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Mar 28, 2013 09:50 PM

Las Muchachas (Mountain View)

Can't find any mention here of this nice little place tucked into a mini-mall on Middlefield Road just over the border from Palo Alto. I was buying plants at a nursery kitty-corner and went over to investigate. I'm glad I did. The al pastor burrito (4.95) was first rate: griddled tortilla, flavorful pinto beans, really good meat. I haven't tried the places in Redwood City yet, but this was miles better than Berkeley.

Other things on the menu look interesting: 3 sopes con arroz y frijoles, 7 mares (with crab, shrimps, fish, "calamary" sea snails and white clams, Mojarra Veracruzana, etc..

Not fancy, but friendly -- and a good variety of well-priced tomato plants at the nursery across the street!

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  1. Interesting. I had to look this place up - it's on Old Middlefield near the junction with Middlefield, must be across from Cal BMW ( a great motorcycle shop ) and I guess you're talking about summerwinds nursery, where I get my tomatoes as well.

    If you go two blocks the other way, to old middlefield and rengsdorff, you come to a corner with 3 taquerias: La Costena, La Bamba, and La Altadena. All three of those are considered worthy. I generally prefer La Bamba because of La Costena doesn't have a place where you can hang out and eat. You should check em out... but could also explain why Las Muchachas is good - lots of strong competition only a short distance.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bbulkow

      I'll check out the other places you mention when I get a chance. This place would be perfectly pleasant for hanging out, even though it's in a mini-mall, There's a patio with tables and umbrellas -- and a lovely view of the BMW motorcycle shop. I think there's beer and maybe wine, though I wouldn't swear to that. No salsa bar but a good assortment of bottled hot sauces.

      1. re: bbulkow

        Slight correction on the name of Los Altos Taqueria, the third shop on "the burrito triangle." This is my favorite and has been since opening. I feel the flavors are fresher and more varied than other local shops. Service is fast, huge menu (still expanding), terrific selection of aguas frescas, beers and sodas, limitless crisp chips and salsa -- and however you order a dish, they will prepare specially for you.

        All seating is indoors, with soccer and/or telenovelas on multiple TVs. I have informally observed Los Altos Taqueria has more family groups, weekends especially, than either La Bamba or La CosteƱa.

      2. My brother emailed that he checked it out. He liked the shrimp soup that comes with handmade tortillas.

        I just looked at the menu, and someone needs to order the camarones aguachile and tell us about it.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          With cucumber? Hmmm. Not sure about that. I'll definitely go back, though. I'm so glad your brother liked it.

          1. re: Glencora

            It's a type of cold ceviche typical of Sinaloa and not seen often around here.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Oh, I didn't get that from the menu. I guess it meant "cooked" in lemon juice. Thanks for clarifying. That does sound interesting.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Yum. Now I'm craving the aquachile from Mariscos la Costa.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  That was the first place I ran into aguachile, from the original Mariscos La Costa truck.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I had it that last time I was at their bricks-and-mortar location, but it's been a while. However, they only have the small shrimp -- these big ones look mighty tasty, too!

            2. re: Melanie Wong

              I can report that the camarones aguachile are perfectly pleasant. They're served differently from most seafood "cocktails" that I've had at places in Redwood City. As you can see in the attached photo, the dozen plus shrimp are butterflied and served on a bed of sliced cucumber sitting in a chile/lemon juice broth with onion strings. I was queried when I ordered whether I understood that the dish was very spicy. I said that was fine, but when I went to taste it, I didn't find it particularly spicy. Perhaps they "dumbed" it down for my gringo taste buds. It was spicier than your typical ceviche/seafood cocktail, but nothing that caused pain. The only thing you can't see in the picture is the tomato slice that sat on top, which held the pair of large toothpicks with which the dish is eaten. I ate that before I remembered to take a picture!

              I also tried a carnitas regular taco. It was pretty small with two small tortillas, cilantro, onion, and salsa. Fine, but I prefer La Bamba's.

              1. re: Peter Yee

                Nice, thanks for the photo. That's a more staged presentation than I've seen before. The shrimp look "cooked" to just the stage I prefer, still a bit translucent.

                Here's a green version at a place outside the Bay Area. And this one did cause pain.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  That seems like quite a different dish in your picture. Yes, the shrimp were nicely translucent. Are these different interpretations of the same dish??

                  1. re: Peter Yee

                    I know that the presentation is quite different but it is the same dish, just red vs. green chile. The green one has chopped cucumbers instead of slicing them to use as a base, and it includes avocado. Otherwise, I think the prep is quite the same, marinating the raw shrimp in a lime-chile dressing, then garnishing with onion and cucumber.

            3. Thanks for pointing this out! I had dinner there tonight and tried the fish soup. It featured catfish, potatoes, and chayote together with some other vegetables and a tasty broth. It was served with corn tortillas. I've never had this dish before - it was totally different from seafood or shrimp soups I've had at other Mexican places with more tomatoes and chile in the broth. I liked it and it was good enough to keep up my curiosity about the rest of the menu.