Scott Marks 9:44 a.m., May 21
El Zarape in University Heights is the Jabba the Hutt of Mexican restaurants. Illustrious, spirited, and always entertaining an eclectic crowd, El Za’s singular delight stems from tossing succulent sundries into my sarlacc pit. And while this metaphor might be falling apart, El Zarape’s award winning fish tacos unite San Diegans daily under the banner of cheap, delicious eats.
What this week’s Burrito Barato lacks in burrito, it makes up for in pure barato. At 99 cents a pop, you could take the entire forest moon of Endor out to lunch and still have enough credits to stop for drinks on the way home. Whether you’re between beers at Small Bar or on your way to a free summer concert at Trolley Barn Park , El Za is the perfect place to stop for bite of battered white fish with cabbage and tomato on a warm corn tortilla.
In addition to three types of salsa at the bar, El Za occasionally carries an orange habanero behind the counter, which, perhaps not surprisingly, goes by the unofficial name of “Counter Sauce.” Approach with caution, Solo, and be prepared to tame the heat with a bottle of Bohemia or the newly imported Victoria. Yellow Tail and Negra Modelo are available on tap as well.
Home to oddities such as buffalo chicken and wasabi burritos, El Za also touts a galaxy of vegetarian options including super legit soy and potato rolled tacos. While you’re there, grab a ticket for Colombian indie rockers Aterciopelados, who will be at 4th and B on July 15.
See ya there, nerf herder.