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best mexican food San Diego

Hi all,
Visiting San Diego and I'm looking for the best overall authentic Mexican restaurant. I tend to gravitate toward small places with great food. However, I don't care if it is a taco truck or an upscale 5 star place. Just the best all around food. I like all dishes. I moved to Boston and have not had a lot of good mexican food lately. So I'm itching to eat some goodies. I've seen a lot of threads regarding only specific neighborhoods or dishes. Please feel free to direct me to a thread I haven't yet found.

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  1. Anythng but Mama Testa ...so over rated IMO

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

    9 Replies
    1. re: chris2269

      I agree that Mama Testa is overrated and sadly I think it used to be better, before the Bobby Flay generated attention. However, because their food is still so different from any other taco shop, made with good corn tortillas and guisados, I'd say for someone coming into to town they might do worse than trying out this place.

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

      1. re: logovo

        Agreed. Mama Testa *was* better before Throwdown. They got slammed and then slammed again every time the segment was rerun and in spite of putting on extra staff I don't think they ever recovered.

        You also have to kind of know what to order...and it isn't their fish taco ;-)

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

        1. re: DiningDiva

          Was Lucha Libre EVER good? Just saw it (rerun) profiled on Man v Food and the California burrito (forgot the specific name) looked horrid; giant flour tortilla, carne asada, shrimp, cheese, salsa, guacamole, and french fries. Not a huge surprise to see a line at this place considering it was on tv (look at what tv did for Hodad's). I am curious if there is anything worthy of trying.

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          Hodads Restaurant
          5010 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107

          1. re: globocity

            I've only been to Lucha Libre a few times and not recently. I used to go for the fun atmosphere more than the food. To me almost all taco shops in SD are the same and the food pretty middle of the road.

            1. re: globocity

              Prior to Man v. Food, it was a pretty decent taco shop. The food wasn't spectacular, but it was solid taco shop fare, and they served a lot of craft beers. For a local taco shop, it was pretty good. Now. . .meh.

            2. re: DiningDiva

              Mama Testa's does a really good mashed potato taco as well as the beef taquitos in spicy beef broth. The latter is my go-to comfort food in the winter when I'm not in the mood for pho.

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

              1. re: daantaat

                The last time I had the Mojados (taquitos in broth) I was underwhelmed; not as good as I had remembered. It was a warm day and this may truly be a dish that's better during colder weather

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  uh-oh. what was underwhelming about it? the last time I had it was last winter when it was freezing outside. I think I ran from our parking space to Mama Testa's b/c I was shivering (then again, I have acclimated to SD weather...).

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

                  1. re: daantaat

                    It wasa bit flat and I thought a little too greasy. It lacked the clarity and zip it used to have. I think this is a dish better suited for cold weather.

        2. Super Cocina
          Mariscos El Pescador

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          Super Cocina
          3627 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104

          2 Replies
          1. re: Josh

            A second for SC! (...haven't been to MEP...)

            Would also like to add Las Brisas Taqueria in Fallbrook, especially for their incredible Menudo con Pata.

            It's quite a haul so I wouldn't expect a visitor to S.D. to make the trek, but it does deserve a place on the list nonetheless...

            1. re: cgfan

              oooh I live in Oceanside and have not heard of "Las Brisas Taqueria in Fallbrook" will have to check it out.

          2. Not in San Diego but just had possibly the best Mexican food ever at La Sirena in Laguna Beach.
            If you are looking for the typical greasy, heavy type mexican food we typically have in San Diego this is not it.
            Very nice quality and flavorful. Worth it if are heading north.

            1. Try an El Gordo Taco place. Small, hole-in-the-wall feel for authentic street tacos. My favorites are lengua and cabeza tacos... but for the faint of heart, you can't go wrong with carne asada or adobada. Tasty.

              1. Hacienda de Vega in Escondido for nice patio dining with waterfall and lots of flowers..
                Las Cuatro Milpas under the Coronado bridge for carnitas..been there for 60+ years!
                Taco shop fave's are: Gualberto's in Kearny Mesa next to the Denny's off the 15..and any Los Panchos & Santana's Taco shops..

                www.haciendadevega.com

                6 Replies
                1. re: Beach Chick

                  60 years?

                  So you went as a teen?

                  <ducking>

                    1. re: Fake Name

                      Dang Fakey... you stole my line!

                    2. re: Beach Chick

                      I wish there was a Las Cuatro Milpas in L.A.. That is some serious comfort food. Rice & beans with chorizo & eggs and those hand made flour tortillas and the salsa rojo. I might have to make a run down and get some this week.

                      1. re: Burger Boy

                        Get your butt down here BB...you can to go their carnitas/salsa and the kick ass flour tortillas back to LA..

                        do you have a fave patty melt up in the greater LA area you can recommend?

                        1. re: Beach Chick

                          26 Beach Restaurant has a triple cheese patty melt on sourdough bread.