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El Indio

3695 India St., San Diego, CA - (619) 299-0333
Posted By Michael Stern on 9/19/2007 3:30:00 PM
El Indio is a quick-service take-out shop adjacent to Interstate 5 that has set a high standard for inexpensive Mexican food in San Diego since 1940. An on-premises tortilla press turns out big, warm wheaty ones for burros and chimichangas; there are crunchy, freshly-fried, hot corn tortillas; and there are all sorts of combo plates topped with gobs of sour cream.

One of the best things to eat is the San Diego specialty, a fish taco. El Indio’s fish taco is a mighty meal served in a foil wrapper along with a wedge of lime. When the foil is pulled back, you find a double layer of warm corn tortillas loosely wrapped around a log of crisp-fried cod with a golden crust. The fish is nestled on a bed of ruggedly shredded cabbage, a few tomato shreds, and a faintly peppery pink sauce. Give it a spritz or two from the wedge of lime provided – an ideal complement for the sweet meat of the white fish and its savory crust.

Service is cafeteria style and dining is very informal. Meals are served on Styrofoam plates with throwaway utensils. There are a few shared seats at a counter and some tables to the side of the order-line, but many people choose to eat on the sunny, fenced-in patio across the street. Here, one is serenaded by vehicles passing on the raised highway, as well as by the happy chatter of customers blessed to be dining at this cheap but irreplaceable source of great Cal-Mex meals.

26 out of 28 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A true So Cal Mex meal.  Crispy fish enveloped by two fresh corn tortillas loaded with cabbage and zesty sauce, and accompanied by lime wedges.
"A true So Cal Mex meal. Crispy fish enveloped by two fresh corn tortillas loaded with cabbage and zesty sauce, and accompanied by lime wedges."
Dale Fine





With the homemade tortilla, shredded beef and tasty sauce, a beef enchilada is a nice side to go with the fish tacos.
"With the homemade tortilla, shredded beef and tasty sauce, a beef enchilada is a nice side to go with the fish tacos. "
Cliff Strutz


According to theological information on the walls of the restaurant, this character is
"According to theological information on the walls of the restaurant, this character is "El Indio," the Mayan god of food."
Michael Stern


El Indio's quick and inexpensive meals have defined Cal-Mex food in San Diego for sixty years.
"El Indio's quick and inexpensive meals have defined Cal-Mex food in San Diego for sixty years."
Michael Stern


With all the neon, El Indio looks especially good at night.
"With all the neon, El Indio looks especially good at night."
Cliff Strutz



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