Tres Pinches Tacos 

A couple of weeks ago I really needed a break from grading so I took the train to Santa Monica. 

I had seen another location of the chain in Hollywood  on my four times a week run. 


I also had a cup of jamaica. The fish taco was light and fresh I don’t remember what kind of fish it was, but I remember it being noticeably fresh. The carnitas taco was also good. I don’t recall what the third taco was.

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Chalupa

Last month I worked at a summer school program and I didn’t take lunch because I had these expectations that this college in Los Angeles would have many ethnic restaurants around.

There was a pizzeria, a sushi restaurant and………..Taco Bell.

It was Taco Bell fused with KFC, so customers could order fried chicken and liquid cheese (no by itself, but as an integral component of many Taco Bell dishes).

Okay, i was in Long Beach and the lunch situation was grim. I didn’t have much time so I went into the Taco Bell-KFC hybrid.

Taco Bell was something I dreamt about during my sojourn in Singapore. 

The fantasy version of Taco Bell is much better than the sad truth. 

The chalupa sounded promising. 


In lieu of a taco shell a fluffy pita-like bread substance was used. The pale iceberg lettuce and tomato chunks made this a healthy lunch. 

The meat was the traditional Grade D beef used by Taco Bell chefs for ages.

The jalapeños were the soft olive colored pickled ones that cost $2 for two quarts. 

Sadly the cheese wasn’t liquid. 


The Doritos taco was pretty good. I devoured it before I even thought about blogging this elegant repast. 


Adding to the ambience were dirty tables and filthy floors. 

Tacos al Pastor

By far the most delicious thing I ate on my recent trip to Mexico City was this order of five street tacos. 

Al pastor means shepherd style and the meat is cut off a cooked spiral of mutton. It’s then sautéed on a grill where it becomes crispy. 


The salsa is made of diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños and lime juice. Salty, fatty, citrus, spice and herbal flavors are all there. The lime juice balanced the richness of the crispy mutton. 


I would have been more than happy to eat tacos at pastor as lunch and dinner for the rest of my trip. The plate only cost 50 pesos which is less than $3 USD.

This stall was set outside the station just before Hidalgo on the Indios Verdes-Universidad line. 

Chorizo Tacos

Apparently there’s a new Mexican restaurant in town. I wanted either carnitas or shrimp and they had neither. I settled for chorizo tacos and they were good.


I would have preferred some green on the plate, but the chorizo meat was spicy and greasy. The house made salsas were tasty and the muy picante salsa was spicy!


The name of the restaurant is Tres Marias. 

Mushroom Corn Tacos

What I really wanted was huitlacoche quesadillas. Or just one. Instead, I ordered this at a Mexican restaurant in the Gaslamp District last month.

What is huitlacoche you ask?

It’s a fungus that grows on corn. It is delicious and I have eaten it exactly one other time. I wanted to go to the place that serves it in Chula Vista, but I wasn’t driving.


The presentation was good and everything tasted fresh. But I was still hungry afterwards and it was fairly bland.


The margarita was decent. Earlier, I had walked around downtown with my brother. We saw some Indians protesting the Navy using an ancient burial ground for some nefarious purpose.


It was a beautiful day.

The huitlacoche quesadillas of Texcoco Es Aquí beckon.

Salsa Verde Shrimp Tacos

I had a job interview a few weeks ago near the University Town Center, so I checked out the food court afterwards.

Rubio’s is a chain restaurant but they make decent Mexican food.


The shrimp was pan-seated and served with avocado slices, cabbage and of course, salsa verde. 

Salsa verde is usually made of tomatillos, green chiles, lime juice and cilantro.


Rubio’s is definitely better than Baja Fresh. However, Baja Fresh holds a special place in my heart for making Californian Mexican food in Singapore.


I digress. The shrimp was plump and fresh and the tacos were delicious. The salsa bar was top notch. 

Carnitas Tacos

One of my brothers was in town and wanted to go camping in the desert. So we went to Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Starving around noon, we went into Borrego Springs, the nearest village (it’s not big enough to be a town) and had lunch.


I love refried beans because they’re made with lard. I ate that first then devoured the tacos, which were good, but not great. The salsas available were mediocre. I’ve had better, but we were in the middle of the desert, so I probably shouldn’t complain. What I missed was bright lime flavors and browned carnitas meat. 


Jackrabbit 

Ballast Point makes excellent beers. The fruit flavoring is only an aftertaste. 

I like the stark beauty of the desert, but I don’t love it. The second day it rained all day! Crappy times! I played Clash Royale and read about the fauna that lived in the region that was once a sea.