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Customers order two, four, six at a time

Think of a Tijuana-based version of In-N-Out.

Tacos Perla masa - Image by Matthew Suárez
Tacos Perla masa
Place

Un Mundo Mexican Grill

4150 Regents Park Row #170, San Diego

Un Mundo

An impressive lineup of hot sauces stands guard along the front window counter of Un Mundo, defending the cheerful interior from the curvy corporate brickwork and congested parking lot outside. The motto here is “SoCal fresh. World inspired,” and there is an exotic grilled-chili tang that dominates the El Porko Rico taco’s roasty, toothsome meat. Fried red onion adds sweet heat, countered by a generous drizzle of melting sour cream. It ain’t especially big and, at $3.95, it ain’t especially cheap, but it’s better than tasty, and this is La Jolla. And on Taco Tuesday, you can get it with a beer for $6.

Place

Mike's Taco Club

5060 Newport Avenue, San Diego

Mike’s Taco Club

Just a long stumble from the end of Newport’s funky bustle, tucked cozily under Ace Tattoo, with a shipshape interior and rusticated outdoor seating. The Trifecta taco runs a whopping $5.79, but it’s a whopper: sweet shrimp, peppery scallops, and grilled fish under mounds of raw cabbage and avocado, plus chopped red onion, tomato, and cilantro. The most impressive aspect is the way each element stands up for itself instead of melding into a messy mélange. “Hey, shrimp! Hey, avocado! Hey, scallop!” et cetera. Well, maybe except for the tomato, but the shrimp more than makes up for it.

Place

Tacos Perla

3000 Upas Street #104, San Diego

Tacos Perla

“These tortillas are like corn muffins — so pillowy!” said The Wife, grinning, and gesturing at the glistening mound of masa in the very open kitchen of this industrial-eclectic neighborhood joint (#BaddestAssInNorthPark). They crisp up nicely, too — 54 cents got me a pile of rigid rounds to crack and stab into the Mixed Nut salsa (peanut, almond, cashew, hazelnut, Brazilian nut, with roasted chile de arbol — zing!). The nontraditional side of the menu emphasizes “interesting” perhaps even more than “delicious,” but they happily overlapped with the $3.95 Ocho: “braised-then-grilled octopus with poblano, pesto, and cheese.”

Place

Tacos el Gordo

689 H Street, Chula Vista

Tacos El Gordo

Think of a Tijuana-based version of In-N-Out. The red, white, and gray decor. The super-basic menu. The long and steadily moving lines (which are taco-specific, and longest for adobada or al pastor). And the solid quality at a solid price ($2.25 for all tacos except brain and tongue, which come in at $2.40). The adobada man is a marvel of efficient speed, popping tortillas onto the griddle, whipping his knife along the edge of the rotating, constantly crisping column of pork, dousing the firm and fat-sweetened meat with creamy cilantro, and sprinkling on a few bits of onion for customers ordering two, four, six at a time.

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Tacos Perla masa - Image by Matthew Suárez
Tacos Perla masa
Place

Un Mundo Mexican Grill

4150 Regents Park Row #170, San Diego

Un Mundo

An impressive lineup of hot sauces stands guard along the front window counter of Un Mundo, defending the cheerful interior from the curvy corporate brickwork and congested parking lot outside. The motto here is “SoCal fresh. World inspired,” and there is an exotic grilled-chili tang that dominates the El Porko Rico taco’s roasty, toothsome meat. Fried red onion adds sweet heat, countered by a generous drizzle of melting sour cream. It ain’t especially big and, at $3.95, it ain’t especially cheap, but it’s better than tasty, and this is La Jolla. And on Taco Tuesday, you can get it with a beer for $6.

Place

Mike's Taco Club

5060 Newport Avenue, San Diego

Mike’s Taco Club

Just a long stumble from the end of Newport’s funky bustle, tucked cozily under Ace Tattoo, with a shipshape interior and rusticated outdoor seating. The Trifecta taco runs a whopping $5.79, but it’s a whopper: sweet shrimp, peppery scallops, and grilled fish under mounds of raw cabbage and avocado, plus chopped red onion, tomato, and cilantro. The most impressive aspect is the way each element stands up for itself instead of melding into a messy mélange. “Hey, shrimp! Hey, avocado! Hey, scallop!” et cetera. Well, maybe except for the tomato, but the shrimp more than makes up for it.

Place

Tacos Perla

3000 Upas Street #104, San Diego

Tacos Perla

“These tortillas are like corn muffins — so pillowy!” said The Wife, grinning, and gesturing at the glistening mound of masa in the very open kitchen of this industrial-eclectic neighborhood joint (#BaddestAssInNorthPark). They crisp up nicely, too — 54 cents got me a pile of rigid rounds to crack and stab into the Mixed Nut salsa (peanut, almond, cashew, hazelnut, Brazilian nut, with roasted chile de arbol — zing!). The nontraditional side of the menu emphasizes “interesting” perhaps even more than “delicious,” but they happily overlapped with the $3.95 Ocho: “braised-then-grilled octopus with poblano, pesto, and cheese.”

Place

Tacos el Gordo

689 H Street, Chula Vista

Tacos El Gordo

Think of a Tijuana-based version of In-N-Out. The red, white, and gray decor. The super-basic menu. The long and steadily moving lines (which are taco-specific, and longest for adobada or al pastor). And the solid quality at a solid price ($2.25 for all tacos except brain and tongue, which come in at $2.40). The adobada man is a marvel of efficient speed, popping tortillas onto the griddle, whipping his knife along the edge of the rotating, constantly crisping column of pork, dousing the firm and fat-sweetened meat with creamy cilantro, and sprinkling on a few bits of onion for customers ordering two, four, six at a time.

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Comments
1

Concerning Un Mundo... Once again an article that states its 'La Jolla'... It is not.

May 18, 2017

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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