It's been over a year since I had the chance to visit San Francisco. My dear friends live there but they are always coming to LA before I get a chance to go up there.
In a recent Sunset Magazine? showdown, LA beat SF for Best Food City by 3 votes. There really is nothing like it for highest concentration of great food in a small space. This city loves food in a way that is more authentic and respectful than LA's glitzy restaurant scene.
I of course had tacos on the brain and restricted myself from visiting old favorites like Tacolicious in favor of trying something new. When I asked about good tacos in the area, I got the same answer every time; La Taqueria. But people up here are funny. As a general rule they prefer burritos to tacos. I have no idea why, but someone should study that and get me a good answer.
The tacos were great AND they have crispy tacos which makes me love them even more. In 2013 it will be 40 years since they opened. The owner was such a charmer and I still don't know his name because other than Yelp, they don't seem to believe in Social Media (no web, facebook, twitter, etc.) which kind of makes me love them even more!
Bean and Cheese Crispy Taco at La Taqueria
Everything there is highly customizable. You pay a base price and then you pay for add-ons or you can always get one 'con todo' with everything on it for a set price as well. The crispy tacos come with a dry soft tortilla wrapped around them. This confused all of us at first but I later realized it was probably being used a blotter for the oil and to cool it down a bit. I had yet to see that in my taco travels.
OH! They also have the BEST AGUA FRESCA EVER! HELLO???? Yeah. Ground up strawberries for the Fresa and that day he had a Tangerine one as well and a Pineapple. All of them magically fresh with just the right amount of sugar. We took some home and made mixology cocktails with them.
Below video talks about La Cumbre's burritos, but it has a cool 'history of the Mission' section.