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#8 Lucha Libre, Gourmet Taco Shop

May 22, 2008

And now a return to the local…

Down on Washington Street, a block east of Interstate 5 and next to Bar Dynamite sits a little taco shop called Lucha Libre. In former times it was a branch of Valentine’s Mexican Food where my band mates and I would eat in ritualistic fashion after our Wednesday night practices. Sure the atmosphere there was, in a word, grungy, at least the Orange Bang/horchata/jamaica fountain usually worked. The food there was pretty good and although they didn’t take cash, they had an often out of order ATM which forced you to walk to the liquor store two doors up. Oh yeah…and the aquarium was really cool…when it was clean and had fish in it…otherwise it was a gross slime canister.

In mid 2007, Valentine’s closed and Your Favorite Band was sad. We bounced from eatery to eatery ranging from the great but early closing El Zarape, or the hot and tasty Woodstock’s Pizza (also located in several other cities along the West Coast) to the very mediocre Santana’s in Mission Hills. For weeks, months (years?) we waited for whatever new thing would be put in there. Signs of “coming soon” began to appear and the rumors of a lucha libre (that’s Mexican wrestling to you, gringo) themed restaurant abounded.

Finally in late January 2008, Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop opened. The first thing that stood out about the place was the very obvious lucha libre theme. Luchador masks, posters and figurines are everywhere. There’s a television showing luchador movies and even a “Champions Booth” with gold plush that you can sit in if you call 24 hours ahead of time. The bathrooms are also fantastic, graffiti free and a perfect fit to match the seating area. If you visit Lucha Libre make sure you go in both bathrooms!

Between the three guys in my band and our significant others, the entire menu at Lucha Libre has been consumed. I have to say that my personal favorite combination is the “TJ Hotdog” and a cheese quesadilla. The cheese quesadilla by itself has enough cheese in it to be a meal by itself, but I’ve found the TJ Hotdog, with it’s mixture of hotdog wrapped in bacon, grilled onions, mustard, ketchup and mayo to be a nice side. Of course, a hungrier person might go for the “DDT Loaded Baked Potato” or “Champion’s Fries” instead. Lucha Libre offers some of the typical taco shop favorites like California burritos and carne asada tacos. You can check out their menu here.

So if you’re in San Diego and wants some Mexican with a gourmet twist, head down to 1810 West Washington Street to Lucha Libre. They can be found on Myspace or their website. If you’re down on a Wednesday night after 10PM, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be there with my band too.

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