"Best in Town" By Chef Lance Avery

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Usually when a restaurant claims they are “the best” I run in the opposite direction. But either due to hunger or fear of having a horribly pedestrian dining experience at my hotel in Disneyland, I decided to give this small burrito joint a try. I walk in with tunes blaring, a couple of families dining, one cook and a cashier. Just from first looks, I’m sensing this is going to be an interesting experience. At any rate, it is my custom to rate any and all burrito joints by their Al pastor. I quickly order a combo plate with a Pacifico, sit and wait. As I take in the scene, I notice a rundown salsa bar with one leg missing, supported now by a plastic container that at one time held lard. Now it is the foundation of a thing of beauty. As I lift the stainless cover,

Tomatillo Salsa

 3 different salsas emerge, as well as pickled onions, carrots and radishes. The salsas are perfect, with the right balance of heat, acidy and earthiness. Just under 5 minutes my combo plate arrives. With only a tiny pinch of cheese and no sour cream, I know I’ve struck a gold mine. Being the only gringo in the joint, I am reminded of my many experiences in those border towns like Cuidad Juarez or latino neighborhoods like Pilsen in Chicago. What’s more, I have two simply yet rarely used garnishes, a simple wedge of lime and a deep fried jalapeno. The beans and rice are perfect. The Al pastor, though more saucy that I typically like, is excellent. Served with 4 steaming corn tortillas, this is a meal fit for a king. I snarfed down the entire plate, without resting, a true sign of greatness, in my opinion. After the meal, completely stuffed, I notice something of true devotion of an authentic burrito joint, the plastic flowers on my table are weighted with dry beans and rice, a tip of the toke you might say. To summarize, Tacos Tijuana is the real deal, a great find in an otherwise culinary wasteland of Disneyland, CA.

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