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I want some tongue.

Ideas for good places to get my tongue fix in SD? All cuisines open. Bonus points for some seriously good lengua tacos.

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  1. I actually sampled a pretty tasty guisado made w/ tongue at Northgate once. I believe Tajima also serves tongue.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Josh

      And you liked the tongue? Whats the texture/flavor deal?

      1. re: jturtle

        Hard to describe, really. I've had tongue a few different ways. My favorite is Jewish deli style, which is cold and thinly sliced, on rye bread with spicy brown mustard. This is an impossibility in San Diego, alas, because there's no good rye bread here (except Bread and Cie), and no good deli. Texture-wise, it's like any other sliced meat. Flavor is rich and beefy.

        The guisado though, was larger pieces. Very tender. I wasn't impressed with it enough to order it, but it was still pretty good. It tasted more of the sauce than the tongue, I thought.

    2. I'm going to start looking like a shill or something, as I've blabbed about this resto over and over in the last few days. Noodle Town on Convoy has tongue on its BBQ menu. Very memorable.

      1. Yakitori Yakyudori is great since you can sit at the bar and get it while it's still hot - very important. The problem of getting it at the izakayas such as Tajima or Sakura is that very often by the time it's served to you it will have most likely already cooled down a bit. I find tongue loses its heat very quickly, so immediate service is important.

        When you order tongue it's normally sliced very thin. For a real treat ask for gyutan-steak, which will be served in much thicker slices cut across the thickness of the toungue - very nice.

        Another option is Tsuruhashi where you would cook it yourself on the grill and would still be hot when you eat it. But the use of bincho charcoal at Yakyudori makes it a better bet. (Technically Yakyudori uses a combination of bincho and oga-bincho charcoal...) It definitely adds its own component to the taste.

        BTW at home I grill it indoors over oga-bincho on top of a shichirin (Japanese grill). It ends up tasting just like it does at Yakyudori! (BTW the rear part of the tongue, if you can get it, is the fattiest and most tender part...)

        2 Replies
        1. re: cgfan

          wow! I can't believe you have your own shichirin. Where do you get bincho-tan?
          Can you find them in SD?

          1. re: mayuchico

            Well a good selection of konro/shichirin and oga bincho-tan can be easily obtained through Marukai. The new San Diego branch in Kearny Mesa is rather limited in this regard, but I've seen 1 or 2 of the smaller shichirin's there. I'm sure if you make a request, one can easily be transferred over from their Costa Mesa store, which usually carries around 5-6 different models!

            I've seen these two shichirin's in the KM store: http://www.flickr.com/photos/akatayam... and http://www.flickr.com/photos/akatayam... , the latter of which is the one I personally use...

            I've also bought a bulk, 10 kg box of oga bincho-tan through the same Costa Mesa branch. Again I'm sure that you can do the same by asking the local store, though I believe at one time I've even seen it here in the new Kearny Mesa store. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/akatayam...


            FYI the oga bincho-tan is considerably easier to use than the bincho-tan, the former which is an extruded product. It should not be compared to the somewhat similar looking charcoal that you can find at Zion Marketplace; from my own experience the latter is far from smokeless (and the smoke it does produce is very "off-smelling") and behaves as if loaded with accelerants and not very pure.

            If you do want to try your hand at the bincho-tan vs. the oga bincho-tan, then Nijiya always has it stocked, and usually Marukai as well. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/akatayam... )

        2. I had some good lengua tacos from La Princesita Taco Truck(trailer/cart) in the parking lot of Joe's 99 cent store in Linda Vista. The flavor of the cabeza and lengua seem to alternate when it comes down to which is better for a given day. And there are some days when neither is available.

          6882 Linda Vista Rd
          San Diego, CA 92111

          They are in the parking lot daily from 6pm to 11pm



          Otherwise, the gyo-tan from Yakitori Yakiyudori, as mentioned by cgfan above is heavenly.....

          The Beef tongue from Buga is decent.
          Love the miso marinated beef tongue from Tsuruhashi, well, I just love tongue(somehow that just sounds wrong) anyway.

          1 Reply
          1. re: KirkK

            The most memorable tongue I've eaten recently in SD has to be the tongue at the Korean place next to Sammy Sushi on Engineer. (Sorry - can't remember the name). I'm posting this in reply to your message, Kirk, as you may remember more of the details.

            The thinly sliced tongue there was excellent at picking up the smoky flavors of the charcoal. Good taste memories.


          2. I think Tacos El Gordo in the Southbay has lengua.

            1. The lengua tacos at El Maguey on Mira Mesa Blvd. are pretty good. The cabeza and tripe ones are also nice.

              1. Gosh, I was thinking in a completely different direction. I guess it is because I had Nate and Al's Deli on the brain after visiting my mom up in LA over the weekend. I was going to suggest a tongue sandwich on rye at the best deli down here. The only problem is there really isn't one, but if forced to choose I would say DZ Akins.

                1 Reply
                1. re: littlestevie

                  Nate and Al's really makes any deli in San Diego look bad.

                2. Los Palmitos, the taco shop on Clmt Mesa Blvd by the Smart and Final has tacos de lengua that are good. Lengua can be had from the quisaderias at the Farmers Market on Imperial. Usually served with a chipotle sauce.

                  Tacos de Lengua also can be had at the Victor's taco truck during the evenings just behind Victor's Market just a couple of blocks west of Super Cocina.

                  Also, El Comal has lengua!

                  1. I would recommend DZ Akins for a deli sandwich.

                    You could also try Tacos El Gordo in Natl City or Chula Vista.

                    1. You can also get Zungenwurst (German cold cut of tongue and blood sausage) at Tip Top Meats in Carlsbad

                      1. I just had what I thought were seriously good lengua tacos at the stall outside of Mercado International 2000 in Chula Vista on Third St.

                        1. Oh, and for no bonus points, check out Sausage King for deli-style tongue. Don't buy the "rye" bread there -- pretty bland stuff. The closest I can get to good corn rye is the package sold by Trader Joe's. Add some good deli mustard, pickled tomatoes or kosher-style pickles by Batampte and it's a meal that comes close to my daily lunch run back in NY.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sandiegofoodstuff

                            If you like real East coast-style corn rye, I highly recommend the loaf at Bread & Cie. It's easily the best corn rye I've had outside of NYC.

                            Good to know about Sausage King though.