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Jan 7, 2012 11:46 AM

Best Mexican in Hillcrest or Anywhere

There was a thread discussing best Mexican food and I remember a spot in Hillcrest mentioned many times. I have searched but can't find it. I'm not set on Hillcrest, willing to travel but would love a great dinner. Now, how hard can that be in San Diego? I'm not interest in taco shops-- looking for a restaurant experience.

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  1. Probably, Super Cocina on 3627 University.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cstr

      Ah, that does sound familiar! Thanks!

    2. How are you defining restaurant experience?

      Super Cocina is, indeed, quite good but it's in City Heights and service is from a steamtable. The place is very informal and bare bones.

      El Comal is a sit down Mexican restaurant in North Park (Illionois off Uni)

      Ranchos at 30th and Uni does vegetarian Mexican and is a sit down (rather funky) restaurant. I , personally, don't care for the food at Ranchos but many do.

      El Take It EZ on 30th just north of University puts a Baja/D.F. spin on most of their menu, but it's more of a bar/loung with a good menu than a restaurant

      Mama Testa is actually in Hillcrest and they offer both counter and table service, but it's an all tacos menu.

      Ortega's is also in Hillcrest on University between 2nd and 1st and is a sit down restaurant with table service, a bar and pretty decent margaritas. Puerto Nuevo style lobster is the specialty.

      1. Agree with previous rec on Super Cocina for excellent steam table food (downscale ambience). Cafteria style serving offset by generous samples of day's dishes. Ortega's is a good sit-down Mexican restaurant. Gordon Ramsay was said to have eaten here recently while visiting San Diego.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sandiegomike

          How else can you keep slow cooked braised food warm? A steamtable! so what, it has nothing to do with the quality of the food or the love that goes into it..

          1. re: sandiegomike

            "Gordon Ramsay was said to have eaten here recently while visiting San Diego."

            Ortegas or Super Cocina?

          2. I love Super Cocina but "informal" and "downscale" are vastly overstating the so-called ambience. I think "dumpy taco stand" every time I go there....but damn the food (and the service) is fantastic.

            15 Replies
            1. re: MrKrispy

              There's also El Cuervo over on Washington, around 1st I think. It's only a semi-dumpy taco stand, but with really good carnitas.

              1. re: DiningDiva

                You know, I used to dig El Cuervo, but I went a few weeks ago and it seemed to have gone way downhill. I swore I wouldn't go was that bad.

                I got the Carnitas also.

                Have you been recently?

                1. re: stevewag23

                  No, I have to admit, I haven't been to El Cuervo for a while.

                  1. re: stevewag23

                    Really? What did you have? I was there a couple months ago and liked it.

                    1. re: keena

                      "I got the Carnitas also."

                      And a quesadilla con guac.

                      Carnitas were dry and burnt.

                      quesadilla con guac was off too.

                      Not sure what happened.

                      1. re: stevewag23

                        El Cuervo's bean, rice and cheese burritos and El Cuervo burritos have stayed pretty consistent over the years.

                        1. re: daantaat

                          I got the carnitas burrito. That is what sucked the most.

                          Have you been there recently?

                          1. re: stevewag23

                            We go all the time, but we get bean/rice burritos.

                            1. re: Josh

                              Please say it isn't so.

                              Rice in a burrito?

                              Josh, Josh, ....... Josh.

                              1. re: Fake Name

                                If you don't eat commodity meat your options are few.

                                I actually made my own carne asada burritos recently w/ grass-fed beef and proper burrito-sized tortillas from Northgate. You'll be pleased to note that all they had in them was meat, guacamole, and salsa fresca.

                                It was my first CAB in probably 3 years.

                                  1. re: Josh

                                    You should start slinging those out of a food truck.

                                    1. re: stevewag23

                                      Miho already does that, actually.

                                    2. re: Josh

                                      Josh, what do you suppose your burritos cost to make? I'm betting a CAB from Sergio's and the like probably costs about $2.00, all in- ingredients, fixed costs, everything.

                                      To sling them off a truck as Steve suggested (I'll have them park in front of our house and make the kitchen a moto shop) I'll bet one would have to sell tham for over $10?

                                      I'd pay.

                                1. re: stevewag23

                                  I'm there once a week b/c it's on my way back to the office. Because I'm eating in the car, my options are limited to something I can hold in one hand and not drip all over myself. Hence, I rotate between the machacha burrito, El Cuervo burrito and bean/cheese/rice (yes, rice!) burritos. I tried the grilled chicken burrito once and got sour cream all over myself.

                    2. If you want ambiance, then El Agave, Candelas, or El Vitral might fit the bill. But if food is your primary destination, then go for Super Cocina, which is fairly close to Hillcrest. Or, if you want to taste the absolute best carne asada ever, then go to Tacos El Gordo in National City.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: jmtreg

                        Speaking of Mexican food, I keep passing this Mariscos truck on Texas Street on the way to Mission Valley - so its either on the corner of Texas and Mission or Texas and Monroe - has anyone tried this mariscos truck? Is it any good?

                        1. re: jmtreg

                          What time is it there. I'm past those intersections a lot & haven't noticed a truck. Then again, I wasn't really looking either

                          1. re: DiningDiva

                            I'm not sure of the hours, but I seem to pass it every time I drive to Mission Valley, so weekend days.

                            1. re: jmtreg

                              Ah, that could explain it. My travel on Texas St. is more frequntly on the week days.Thanks.