Izalco - 24th and Florida St. - SF - Report
I'm doing well in my ambitious quest to try every restaurant on 24th St (at least btwn Mission and Potrero). I tried Izalco, a Salvadoran restaurant, for lunch this Sunday. Overall, I really liked this place. It seemed to be very authentic. Basket of chips seemed fresh, and the salsa was different, homemade tasting and very good. My friend ordered a daily special of Salvadoran enchiladas, which were nothing like Mexican enchiladas. They contained beef, hard boiled egg, lettuce, tomato?, avocado and a few other ingredients. Sauce was very light, making it almost half-casserole/half-salad. He really enjoyed it, and the bite I had was differerent than anything I'd ever tried before.
I had a small chicken soup. The soup contained practically half a chicken (a large breast and wing), which was falling off the bone and delcious. Broth was simple and homemade, and contained LOTS of chayote (I was so happy that it was chayote and not potato) and quite a few soft, stewed carrots. Nice soup for me, since I'm getting over a cold.
I asked what types of agua fresca they had, and our waitress listed off about 10 fruits! Turns out they weren't the cheap $1 agua frescas, rather drinks that cost almost 3 dollars. Still, I really enjoyed my jugo de granadilla and my friend liked his guanabana. Both were made with real frozen (I assume) pulp, so mine had lots of granadilla seeds at the bottom, while his had small chunks of guanabana. Other fruits she listed: maracuya (passion fruit), arrayan (sour guava), tamarindo, horchata, pineapple, orange and maybe a few others? (melon perhaps?). Anyway, I recommend these juices. Mine had a good balance of sweet/tart and the glass was very big.
I would definitely eat here again, and I'd like to try their pupusas and their huge seafood soups (which seem to be very popular, people are always eating them whenever I walk by). I have a lot more to go on my quest though, so it may be hard....I realized yesterday that if I really want to complete my quest, I'm going to have to eat at McDonald's. Hmmm. I guess someone's gotta do it. Plus I have a lot more places to try before then...
P.S. FYI, I tried the new taqueria, Taqueria Guadalajara, which is near Folsom and 24th, two weekends ago. I didn't write about it here since I really didn't have anything too positive to say. Nothing about it stands out to me, so with all of the other choices, I wouldn't really recommend it. But it's not bad, so I guess give it a try to support the new kid on the block. I had a chicken burrito. Eh. I'd recommend trying something else.
>I tried the new taqueria, Taqueria Guadalajara, ...
oh i stopped in on sunday ...
i got a SUPER QUESEDILLA AL PASTOR and a horchata.
the food was comparable in price, quality, composition to El Farrolito.
so it's a perfectly good option among the $5-$6 items, assuming the
hold to the currently prices and quality [cheaper than Taq San Jose,
Pancho Villa etc.]
Salsa were mostly similar to EF's as well, thought a couple of more
options [was there slightly under ripe mango in one?] and they
The horchata however, was non-good. The other agua fresca had
that radioactive yellow color.
Some other comments/background info, and agreement on the horchata at:
I agree with burritoeater about the poor distribution of ingredients like avocado.
Also, I forgot all about the mango salsa! The mango was underripe (but pickled, so it's cool that it's underripe) and that salsa (which also had onion, chilis, etc) was very spicy. If you like spicy mango pickle, this might be very good for you. I thought the salsa bar was okay, but not world class (like burritoeater said). The salsa verde at Taq San Jose is still my favorite, but theirs wasn't bad. I forget whether I liked the other salsas.
I had a pineapple agua fresca, maybe that was the radioactive one. It was a bit sweet but not bad.