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Mar 12, 2003 03:30 AM

Has anyone EVER succussfuly found a single SoCal Style Burrito here?

  • n

I know its been discussed in depth, but Ive searched the city over, and then over and am not satisfied. (if you care) I researched it and found out about places that grill their tortillas in the mission, and tried them and liked them...but

At all those places the torillas were criticaly different. The ones in SD all seem to be more yellow, perhaps thicker, and less floury--almost as if lard was in the batter. The chicken is always mixed white and dark meat,and stewed in an orangeish liquid. With a glop of garlicky guacamole, the log is perfect--missing both beans and rice. The whole thing is also more narrow than the northern counterparts.

People have recomended cancun, and el taquria, and asking to hold the beans and rice...but i swear it is still different.

Is there a SINGLE burritoe place up here, like EVERY Burrito PLACE is down south.


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  1. Im from Univ. Heights and I sure know what you are talking about. I miss those 24hour stands, peddling 3.25 cent meals/addictions. The burritos are different there, and have always wondored why they are all one way down there, and are all unanimously different up here. You cannot just order no beans or rice--the entire thing from chicken to tortilla is slightly different in the mission.

    Its a mystery, burritos are made for gringos primarily anyway. Why the differnce? And why hasnt one place out of dozens of SF taqurias capitalized off of the SoCal expatriot's homeland tastebuds. Perhaps they have??

    4 Replies
    1. re: Shayna Olson

      >Why the differnce? And why hasnt one place out of >dozens of SF taqurias capitalized off of the SoCal >expatriot's homeland tastebuds.

      Because the Mission-style Burrito is a better burrito, it's what the customers in the Bay Area have grown accustom to and what they want. I am a native San Diegan. I lived in the Bay Area for 10 years before returning to my roots in 2001. I much prefer the burritos in the Bay Area to the ones in San Diego, with one exception - the carnitas burrito at Sombero in Mission Valley.

      As for why the burritos are different in the different parts of the State, that's easy. Look at the immigration patterns. Most of the early immigration into the LA basin was by folks from Guadalajara and the surrounding area, i.e. the State of Jalisco. They brought that style of food with them. Immigration into the Bay Area is most likely from parts of Mexico other than Guadalajara. The food in Mexico is HIGHLY diverse and one region's food culture is mostly likely to be quite different from another region's. But no matter the region, they all adapt to what they find here on this side of the border. More meat is eaten in the Northern part of Mexico than in the Central and Southern parts, since SoCal was originally settled by immigrants from the Northern part of Mexico, their food may reflect their preferrence for meat by including more of it.

      1. re: Gayla

        THank You for your reply. Immigrational patterns are an interesting theory. Personaly I would never make the mistake of saying either style is better outside of taste, especialy considing the SoCal riceless version is a little closer to the genuine mexican taco.
        To each his own. Anyideas about the difference in tortillas i was talking about?

        1. re: new2city

          Ummm...............a genuine Mexican taco doesn't resemble anything like a meat burrito, no matter in which part of the State of California it's been made. Most American tacos barely resmeble a genuine Mexican taco.

          The difference in flour tortillas is probably more a matter of who the vendor is than anything. While the method for making tortillas may be similar from region to region, the formula for the tortilla dough will differ form region to region, as well as from cook to cook. Flours are not created equal and will absorb different amounts of water, the amount of fat used will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. There can be a huge number of variables that affect why a tortilla might be different from one part of the state to another. The tortilla manufacturers in SoCal vend what will sell in their local market. The same goes for the local market in NorCal as well. Most commercial vendors are in business to make money ;-), they're going to sell whatever brings them the best return. And, there may be a difference in preferrence between the tortilla eating community in SoCal and that of NorCal due to where they originally came from in Mexico.

          BTW, I do think that SoCal does tacos - regular and rolled - better than NorCal.

        2. re: Gayla
          Randy Salenfriend

          I'm with Gayla. I lived in San Diego for 10 years before relocating to the Bay Area in 1990. I had my burrito epiphany at La Cumbre and wondered where those burritos had been all my life. To compare SoCal burritos from an insipid chain like Roberto's of all places to those at La Cumbre or La Taqueria, or virtually all the wonderful spots in The Mission is like comparing McDonald's burgers to say, Mo's or Rosamunde or....well, you get idea.

      2. Donde es Briskity, juicy, grainy beef. Por Favor. I find the diced size of any asada (carne, Pollo) to be a bit dry.



        1 Reply
        1. re: Bob Thwart
          shredded beef

          try la imperial in hayward. it's on either B or C street and it's around $3.50.

        2. I used to get really good burrito's in LA, like at Yucca Hut in Los Feliz, that were filled with wonderful saucy shredded meats. Also ate these at home of a Mexican friend.

          I only like to eat at La Taqueria here because I hate burritos stuffed up with rice--it dilutes the taste of everything else and turns the burrito into a starch bomb.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Thea

            For me, it's the beans that really dilute the flavors of the meats. Try a taco with meat and beans and you'll see how the beans just "bland" out the whole thing. Rice, I don't mind -- I see it as a way to soak up juices that would otherwise run out of the burrito. So for me, rice contributes to the (preservation of) flavor.


            1. re: Peter Yee

              I agree with Thea on the rice -- makes the whole thing too heavy without adding much -- but people are very willing to make burritos without rice when I ask.

          2. If you're ever in Santa Cruz, check out Tacos Moreno. These are some of the best of the so-called SoCal style burritos that I've found north of LA. No rice, and their salsa simply rocks.

            1. n
              Nathan Landau

              I can't explain the reason for differences in burritos from south to north (the water??). But I don't think it's the origin of people within Mexico, though it would be interesting to see actual statistics on it. There are a lot of people from Jalisco here too. You see signs on cars and that sort of thing. There also seem to be a lot of people from the neighboring state of Michoacan, I believe the paletas vendors are often from Michoacan.