Friday, July 9, 2010

Lucha Libre Taco Shop (San Diego)

As someone raised on a small island, the idea of a "day trip" is somewhat foreign; from my hometown, the longest I can drive is around 30 minutes to the farthest tip of the North Shore! As such, I appreciate that, in California, a few hours in the car can land you at a destination altogether different than where you started.

With its beautiful coastline, relaxed daytime vibe but happening nightlife and, of course, pandas, San Diego has become one of my favorite mini-vacations. My most recent trip, however, was not only koala-driven but also food-motivated.

Lucha Libre Taco Shop

Located a stone's throw from the 5 freeway in Mission Hills, Lucha Libre Taco Shop serves Mexican food with a touch of SoCal flavor and a whole lot of inspiration from Mexican wrestling. Although the shop has been a favorite in San Diego since it opened in 2008, it has recently been inundated with new customers after being featured on the Travel Channel's Man v. Food.

Lucha Libre Taco Shop

At least there is ample cheeky signage to keep you occupied while you're in line.

Lucha Libre Taco Shop

Lucha Libre Taco Shop

Upon finally entering the restaurant, I took one look around and was thrilled to be eating here. The flamboyant wall colors, rotating disco balls and floor-to-ceiling luchador memorabilia made for quite the inviting interior. I felt as pumped as a wrestler before he enters the ring, energized and ready to eat.

Lucha Libre Taco Shop

We began with an order of guacamole ($1.75), which was fresh and deliciously simple. The large chunks of avocado simply begged to be scooped up and devoured.

Guacamole @ Lucha Libre Taco Shop

The first of J's two tacos was the Undefeated Seafood Taco (grilled shrimp [or blackened mahi mahi] topped with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, jack cheese and a creamy serano sauce, $3.69). The soft tortillas provided the perfect bed for the crunchy toppings and snappy shrimp, and each bite was a delightful mix of textures and flavors tied together by the cool, creamy sauce.

Undefeated Seafood Taco @ Lucha Libre Taco Shop

Next came the Surf n' Turf Taco (marinated steak, shrimp and avocado slices, topped with a special sauce, $3.49). The plentiful steak was tender and flavorful, and the avocado and special sauce added a pleasant creaminess to the dish.

Surf and Turf Taco @ Lucha Libre Taco Shop

I ordered the Surfin' California Burrito ($6.75), which received Adam Richmond's stamp of approval during his Man v. Food visit. After watching the episode and learning of the behemoth burrito stuffed with grilled steak, shrimp, fresh-cut french fries, cheese and chipotle sauce, my inner luchadora emerged, and I knew that the Surfin' California must be mine. Because each ingredient was fresh and delicious in its own right, the combination of them all was outstanding. From the snap of the shrimp to the softness of the fries to the creamy kick of the chipotle sauce, I loved everything about this burrito and, I'm proud to report that I polished it off by myself.

Surfin' California Burrito @ Lucha Libre Taco Shop

After this first trip to Lucha Libre Taco Shop that pleased both my stomach and my wallet, I believe I have a new staple San Diego restaurant.

Lucha Libre Taco Shop
1810 W. Washington St.
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 296-8226

Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop on Urbanspoon


  1. Oh, man, that line! Not sure I could deal with that. Is it worth the wait? Just for tacos?

  2. It is worth the wait for the special sauce alone!

  3. @WeezerMonkey: The kitchen takes orders and turns out the food pretty quickly, so the wait doesn't really feel too long.

    @Anon: Agreed!

  4. The food is awesome here. and the special sauce is to die for. The Surfin California is my favorite. Well worth the drive from Lemon Grove..