Posted By Stephen Rushmore
12/11/2010 10:50:00 AM
As with the Ray's pizzerias of New York City, there are several independently owned Tacos El Paisa restaurants located throughout southern California. The location in the Logan Heights neighborhood of southern San Diego is the spot to visit if you want some of the best adobada tacos and Mexican beverages in the region.
The first thing you notice when walking into the tiny eatery are the large unmarked plastic beverage jugs on top of the counter. Don’t be shy about asking what’s inside; they will gladly give you shot-glass-sized portions of the different ice-blended juices to assist you in making a selection. The strawberry aguas frescas strikes the right balance for me. A refreshing blend of fresh strawberries and sweet cream, it is thinner and lighter than a milkshake - the perfect antidote to spicy and greasy food. Other options include horchata, jamaica, melon, and pineapple.
After you place your order with the exceptionally friendly cashier, a server will bring a generous condiment tray loaded with a variety of homemade salsas, guacamole, and vegetables to dress your meal.
All tacos are served on a single homemade corn tortilla and can survive three or four bites. The taco adobada, made with spicy pork cooked on, and sliced from, a vertical rotisserie, is carved to order so you get a mix of slightly charred outer meat and moist center. The carnitas and birria tacos are tender alternatives if you are seeking variety. Lastly, the carne asada, steak grilled over charcoal, can be moist and tender if you get it fresh – be sure to ask before ordering.