The country remains untouristed, but is perfectly safe to visit — with lots to see for the intrepid traveler.
Alice Diamond 12:50 p.m., Oct. 22
Barrio Logan is way cool. The neighborhood is much quieter than its reputation (fairly earned in the past) implies, and there's no shortage of cool stuff to do; like checking out the murals at Chicano Park and maybe seeing some lowriders.
But one of the best reasons to go down to Barrio Logan is to stop in at La Fachada and do maximum damage to as many tacos as possible. The restaurant redid the patio space comparatively recently, though it's still pretty grungy, and is serving a "taco truck menu" outside.
Ninety-five percent of the food on the outdoor menu is under $5!
La Fachada has a certain kind of charm. It's not really the charm of the quaint little mom and pop store that one might expect. It's a dirty, gritty, well-used kind of charm that only comes from the fumes of endless late-night tacos served up to customers of dubious distinction.
Really, it's not very charming at all. But it's definitely cool.
And the tacos are good, too.
Only $1.80 each, all the best bits of offal have been braised and grilled into submission, piled onto corn tortillas, and topped simply with onions and cilantro. La Fachada had cabeza, tripa, and lengua (i.e. head, tripe, and tongue), so discerning fans of the delicious, and all to often rejected, organ meats are free to rejoice.
Everything was good, even if it all mostly tasted the same. The difference was primarily textural--tripe is much chewier than tongue, for example. And some plain old carnitas proved exceptional in that it was crispy and absolutely loaded onto the little taco.
If offal's too far out, the restaurant has plenty of normal cuts of meat as well.
Good luck to vegetarians, however.
La Fachada also does gorditas. Sometimes, these little pockets of masa dough can be manageable and small enough to eat more than one. In the barrio however, the gorditas were whopping monsters that had been deep fried and stuffed to overflowing with the same, delicious offal that goes into the tacos. Plus, they got lettuce, cheese, and sour cream on top. One is enough and it only costs $4.10.
Sure, one could venture inside and dine on seafood and omelets to the heart's content. But the patio, where the complimentary beans and grilled onions simmer on the grill that also produces carne asada at irregular intervals, is where it's at on a nice day in the Barrio.
20 25th Street
Open until 3 AM