When it first opened in 1979, La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill was a simple taqueria in Los Angeles. Its open kitchen gave patrons a front-row seat to watch chefs transform fresh ingredients into bold, memorable Mexican dishes. Today, the original concept has evolved into a booming franchise, but each location works on the same principle: add a modern twist to classic Mexican food. Chefs continue to work in an open-kitchen environment where they concoct seven types of homemade salsas—laced with ingredients such as fire-roasted roma tomatoes, cilantro and garlic, and even mango—to complement carne asada tacos, los cabos shrimp burritos, and hefty bowls packed with chicken, fire-roasted veggies, and plenty of cheese. The kitchen crew also assembles large breakfasts of eggs and chorizo as well as huevos rancheros for early risers and paperboys who demand a tip in the form of eggs.
To some San Franciscans, a trek to the East Bay qualifies as a lengthy daytrip. One can only imagine their reluctance to travel hundreds of miles for authentic Mexican cuisine. Thankfully, Melissa’s Taqueria brings south-of-the-border flavors to Brisbane with a menu of tacos, enchiladas, and burritos packed with carne asada and al pastor. The kitchen stays busy throughout the day as chefs churn out dinner plates and breakfasts of pancakes and huevos rancheros.
The chefs at both locations of the family-run Guerrero's Taqueria man the grill all day cranking out plate-busting breakfasts, jam-packed burritos, tamales. Guests order at the counter, then find a seat in inside or at one of the green picnic tables outside, where they tuck into Mexican staples, such as the super shrimp burrito or huevos con chorizo. Imported sodas, beers, and horchata quench thirsts, while servings of flan make for a sweet end to the meal. Guerrero's Taqueria recently expanded its reach and opened a new, second location in Fairmont Shopping Center in Pacifica. In addition to traditional Mexican favorites, this location offers a different take on mainstays such as California Burritos, which are made with french fries instead of beans, and California Nachos, which are made with french fries instead of chips.
The chefs at El Toro Loco craft tacos, burritos, and tostadas, alongside hearty meat and chicken entrees grilled in Peruvian style. The kitchen keeps an eye on their customers' health by using the freshest ingredients available, favoring heart-conscious canola oil, and taking all orders on a doctor’s prescription pad. The menu features Peruvian favorites including deep-fried yucca along with beef anticuchos, a kabob-like dish served alongside potatoes and hot sauce. The Peruvian-leaning menu also includes award-winning tacos and burritos, crammed with fish, beef, chicken, pork, or veggies, which distinguished themselves earlier this year by landing El Toro Loco at the top of the Pacifica Patch's short list of the best local tacos and burritos.
A fire-engine-red edifice and azure doors usher patrons into the technicolor interior of Estrada's Mexican & Caribbean Restaurant, an expansive eatery that celebrates the succulence and spiciness of Mexican and Caribbean cuisine. Semicircle booths with glass tabletops hoist up traditional Mexican dishes loaded with sautéed beef, chicken, and vegetables, as well as platters that circulate the aromas of Caribbean delicacies such as fried yucca and plantains. Patrons who sidle over to the restaurant's full bar receive rewards in the form of south-of-the-border beer, homemade sangria, and Academy Awards for Best Chugging.
El Pollo Supremo satisfies all appetites with its eclectic menu of Latin American fare. The bill of fare blends Cuban congri––beans and rice–– fried plantains, and Mexican burritos and tortas with a meal that deliciously unites all climes and cultures: charbroiled chicken, served with tortillas and homemade sauce.
The chefs at Taqueria Vallarta stock their kitchen with both everyday and specialty ingredients, from chorizo and carnitas to head beef and cactus. Such diversity is necessary to create the Jalisco-style Mexican meals that are the restaurant's signature. Breakfasts of huevos a la ranchera top tortillas with spicy tomato sauce and fried eggs open up the menu before making way for lunch and dinner dishes such as tostadas with ceviche and chicken flautas with sour cream. Extra-hot dishes like the prawns a la diabla leave spices lingering on the breath, so that, hours later, diners can heat up their leftovers by blowing on them.