I moved from Los Angeles to San Diego, then to Los Angeles, then to San Francisco, and I drove into this city with a promise to myself: when it came to Mexican comida, I would keep an open mind. I would allow for the possibility that Mexican food in the Mission style is every bit as tasty a treat as SD’s and LA’s numerous flavor factories. I really did try. I swear. But over a year later, my mind is less open. I’ve begun ordering everything with extra sauce, adding more peppers, anything to add some flavor to tasteless meat that should have been cooked in the sauce to begin with, but wasn’t, because in the Bay Area, weak flavor seems to be some kind of preference. It’s a land of impotent stewed meats and over-steamed tortillas.
I overreact. The reality is that I don’t live close enough to the Mission district to consistently try enough local Mexican food. After so many misses I keep going back to one of the few hits, the Tacos San Buena truck at 16th and Folsom. Tacos San Buena is a fleet of trucks that fan out across the less peopled sectors of the Mission district and beyond, in places where bars are legally mandated to close by 10pm and liquor stores stop bothering to refrigerate.
San Buena trucks serve tacos in the Southern California style. They are simple Tijuana street tacos with stewed meats and paired sauces. The truth is, no, Tacos San Beuna trucks wouldn’t be destination drives in LA or SD, but in the Mission, sometimes it’s the closest I can get to the kind of Mexican food that I fell in love with once upon a time. Viva the little things!
Tacos San Buena
Shotwell and 16th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103