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Oakland's best non-taco Mexican?

I couldn't find a good topic on this in the archives, although I'm sure it's been discussed before.

How about somewhere I can get a damn good Mexican square meal? It seems like we concentrate on tacos and antojitos here.

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  1. Try Otaez Restaurant in Oakland (also a sister store in Alameda)

    You can't go wrong with their Chile Verde plate.

    Great made to order Pork Chile Verde,Rice, Beans,warm tortillas and a separate garden salad.

    With great chips and salsa.

    Price..........$6.95!!!!!

    3872 International Blvd
    Oakland, CA 94601

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    Otaez
    3872 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

    1 Reply
    1. re: Mission

      FYI, today's Groupon is for Otaez.

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      Otaez
      3872 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

    2. Dona Tomas and Tamarindo will set you back more than a taqueria but I've enjoyed both. Also, recently eyed the menu at Cocina Poblana and it looked appealing.

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      Dona Tomas
      5004 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609

      Cocina Poblana Restaurant
      1320 65th St, Emeryville, CA 94608

      Tamarindo
      468 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607

      5 Replies
      1. re: Mission Terrace Foodie

        I was completely underwhelmed with Cocina Poblana. Let's put it this way: even with the deals they offer on restaurant.com, groupon, etc. I have no interest in going back.

        I'll second Otaez -- the Alameda branch has a full bar. I like the carnitas, and the pozole on the weekends.

        A couple of doors down from the Oakland Otaez is El Huarche Azteca -- the barbacoa on the weekends is excellent. Any dish with masa is good. The specials are more interesting than the typical Mexican offerings, but tend to be hit and miss.

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        El Huarache Azteca
        3842 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

        Otaez
        3872 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

        Otaez
        1619 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          I had a perfectly passable dinner once at the Emeryville Cocina Poblana. I'd return. No rush though.

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          Cocina Poblana Restaurant
          1320 65th St, Emeryville, CA 94608

          1. re: lmnopm

            Yes, definitely prefer Emeryville location over the JLS one.

          2. re: Ruth Lafler

            I think the Oakland Otaez has better food..

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            Otaez
            3872 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

        2. A few of us have been enjoying meals at Dona Tomas lately -- especially the back patio area on these recent blamy nites. Yes, entrees aren't cheap. But they use good ingredients, and we've found that an appetizer + 1 entree is plenty of food for a shared meal if you aren't starving. (have been enjoying the enchiladas with mole sauce lately, and always the chile verde.)

          I do wish they'd add the heat to the spicing. but they have a decent bottle of hot sauce to assist in that dept. I'm also partial to the Margarita de la Reyna...

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          Dona Tomas
          5004 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609

          1. El Huarache Azteca's my favorite sit-down place.

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            El Huarache Azteca
            3842 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

            1. I will chime in for El Huarache Azteca as well, They do a good Cochinita Pibil, Barbacoa( as mentioned already) and assorted other non masa based specials and platos.
              But unfortunately they can be hit and miss sometimes great, sometimes mediocre and worse.

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              El Huarache Azteca
              3842 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

              1 Reply
              1. re: chefj

                I had an amazing serving of barbacoa yesterday at El Huarche Azteca. I especially appreciated the gamey flavor of the lamb, and the side of nopales. The handmade corn torillas were delicious.

              2. I really enjoy El Taco Zamorano on Foothill in Oakland. You need to pick and choose your way through the menu, but can never go wrong with their well-priced fried fish, or with my total favorite, their green enchiladas. Their green sauce is exceptional. I am at a loss for a good description though--a little piquant, no discernible heat, complexity provided by ??. I have tried to reproduce it at home with no success. I think the flavor is from tomatillos, but no one there will tell you much (our regular waitress, who is part of the family that owns it, claims to have no idea). Generally I also think their beans and rice are a slight cut above as well.

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                El Taco Zamorano Restaurant
                4032 Foothill Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

                2 Replies
                1. re: jillyju

                  The Bay Farm La Penca Azul location is very good, consistently better than most East Bay mexican. They have a huge menu. The Cazuelas are excellent.

                  1. re: mmpojo

                    Is it better than the Park St. location?

                2. Another chiming in for Tamarindo and El Huarache Azteca. I'm a transplanted Texan who had a family member in the business - we ate well and often. I'm up for a variety of Mexican and Mexican-influenced cuisines and have relied upon Tamarindo and EHA to fulfill that need for consistent, flavorful, Mexican food. Tamarindo is a mix of elevated street food and higher end Oaxcan cuisine that is delicious. I usually wish they had a few more large plates, but have never struggled to find something lovely. Their tequila offerings are extensive and specific. El Huarache might be more of what you are looking for as far as a square meal, but I think you'll enjoy either.

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                  El Huarache Azteca
                  3842 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

                  Tamarindo
                  468 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607