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If you walk into The Butcher’s Son on a night when this vegan taco pop-up is running the kitchen, it's striking how much the place resembles any other reputable taqueria — the steam rising up as the “meat” sizzles on the flat-top, the charred-corn smell of the hand-pressed tortillas, and the bottles of Negra Modelo lining the fridge. To make his alternative meats, Raul Medina uses an intensive, two-step process that first infuses yuba (aka tofu skins) with flavors that evoke whatever kind of meat he’s emulating. For the carnitas, for instance, he marinates the tofu skins in liquid smoke and an assortment of Aztec spices to create a “porky” effect, then gives them a quick dip in citrus and Coca-Cola prior to cooking. These are simple, unfussy street tacos: If you close your eyes, you might imagine that you’ve been transported, if not to Mexico proper, then perhaps to a bustling taqueria in Fruitvale.

— Luke Tsai

Hours: Wed. 5–10 p.m.

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Price: $-$$

Payment Type: Cash, all major credit cards

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