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Post Christmas LA to SF Taco Crawl/Ideas?

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I'm planning a trip back to the Bay Area post Christmas from LA to Mill Valley.

I'm inspired by the NYT article: http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/07/21...

I'm looking for Taco places "not to be missed"--any thoughts?

They list the following:

EL PARIáN 1528 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles; (213) 386-7361.

TACOS BAJA ENSENADA 5385 Whittier Boulevard, Los Angeles; (323) 887-1980.

LA SUPER RICA TAQUERIA 622 North Milpas Street, Santa Barbara; (805) 963-4940.

LILLY’S TAQUERIA 310 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara; (805) 966-9180.

CHAPALA RESTAURANT 2816 Main Street, Morro Bay; (805) 772-4492.

RUDDELL’S SMOKEHOUSE 101 D Street, Cayucos; (805) 995-5028.

TAQUERIA VALLARTA 1101 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz; (831) 471-2655.

TAQUERIA Y MERCADO DE AMIGOS 1999 Pescadero Creek Road, Pescadero; (650) 879-0232.

I've got SF covered...

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  1. I'd try this one:



    1. In Santa Cruz you should switch from Vallarta to La Cabana on Mission just before HWY1 North resumes. Order either the chicharon or the desebrada. You could also try the east side Taqueria Santa Cruz for off the spit al pastor.


      It also seems crazy to drive by Watsonville and not stop. Most of the eating there has been focused on things other than tacos though. There is a market below main st that offers decent tacos if I recall. I'll try to find the name for you.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          As always Melanie, you are the best!

        2. We ate at Chapala a couple of weeks ago, during a trip to Cambria, and found it just okay. Basic, generic, Mexican dive food, no better or worse than 100s of other small restaurants throughout So. Calif.

          The Smokehouse in Cayucos was good, if non-traditional - of course you can say the same for Taco Temple.

          1. In Santa Barbara, of course Superrica - I like the #15 Tocino Special the best: melted cheese and bacon that you scoop into 3 wondrous fresh tortillas - and then add pico de gallo salsa and eat the whole dripping mess with a beatific smile on your face.

            The other Taco place on Chapala Street is cheap but not of much interest unless you just want basic, basic, basic and a nicely local clientele. No real place to sit down, especially if the out door table is full.

            A side trip into Santa Paula's Main Street taking Highway 126 east from 101 has a number of family Mexican restaurants and a small, very local taqueria. Worth the detour because this is very lovely valley and a touch of old small town California.

            1. between Santa Barbara and Salinas/Monterey along 101/1 I'd say these places are worth investigating. Also, is this a TACO crawl, or a taqueria crawl?

              if the latter, I recommend for consideration

              The Tamale Shop in Santa Maria--tamale heaven.
              (take Betteravia exit west to Blosser, right and an immediate u-turn at 1st opportunity to the Tamale Shop) Hand made daily in 7 flavors from freshly ground corn. Etherial. Tamales only. Seating.

              Carniceria Su Mesa at Main and Blosser in Santa Maria
              (take Main St west to Blosser, left and immediately right into their lot ) All the ususal meats; the carnitas is excellent. Also sometimes cabeza. Take out only.

              Panaderia Mana Santa Maria
              (take Main St exit west to Broadway, right on B'way to 503 No B'way, on the left) Oxacan tamales and pan dulces. Takeout only

              La Tapatia Market and deli mex, Hiway 1 Oceano.
              (take los Berros Rd exit west to Valley Rd, left to Hiway 1, right to Railroad--directly across from the vegetable cooling sheds) Watch the ladies hand pat and grill sopes right before your eyes. All the usual meats. Muy autentico. Good selection of Mexican beer and sodas. Good local packaged flan. Across the street is a market serving tradional spit-cooked pastor--haven't tried it yet.

              Hope you try some places OFF the article's list, and don't forget your camera--we're all food photo junkies.