Best Central American Restaurant: Plentiful pupusas indulge the palate
Taqueria La Bamba
12345 San Pablo Ave.
Cafe de la Paz
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.