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Oct 27, 2011 12:26 PM

Al Pastor/Mexican Food in NW San Diego

Been looking for some new mexican food to try near my neighborhood, specifically a place with great Al Pastor, Carnitas or Mariscos. Does anyone have any recommendations for places south of 56, north of 8 and west of 15? Seems that this area is pretty sparse when it comes to great mexican food. I know most of the places that everyone recommends are near downtown or south of there. While I don't mind driving down there for great mexican on the weekend once in a while it's farther than I'd want to drive for a weeknight meal.

As far as I know in the area I mentioned the places I frequent are:

- Lolita's Taco Shop for great carne asada fries
- Porkyland for average carnitas and al pastor
- MXN for good california burritos although quality seems to vary a lot by location and the fries are always soggy.

So far I haven't found any Mariscos type places or non-taco shop Mexican (ala Chilangos) in the area.

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  1. I love the carnitas at El Robertos. It in the shopping center on the corner of Clairemont Mesa and Murphy Canyon Rd.

    1. Mariscos in the Claremont Mesa area:

      La Playita Seafood
      5185 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
      San Diego, CA 92117

      1. I usually get my street-size al pastor tacos at Habaneros, which is in the FreshNEasy/Bevmo shopping center at Mira Mesa Blvd and Camino Santa Fe. Not because they are the best anywhere (though they are good enough), but because they are closest to my house by miles.

        They also have gobernador tacos now, that's fairly recent. Menu is here (the best tacos are under "specials" not "tacos"):

        1 Reply
        1. re: The Office Goat

          Habaneros is actually pretty good. As you said, not the best in the city, but they're close to home, their portions are large, and the taste is great.

        2. Not south of 56, but I think Rudy's Carne Asada (Eden Gardens in Solana Beach) is the best I've had anywhere, even when compared to Yacqui in Rosarito...

          1 Reply
          1. re: cgfan

            Are you referring to Rudy's Taco Shop at 524 Stevens Ave?

            Rudy's Taco Shop
            524 Stevens Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075

          2. Thanks for the recommendations everyone!

            I have heard of La Playita before but reviews I've read seem to be pretty mixed. Most people seem to recommend the ceviche. I was hoping to find a Mariscos place that focuses more on cooked items such as pescardo zarandeado. JRSD: Do you have any dishes that you recommend there?

            2 Replies
            1. re: mliew

              La Playita is tiny- as in there are two tables inside, four barstools and sometimes a table with two chairs on the sidewalk in front. There is a two burner hot plate cook area and they do fry fish and shrimp for tacos, melt the cheese for the gobernator and will do a whole fried fish, but there is no place to charbroil. The ceviche and cocteles are what you watch being made- from the shucking and peeling of shells, to the cooking in the fresh squeezed lime juice. I've never had anything bad here.

              (At first when I read "NW" I was thinking Oceanside or Fallbrook and I didn't look at this post thinking County instead of City. You are right, there isn't much in that part of the city. )

              1. re: mliew

                I have only had the Vuelve ala vida and liked it.