Best Central American Restaurant: Plentiful pupusas indulge the palate
Taqueria La Bamba
Let's just get the puns out of the way regarding this wonderful little Salvadoran eatery: It's the bamba. Get it? Like, it's the bomb? Okay, lame joke. But the food most definitely isn't -- lame, that is. La Bamba combines traditional Mexican taqueria fare -- burritos, tacos, enchiladas -- with Central American specialties like pupusas, thick handmade corn tortillas filled with yummy stuff. For $1.75 you can get a pupusa with pork, beans, cheese, beans and cheese, cheese and loroco, or pork and cheese. There are also a few satisfying plates from the homeland, like fried banana ($5.20), yuca or cassava ($5.95), and a guanaco plate that includes samples of tamal, pupusa, yuca, and bananas ($10.05). Also try the delicious Salvadoran shrimp soup ($10.85) with bell pepper, onions, tomatoes, red wine, sour cream, butter, and egg. As for the more standard taqueria offerings, the burritos here are magnificent (especially with La Bamba's unique red-hot sauce). The al pastor and carnitas burritos are the tastiest ($4.60 regular; $5.95 super). You can be served at a table or order at the counter to go. Things can take a little while, though, so if you want takeout, it's smart to call ahead. La Bamba is conveniently located off I-80 near the San Pablo Avenue exit.