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La Torta in La Mesa

Dagney Sep 17, 2013 06:28 PM


We had lunch at La Torta today. I have been wanting to eat at this place for eons and we finally made it there. I am just sorry we did not try it sooner.

The room is a medium-sized, casual affair. You place your order at the counter and then they deliver your food to your table.

I had the Chipotle Torta with beef (the beef was marinated in a Chipotle concoction). It was billed as a spicy dish, though I thought it was mild. I suspect they could turn up the heat upon request. The beef was tender as a dove and the rest of the ingredients in this torta (NOT a sandwich), the onions, the avocado, the Chipotle sauce, made for an EXCELLENT meal.

Husband had the Chorizo Torta. To die for, not greasy, rich rich rich, chorizo with onions and avocado. He swooned.

They make their own potatos. To order. They are cut like a potato chip, only slightly thicker. Made fresh. To order. Yes please.

We are going back.

  1. d
    DoctorChow Sep 27, 2013 04:29 PM

    I went here today and tried the chipotle beef torta. I think the chef that put yours together and the one who did mine might not be the same person, though. The thin-sliced beef was very tender and there was a generous amount of it, but I was anticipating a significantly more prominent chipotle flavor.

    As it was, I found that the torta was crying out for some additional chipotle sauce from the salsa bar, as well as some of the green hot sauce that's brought in a squeeze bottle to the table. The other toppings, onions and avocado, were skimpy, I thought, but again, the salsa bar came to the rescue (at least for onions). And as I'm sure you've noticed, the buns here have the right shape but are made with the wrong kind of bread to be authentic.

    The very tasty potato slices that are served with their tortas seem to be "twice cooked", perhaps pre-baked in a very hot oven to crisp the skins, and then briefly deep fried before serving so that the interiors are warm but not crisp. In this case they actually trumped the torta.

    All in all, I enjoyed this menu selection, even though I thought it was overpriced (like the others here) and even though it needed some intervention on my part to amp up the flavor. I like this place, even though I was just as happy (or maybe happier) when they were around the corner and the prices were much lower.

    By the way, I checked to see if the ahogaba torta was still on the printed menu. It is, and they spell it with a "b". (Not that I know the correct spelling: As you may recall, I'm the one who misspelled patty melt with "d's". Twice.)

    4 Replies
    1. re: DoctorChow
      Fake Name Sep 27, 2013 05:09 PM

      Huh. I thought you were referring to the Irish version.

      1. re: Fake Name
        DoctorChow Sep 27, 2013 06:15 PM

        Uh huh.

      2. re: DoctorChow
        DiningDiva Sep 27, 2013 11:00 PM

        "And as I'm sure you've noticed, the buns here have the right shape but are made with the wrong kind of bread to be authentic."

        What was wrong with the bread? A proper - I guess you'd call it authentic - torta should be made on a telera roll which is a kissing cousin to the bolillo, both of which are a so distant relative of a french roll.

        The big problem I've seen with both bolillos and teleras in San Diego is that 1) they're too big, way too big and 2) the crumb on the bread is to soft with not enough chew

        1. re: DiningDiva
          DoctorChow Sep 28, 2013 10:13 AM

          The bread's ok. But it's slightly lacking in flavor and the texture is too light for a torta -- more appropriate for a hamburger bun.

          It's not a big issue. I think the tortas here are pretty good, all in all.

      3. d
        DoctorChow Sep 17, 2013 08:00 PM

        Very good tortas here. You might like the ahogaba version. Ask them not to slice. Pricey. A fun trolley excursion.

        7 Replies
        1. re: DoctorChow
          deckape Sep 18, 2013 10:09 AM


          1. re: deckape
            JRSD Sep 18, 2013 10:33 AM

            Not on their menu.

            1. re: JRSD
              deckape Sep 18, 2013 05:08 PM

              Aha,well, isn't that special...

              1. re: deckape
                DiningDiva Sep 18, 2013 06:31 PM

                Be even more special if it's a an ahogada torta made with abodaba marinated meat ;-)

                1. re: DiningDiva
                  Cathy Sep 18, 2013 06:54 PM

                  Maybe #38T on the menu is it. Or not. http://latorta.com/page2.jpg

                  1. re: DiningDiva
                    DoctorChow Sep 18, 2013 07:01 PM

                    Then it would be an abodaba ahogada...

                    Makes my jaw sore just trying to pronounce it.

                    1. re: DiningDiva
                      deckape Sep 19, 2013 10:19 AM

                      Uff da...

            2. j
              JRSD Sep 17, 2013 06:43 PM

              There was a $20 for $10 groupon out there as well.

              They do a nice job with the milanesa torta too.

              3 Replies
              1. re: JRSD
                DiningDiva Sep 17, 2013 08:29 PM

                Milanesa? Speaking my language now :-)

                1. re: DiningDiva
                  JRSD Sep 17, 2013 08:53 PM

                  I looked at the menu online and it seems to confirm my memory of no beans on most. Also, default is with mayo and mustard which really doesn't go on most of them, IMO.

                  Agree w/ DR below that the ahogaba is a good choice.

                2. re: JRSD
                  Norm Man Sep 28, 2013 11:52 AM

                  Groupon deal for La Torta Cafe still available:


                3. DiningDiva Sep 17, 2013 06:30 PM

                  Did the torta have a schmear of refritos on it?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DiningDiva
                    Dagney Sep 17, 2013 06:56 PM

                    Mmmmm....I don't think so....but I would be willing to go back and try it again.

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