The Missus: Why do they have taco Tuesday?
Me: Well, I think that Tuesdays are usually a pretty slow day for business, so it's a marketing thing....
The Missus: But why not Thursday?
Me: I believe because business starts picking up on Thursday so they don't need a....
The Missus: That's really not fair....
Me: Ummm, to who? Thursday???
Sometimes it's hard to get past the conversation.....so in deference to the Missus...after all, my boss always tells me, "happy wife, happy life!" It's Taco Thursday. At least here it is.....
I recently had a fun dinner with my friends Candice, Howie, and Jenne. It had been a while since we had gotten together and we had a blast. Anyway, during the conversation Howie mentioned that one of his favorite taco shops is El Paisa. I suddenly realized that I haven't paid this location of El Paisa a visit since it was Tacos el Rico. So I made a mental note to check them out. It was easy enough for me, since I'm in the habit of dropping by the San Diego Public Market every Sunday. Imperial is just a couple of blocks away....there's really no excuse.
Man, they've really renovated this place sine the last time I passed by.
The deck area look really nice......
You can get two different sizes of tacos here; the "minis" run from $1.80 - $1.85, though you can get three for $4.99. The regular sized tacos run from $2.25 - $2.99.
On this day, I went with the Al Pastor and Cabeza ($2.75 each):
The Al Pastor was on the dry side, the spice quite mild, and it lacked the depth of flavor that a good al pastor would have. The tortillas were pretty much middle of the road, nothing outstanding. Ditto for the two salsas I tried....the verde and the roja.
The cabeza was very moist, though it could have been more tender, and rather than being rich seemed more like greasy to me. There were hints of the nice beefiness that I enjoy in cabeza.
The service was rather indifferent to me, though it seems like they really tend to cater to their Hispanic customers.
Still, I could see some potential and thought it only fair that I return. On this visit, the young lady was very friendly. She even brought out squeeze bottles of the salsas to me. On my last visit, all the other tables got those bottles....except me. When I stood up to get limes, she told me to have a seat and brought them to me. Very nice.......
On this trip I went with the Lengua ($2.85) and Carne Asada ($2.75):
The carne asada wasn't too salty and I don't know if it was a byproduct of the griddle, but I could taste hints of what tasted like chipotle and perhaps achiote as well. Just look at the meat and you can see what I mean.
Sadly, this was dry and tough as heck.....it really brought out how gloppy the guacamole was as well.
Looking at the rather grayish lengua wasn't very encouraging either.
Looking closer I could make out the actual papillae of the tongue's surface on the pieces of lengua. It also looked a bit too waxy, but the fragrance was heavenly. And it was surprisingly tender with that somewhat offal-beefiness that I enjoy in good tongue. The onions and cilantro helped to cut the richness and the salsa roja added that bit of pungent push in flavor.
This was good; I'll have it again.
Since I'm in this area every Sunday, i'm thinking I'll hit up La Fachada again. I haven't visited since they moved things around in the parking lot a bit. Unless anyone has some other recommendations for tacos in the area at 10am!
Tacos El Paisa
2494 Imperial Ave
San Diego, CA 92102
Sun - Thurs 8am - midnight
Fri - Sat 8am - 3am