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El Taco Loco

August 24, 2006

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El Taco Loco is one of the Mission’s many taquerias, located right next to the 24th Street BART station. There is another location of El Taco Loco on Mission Street in the Bernal Heights area (located at 3306 Mission Street, cross: 29th St.), but it’s both inferior to the 24th St. location and less conveniently located, so we likely won’t review it here. While we wouldn’t call El Taco Loco San Francisco’s best taqueria (hopefully this will not infuriate its most loyal followers), it is certainly a solid choice, in an area that has many solid choices.

On our most recent visit, Short Exact ordered the carne asada burrito:

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We’d like to first observe that Short Exact is not in the habit of opening the foil on our burritos and cutting it in half prior to eating. In general, we don’t like to do this at all, since it undermines the structural integrity of the burrito, and the foil is a great way to keep the burrito together and encourage the mingling of the interior juices. However, an image of a burrito wrapped in foil is not particularly interesting, so we sacrificed structural integrity to take a photograph. We did it for you: our loyal, devoted readers.

On this occasion, El Taco Loco definitely delivered the goods. Our burrito featured a nicely grilled tortilla, with thoroughly melted cheese. There was a good amount of meat — enough to make a substantial burrito, but not so much that it overwhelmed the rice and the vegetables — and the meat was well spiced and packed with flavor. The cilantro balanced well with the other ingredients, and the pico de gallo combined nicely. All in all, we really enjoyed all the interior ingredients of the burrito with the exception of the guacamole, which was hardly noticeable. However, even though the interior ingredients were generally good, they were not integrated as well as we might have hoped. Rather than having a perfectly uniform mix, in which each bite combined all the delicious ingredients equally, certain bites contained too much meat, while other bites had not enough. Better integration of the ingredients, with stronger guacamole presence, and this would have been excellent.

The final verdict? Well, like we said: not San Francisco’s best taqueria, but you could do much worse than El Taco Loco. It is definitely a respectable burrito joint, even in the taqueria-saturated Mission District.

RATING:

COST:

3274 24th Street (between Mission St. and Capp St.)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: 415.282.7018
Hours: Daily, 7:00 am – 12 midnight.

Cuisine: Mexican
Neighborhood: Mission

How to get there: El Taco Loco taqueria is located very conveniently around the corner from the 24 Street Mission BART station, and is no more than a couple blocks from Muni lines 12, 14, 26, 48, 49, and 67.

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