Yes, you're reading mmm-yoso!!!, the food blog. Kirk is enjoying a vacation and doesn't have the bandwidth to blog. ed (from Yuma) is doing lots of things (in Yuma) and blogging isn't one of them. Cathy is the blogger for today.
Hello. I blogged about Los Palmitos in 2008 and thought the food was really good, but the taco shop did not become part of the "regular rotation" for The Mister or me, since it is not near home or work for either of us. However, I do have friends who give me recommendations about their favorite places and items to try and so when driving around town, I have stopped here on a more regular basis have found some standout selections for the times when I don't want a taco or burrito.
You can tell by the architecture of the building that Los Palmitos used to be a Taco Bell. The kitchen is intact and used as a kitchen. There are no other similarities.
This is the poster in the side window, if you need a reason or want an excuse to stop here. Yes, beer. At a Taco Shop.
The salsa bar, which has rules, is filled with four fresh made salsas and other condiments.
The brown-ish salsa is habañero. It is *very* good; there is heat but the other flavors come through. The next hottest is the green salsa, which has a touch of garlic in the flavor. The darker red one is my favorite: it is a chipotle- a roasted jalapeño- and tastes 'full' and rich, almost creamy to me. The lightest red one is very mild; almost like just tomato sauce with a bit of onion, especially after you taste the stronger flavors and then go back to this mildest salsa. Fresh chips come with all orders.
Ground Beef Tostada ($6.10)- simple meal that isn't a burrito. Beans on the bottom, ground beef, cheese, sour cream, guacamole and salsa fresca (chopped tomato/onion/cilantro) all inside an edible flour tortilla bowl. This is very good. However, for a few pennies more-
The Carne Asada Salad ($6.25) is beautifully presented. It isn't in a flour tortilla bowl and there are no beans (less carbohydrates!). It is flavorful and quite large and filling. Lettuce topped with a mild, creamy house dressing, cucumbers, carne asada, cheese and shredded tortilla strips. This is a healthy, filling choice for a meal here.
Caldo de Res ($6.99) Beef soup, with add ins. Rich beefy broth, corn,carrots, squash and a lot of tender pieces of beef. I usually eat half the soup 'as is' and then add in the lime, onions and cilantro and rice...it's like having two different main courses.
Whole fish, fried ($10.05). Usually listed on menus as mojarra frita, this traditional Mexican tilapia preparation is perfectly done at Los Palmitos. The cleaned fish is slit (so it won't curl when being fried) and then rubbed with a marinade of lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Then the fish is pan fried in olive oil. The fish is served with rice, beans (the beans are really good here), tomatoes, salsa fresca, cucumbers, pickled onions, sour cream, guacamole and tortillas.
The day I ordered this fish, the chef from the kitchen brought it out to me. I think he was proud of this presentation, and the fact that someone had ordered something other than burritos. Usually the nice lady working the cash register will hand the fish to me over the counter. This fish was large and the meat was moist and had a good fresh flavor.
I think Los Palmitos is a hidden gem.
Los Palmitos Taco Shop 5145 Clairmont Mesa Boulevard (between Limerick and Longford) San Diego 92117
(858)974-1946 Open 8 a.m.-midnight, daily Website