San Diego is taco country, probably most famous for fish tacos in particular. Our 18-month mission, however, focused on finding the best carnivore variety. After sampling hundreds of mediocre offerings from around the city, we concluded that La Fachada should be on everyone’s shortlist of the ultimate carnitas tacos.
Located in the predominately Mexican part of southern San Diego, La Fachada, with an almost entirely Spanish-speaking clientele, is a taco shack appealing to those wanting a quick, authentic, and cheap Mexican experience.
Tacos are made by hand on the premises. A tortilla craftsman takes a small piece of dough and presses it between a metal clamp the size of her hand to form a thin corn patty the size of a DVD disk. Afterwards, the uncooked taco is placed on a griddle and flipped for a couple of minutes before being handed over to a cook who loads it with freshly sliced and cooked meat.
After you receive your choice of tacos from the server, head over to the salsa/topping bar and choose from a selection of sauces and garnishes including green and red chilies, chopped tomatoes, tomatillos, guacamole, and a variety of other ingredients. They are all delicious, and none of them are mouth-scorching.
The carnitas (pork) taco is not to be missed. Chunks of succulent meat are edged with thick strips of crispy fat, resulting in a crunchy and chewy texture. Anybody who appreciates cracklins will be in Mexican hog heaven. The taco al pastor, made with spicy pork cooked on a vertical rotisserie (like gyro meat), should also be included in your taco plate selection.
After finishing your meal, head up the street to the local convenience store and grab a bag of churros from the street vendor to cleanse your palate.
La Fachada is open for lunch, dinner, and late-night snacks.