Following Baja Fresh’s ethos set in 1990 as a healthy take on fast food, never-frozen meats sizzle atop the grill before they're tucked into made-to-order tacos and burritos. Grilled corn and flour tortillas embrace fish, carnitas, chicken, and steak, and smoky queso fundido sidles onto nachos and into burritos. Between bites, chips scoop up salsa made from farm-fresh produce rather than poured out of a can or fabricated in a space-age replicator. A complimentary salsa bar ensures no mouthful goes unspiced, and guests can scoop up their favorites as they await their dine-in, takeout, or catering orders.
Since 1979, Casa Mañana Restaurant has served up authentic Mexican and Salvadoran dishes from scratch, making it one of Marin County's oldest family-owned Mexican eateries. All-day breakfasts, such as huevos rancheros and fajitas omelets, arrive at tables located inside the compact dining room or outside on the spacious patio. Entrees spotlight spicy preparations of sirloin and pork, as well as fresh seafood that includes shrimp, crab, red snapper, and calamari. Though well-versed in meats, chefs also happily accommodate vegetarians and unhappily accommodate vegan poltergeists.
Mas Sake performs its fusion of Japanese and Mexican cuisines from its perch in the Marina district. Within the high-energy establishment, chefs craft both traditional Japanese fare, including teriyaki dishes and sashimi, as well as sushi that twists in flavors of preserved lemon, Cajun shrimp, jalapeno, and piñata. Conversely, chefs roll hand-made tortillas around sushi-grade ahi to render Japanese-tinged tacos.
Mas Sake hosts a festive whappy hour on weekdays, when libation lovers can slake thirst on cocktails, beers, and sake bombs. The restaurant's dim lighting swathes plush booths and wooden fixtures in a large dining room fit for both intimate dinners and celebrations.
There are a lot of good Mexican joints in San Francisco–but not many that have inspired a hip-hop album. Electric-pop and hip-hop duo The Cataracs loves Gordo Taqueria so much that they named an album after it. They’re not alone in their adoration, as Gordo Taqueria has expanded to six locations in the East Bay area. After ordering at the counter, guests watch staff move at a methodical pace as they stuff chicken into burritos and scoop flavorful carnitas into taco shells. The dining area at the Berkley location stars a vibrant mural and stools with woven seats crafted from leather and fossilized tortillas.
The chefs of San Buena Taco Truck grill asada and carnitas inside roaming kitchens, delighting taste buds across the city with four trucks and a bustling catering department. Each truck totes a station for dousing spicy tacos, quesadillas, and burritos with salsa verde and guacamole, and stocks a refrigerator with beverages from south of the border, including tamarindo and Mexican Coca-Cola. Caterers travel to special occasions, such as weddings and discoveries of lost remotes, dishing fare en masse. They count Whole Foods Market, Lucasfilm, and Genentech among their satisfied, sated clientele.
Chefs Jose and Hilario, who both hail from Mexico, treat adventurous palettes to south-of-the-border cuisine at all hours of the day inside Olivia's Brunch & Fine Dining. They grill, sizzle, and sear in an open-air kitchen, from which aromas of signature mole poblano and pork ribs topped with tomatillo fill the eatery. Servers whisk steaming brunch platters and comfort food with Mexican twists to tables draped in white cloths; sweet breakfast treats and California-inspired omelets, fluffier than award show banter, fill out the Sunday morning menu.