Despite the Pepto Bismol-colored walls and the Mexican wrestling theme spewed all over this tiny joint, I loved the place.
I loved their loud, obnoxious music. (Where else can you hear the Bloodhound Gang and Garbage pumped through the speakers?) And I adored the yummy tacos.
This Mexican joint is in my neck of the woods. Down the hill on Washington Street (where Valentine’s Tacos used to be) stands Luche Libre.
Luche Libre shares the neighborhood with other notable food establishments I frequent often: Yoshino’s, Gelato Vero, Saffron, Shakespeare’s Pub and El Indio. On any given weekend during the dining hour, this place is tight for parking spots.
On the day I visited, the menu wasn’t bolted to the wall yet (they opened only last Saturday). But all evidence shows that they are ready to do some mean business. It includes those loud pink and teal walls mentioned earlier as well as tight placement of tables and chairs. I shouldn’t like this place but I do and all its cheesiness.
Speaking of cheese, among the things on their menu and ordered was a queso taco — a taco comprising of corn tortillas, marinated steak, avocado slices and a layer of grilled crispy cheese. How they achieved a flat crispy cheese layer is not specifically known. But it wasn’t overly oily, as most cheese tends to be when grilled. In addition, the cheese compliments the taco. The taco itself was stuffed to the gills with its flavorful, marinated meat which was neither dry or overwhelming.
Another taco is the Surf & Turf — more marinated meat, this time with shrimp, their spicy special sauce but no crispy cheese. Still another great taco with the addition of seafood.
Another item of note that was consumed was their TJ hotdog: an all-beef hotdog wrapped in bacon and topped with ketchup, mustard, mayo, grilled onions and peppers. At $1.50 the price was right but the combination of all the ingredients did not rest well with me. But I suspect that it faired better with me than, say, actually eating it from a hotdog cart in Tijuana. It was a nice effort on their part but something I would skip altogether next time. If I wanted something to remind me of Tijuana, I would instead order the pineapple-flavored Jarritos they had available.
Other items on their menu include rolled tacos, burritos, baked potatoes, fries, enchiladas and quesadillas — all with names like Triple Squealer or Full Nelson Enchiladas to carry on the wrestling theme.
And as with most Mexican places, Luche Libre had their version of a salsa bar which includes the usual suspects but also a creamy version and a fantastic pineapple salsa.
The theme may not rest well with many people, but on the day I visited, the shop had a steady pace of customers ranging from the lunching businessman to that elderly woman hankering for a burrito. None of the customers blinked twice at the gold covered corner booth labeled the Champions Corner or the different masks sewn on to each seat. Maybe they were too involved in their meal to notice.
Since the shop is in close proximity to me, it will be interesting to see how the place fares once they get settled in. I can almost immediately see them being popular with the after-hours club crowd. Their prices are slightly higher than most regular Mexican eateries around here in So Cal, but the nifty ambience is on Luche Libre’s side.
Luche Libre is located at 1810 W. Washington St., San Diego, CA 92103.
Speaking of Lucha Libre and bacon-wrapped hotdogs, this post reminds me of an event I attended almost one year ago. Read my round-up of the event here.