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Lucha Libre Taco Shop - SD

kare_raisu Jan 11, 2008 08:14 AM

Off the 5 at the Washington Exit - across the street from Gelato Vera - there is a new taco shop opening.

Luch Libre 'Gourmet' Taco Shop! wwww.tacosmackdown.com

According to the guy I asked - they will be open next monday. I caught a good glimpse of the interior - its pretty stylin! They have this huge wall size b & w action shot of Santo taking down someone as well as these cool light green oldstyle leather booths ooff set against the dark pink colored walls.

I cant wait to check them out - and see how they stand up to Mama Testas.

  1. s
    SD Native Jan 21, 2009 08:45 AM

    They have some creative design. Ate there once and the food was ok.

    1. kare_raisu Jan 20, 2009 02:36 PM

      I went here the other night after work and we ordered the mole burrito, quesataco and esquites.

      The mole burrito with the crema was probably my favorite thing. The quesataco was no where near Tacos Salceados and it was composed with industrial cheddar but it was still tasty. You can skip the esquites, they were pretty lackluster.

      All in all not a bad choice for post 11pm dining.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kare_raisu
        foodiechick Jan 20, 2009 09:28 PM

        What are esquites, that is a new one to me?

        1. re: foodiechick
          kare_raisu Jan 20, 2009 10:39 PM

          Basically its corn boiled in corn cob broth with chiles garlic onion and epazote. Served topped with mayo, cotija cheese, powdered chile and lime
          scroll down:

          1. re: kare_raisu
            foodiechick Jan 21, 2009 10:45 AM

            Thanks KR. Of course I've had that many times, referred to by a different name.

        2. re: kare_raisu
          Alice Q Jan 22, 2009 10:36 AM

          Just took some co-workers here last week - they loved the funky decor - and the food was very good. I couldn't finish two tacos, it turned out I only needed one. I hadn't been since they first opened and was impressed with how it's developed - I am sure we will be going back.

        3. j
          JDelRio Jan 27, 2008 05:55 PM

          Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop is what happens when most of the effort is put
          into the theme and decor, and the food is not thought out. The restaurant
          visually appeals to my Mexican-american sensibilities: the garish pink and
          baby-blue colors that are iconic in a Mexican barrio, the Mexican wrestling
          motif that brings up childhood memories of watching the televised bouts with
          my grandfather, and the "Champion's Corner" decked out in golden,
          tongue-in-cheek French elegance. That last (perhaps subconscious) reference
          to the cultural awe struck by Maximilian and Carlota reveals an authentic
          awareness of the Mexican mind. What's surprising is that one so in tune with
          the culture neglected giving more attention to the food.

          One of the dead giveaways in Mexican cooking is the quality of the tortillas.
          They are such a staple in the cuisine that their quality reveals the care and
          effort put into the cooking, and this is especially true if the house
          specialty is the taco. When we were served our complimentary basket of
          tortilla chips, it was immediately clear that the tortillas used were
          substandard... "tiesas" in Spanish, meaning stiff and cheaply made. We were
          concerned that the same tortillas would be used in the food. Sure enough,
          they were. I ordered the nachos with steak. Everything in the meal was of low
          quality. The steak was almost flavorless, the tortillas were cheap (decent
          tortillas are not hard to find in southern California) as were the pre-fab
          sauces squeezed onto the top of the heap. My friend ordered a surf-and-turf
          taco. The beef and shrimp were adequate, but it was double-wrapped in the
          same poor tortillas, undercutting whatever flavor was to be enjoyed from the

          So much style over substance was reflected in the presentation of the food as
          well. Serving the meals in cheap, little styrofoam plates discredits the meal
          itself. In keeping with its hip decor, using quality paper plates is greener
          yet still underlines how basic the taco is to the culture.

          It saddens me to see such energy and earnestness fall short. It's rare to
          find a Mexican-american eatery that addresses it's own, neither playing to
          the dominant culture nor trying to impress our cultural homeland. The concept
          behind the Lucha Libre Taco Shop deserves a better effort.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JDelRio
            Eat_Nopal Jan 27, 2008 08:28 PM

            "It saddens me to see such energy and earnestness fall short. It's rare to
            find a Mexican-american eatery that addresses it's own, neither playing to
            the dominant culture nor trying to impress our cultural homeland."

            I was about to run over you for ordering Steak Nachos and whining about the tortilla quality... but then you brought it home. Thanks for your insightful, thought provoking post... you are spared from my angry, elitist Mexico City pedestial rant.

          2. j
            jasont Jan 23, 2008 10:06 PM

            I had dinner there on Sunday night. They had a partial menu (with lower prices) since they had just opened. Most of the menu looked like ordinary taco shop fare, but they also had a section for their gourmet tacos. I tried one of those called the queso taco. This was a carne asada taco with avocado and melted cheese. I also had a regular carne asade and adobado taco. These were all tasty, and were all really big for the price. They have complimentary chips and a salsa bar. My gf went crazy for their cilantro salsa and even spoke of wanting to drink it. Oh and since they had just opened they gave us free drinks, which was really nice. Overall I liked the food, but am hoping that the full menu will have more offerings that couldn't be found at any other taco shop (not to suggest that the quality would be equivalent). The link earlier of the TJ taco offers hope.

            1. Honeychan Jan 23, 2008 09:57 PM

              HOLY MOLEY!! This is a fantastic, fun concept. I've got to try this, my next SD trip in April. I'm a big Santo fan and this is a hoot. Hope the food is as good as the concept! PLEASE give reviews, take pictures..I bet they'll have real Luchadores there for the opening, I mean...WHY NOT?

              1. kare_raisu Jan 23, 2008 08:59 AM

                careful - the deliciousness of the picture may cause lightness of breath...

                Muchas Gracias Amiga eggplant!

                and a little great Ska en espanol:

                1. Eat_Nopal Jan 11, 2008 09:09 AM

                  That is funny... for the last few years... I had been envisioning someday opening a Torteria with a 1960's Lucha Libre vibe - vis a vis the Santo Enmascarado vs. Aliens, Communists or Mobster type movies.... and music by Esquivel, Los Locos del Ritmo, Cesar Costa etc.,

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Eat_Nopal
                    kare_raisu Jan 11, 2008 06:37 PM

                    I immediately thought of you! Whenever we passed SRJC - I recall you mentionng this idea!

                  2. c
                    Cathy Jan 11, 2008 08:35 AM

                    Where Valentine's Taco Shop was located?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Cathy
                      kare_raisu Jan 11, 2008 08:43 AM

                      not sure - it is in between the AmPm and Yoshinos.

                      1. re: kare_raisu
                        Cathy Jan 11, 2008 08:47 AM

                        Oh...no then. Valentine's is next to the Shell Station. SO...two taco shops in the same block. hmmm

                      2. re: Cathy
                        DiningDiva Jan 11, 2008 09:24 AM

                        No, it is the old Valentines location. I drove by last Saturday and did a double take myself.

                        1. re: DiningDiva
                          ekomega Jan 23, 2008 09:45 PM

                          Looked empty when I drove by last night. Anyone try the food yet?

                          I'll bet they'll do okay with the Bar Dynamite crowd.

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