly every item on the menu.
Now, a line well out the door is the norm at lunch and dinner hours.
The episode highlighted Lucha’s Surfin’ California burrito, a fusion of two of the greatest ‘ritos known to man – The Surf & Turf and the San Diego specific Californa. The Surfin’ California, imagined by Diego late one night in the depths of a great hunger, combines carne asada, shrimp, French fries, avocado slices, pico de gallo, cheese, and a creamy chipotle sauce.
The result transcends simple alchemy and confounds the Great Law of Thirds (you’re full but there’s still a third of your ‘rito left. Do you save it for later or inhale it anyways, knowing that certain stomach pain and food coma will follow?)
The Surf & Turf taco more or less solves this problem. One serving is exactly right for a typical meal. I like to get it with grilled crispy cheese, which comes on the Queso Taco (steak, chicken, or fries, avocado, creamy chipotle, and, of course, crispy cheese.)
Lucha’s salsa bar is one of the best I’ve seen. The eight homemade salsas include a cool and chunky green, a renowned creamy jalapeño cilantro sauce, a Hawaiian, and a garlic-heavy hot sauce. The spicy carrots even have whole cloves of garlic floating in the mix.
Call 24 hours ahead to book Lucha’s “Champion’s Booth”, where the staff provides luxury table service beneath a shimmering champion’s belt and chandelier. There’s even a phone where you can call in more chips to the front desk, ten feet away.
TJ dogs, lard free vegetarian options, and the recently available Victoria beer.
El Santo says, “Si.”