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Luche Libre Mexican

Does anyone know why there is a line out the door these days?

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  1. Holy crap No kidding! I've heard of it, but never been and didn't know where it was exactly until I spotted a line while we were sitting across the street at that gelato place about 2 weeks ago. Late afternoon on a Sunday I think. Line wasn't moving at all. Since then I heard it got some play on a Food TV show so maybe that's why?

    1. Craziness! And it's not really all that good (especially compared to Mama Testas). Every couple of weeks, I stop around 10pm because I'm hungry and its convenient. Usually no line at that time. So next visit I'll ask.

      Mama Testa
      1417 University Ave Ste A, San Diego, CA 92103

      1. What time was it?

        I heard it was on that Drive in, Diners and Dives show with the guy with the spiked bleached hair and backwards sunglasses.

        That show really seems to stir middle america out of the house.

        10 Replies
        1. re: stevewag23

          Bleh. Can't think of a place less deserving than that one. Except maybe Hodad's or Luigi's.

          I pray he never goes to Super Cocina.

          1. re: Josh

            He went to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Santa Rosa after I returned to San Diego. When I went back the food was unrecognizable.

            1. re: kare_raisu

              But wait...isn't he *from* Santa Rosa? Man, why screw with a good thing.

              I think we've seen the same thing with our restaurants that have gotten FTV exposure. Mama Testa's hasn't been the same since Throwdown and Blue Water hasn't yet recovered from their shout out on DDD. I'm really learning to hate it when that happens. I'm glad for the owners that they're getting the free PR, but I'm not so glad for we locals that have to suffer the consequences of places being swamped and way too busy for their own good because of the PR. Is there no happy medium?

              Mama Testa
              1417 University Ave Ste A, San Diego, CA 92103

              1. re: DiningDiva

                Are Mama Testa's and Blue Water worse now?

                Or just busier?

                Mama Testa
                1417 University Ave Ste A, San Diego, CA 92103

                1. re: stevewag23

                  IMO, both.

                  Definitely busier...a LOT busier. The food at MT is also not as good as it once was. Mind you, it's not bad, but it's just not the same. I attribute that a lot to a kitchen being slammed for too long a period of time at a stretch and getting sloppy because of fatigue. Simply trying to keep up can be a chore. The producers for Throwdown warned Cesar that his business would pick up after the show aired. I don't think he realized just how much it would pick up and for how long. I know he added extra staff and still struggled to keep up. He got a huge hit off the original airing. Every rerun usually brings an upswing in business as well.

                  Before DDD you could get waited on pretty easily at the fish counter, now it takes longer because they can't see you standing there because of the line. Before the line was usually 3 or 4 deep by mid-afternoon. Now? to the door at least. I have not eaten there since the DDD episode aired but have heard several reports saying the food is not as good. Once again, I think that is a product of a kitchen having to work too hard for too long and getting tired.

                  1. re: stevewag23

                    Or maybe it seems worse because the novelty of a new place or new idea wears off?? Just wondering. More elated I am about a new place the faster the fall. Haven't been excited about Mama Testa's in a long time. I probably prefer the salsa's to the tacos. And Blue Water, yes tasty, but zero atmosphere and not exactly cheap so i'd rather take their fresh fish home and make it myself....If only I could grill to perfection every time. Is it still served on a plastic plate with plastic utensils?

                    Mama Testa
                    1417 University Ave Ste A, San Diego, CA 92103

                    1. re: Island

                      Island, I think with MT people tend to find their favorite taco out of the options and stick with it over time. I always seem to opt for the Empapado (hard shell mashed potato) the Asi Yasado (grill chicken soft taco) or the Mojado de Res. The salsa bar is still good.

                      Yes, Blue Water still serves on disposables. I, too, usually get my fish there to cook at home rather than eating in.

              2. re: Josh

                C'mon, Josh, I thought you were committed to El Indio as the worst Mexican food in town. Please choose just one arch nemesis.

                1. re: juantanamera

                  You're right. My bad. El Indio would have been much less deserving. Thanks for the reminder.

                  1. re: Josh

                    But oh how I love El Indio's chips.

            2. The reason for the mobs is that Luche Libre was featured on a San Diego episode of "Man vs Food" on The Travel Channel about 3 weeks ago (PB's Broken Yolk and Phil's BBQ were also featured).


              Phil's BBQ
              3750 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110

              6 Replies
              1. re: foodiechick

                Never heard of this one. So this guy gets paid to stuff his face all over the country?

                1. re: Island

                  Some episodes are actually quite entertaining - the guy makes a good effort and actually completes his eating challenges at least half the time.

                  On the subject of Lucha Libre, I must admit that their website is also highly entertaining:

                  1. re: shouzen

                    Since you're fairly new in town, you might find it amusing to check this place out. As other people have mentioned the food is rather hit or miss but for sheer fun and entertainment it's not bad.

                    Lucha Libre was opened by 3 brothers from Tijuana about 6 months before the economy tanked and the recession hit. They've managed to survive, which I think is a pretty good tribute to their tenacity if nothing else. It's also one of the few places in town that you can get a TJ Dog.

                    Let the crowd die down and then go and enjoy a taco or two in a totally campy setting that only Mexicans could dream up. I have a rather soft spot for this place in spite of the food not being the highlight.

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      Yeah, it is also a huge upgrade over the taco shop that was there before.

                      That place was horrible.

                      1. re: stevewag23

                        I seem to remember being indifferent about it when I got burritos at 2am haha. I really liked Lucha Libre when it first opened, not only because of the camp but the food seemed to be very high quality for a taco shop. I think they went for lesser quality ingredients after the economy tanked, and also think the U-T had a story on them that confirmed that.

                        I enjoy the salsa bar but the tacos and burritos have definitely been hit or miss

                  2. re: Island

                    The star of Man vs Food is a not very successful actor (a few guest roles on tv) with a Masters from Yale in Drama. He is somewhat amusing.

                2. I'm so glad that somebody finally asked. I've been bewildered by the line, too!

                  1. I drove by there today and my wife and I couldn't figure out what was going on. We figured there was some sort of event and they were giving away free food...

                    Sounds like the sheeple got pointed to a new mediocre place to eat. At least that keeps them out of the places with good food.

                    1. Man v. Food did a show on San Diego featuring Lucha Libre and I haven't been able to get a burrito there since. Not that I'm bitter or anything (as I happen to like the show).