La Costena (Mountain View, CA)
Score: 8 / 10 Reviewed by: Chris
Finally, i found myself in the Mt. View area and took the opportunity to visit this famous taqueria. I was surprised at just how bare it is. It really is just some grills in the back of a grocery store. It looks so bland, so rustic, almost accidental. How could such a place possibly serve up good eats?
Unlike most places, i ordered the regular, which is the equivalent of a super elsewhere. I have had 3 burritos here. The pollo adobado is great. Nicely grilled, moist, and flavorful. The carnitas were likewise, juicy and tasted just right. They were not, however, crunchy, which i like more. Finally, there is the pollo en mole, which is rich and spicy; my preferred choice here. In all cases, the ingredients were meshed well together, and integration was perfect- even after cutting these in half the structures did not waver. My biggest flaw here is the amount of rice used. On two of my burritos here, rice took up a third of the contents. It'd have been better with more meat instead.
The guacamole here is some of the best. It's thick, sticky, fresh, and quite tangy. Alas, the chips that come with it are nothing special- treat them as spoons for the guacamole. There is no salsa bar, and chips and guacamole do cost extra here.
The regular burrito (equivalent of a super elsewhere) is nicely priced, about $5 if i recall. But they do have a super burrito. Using two tortillas, they create a single monster that must be about 18 inches long. I don't know how anyone short of a sumo could eat the whole thing. It's a great deal for sharing though- only $8.
As burritos go, these are definitely in the top tier. The excessive rice and lack of salsa bar and decent chips keep this just shy of an 8, but i think the mole makes it close enough.
posted 9/21/2007 2:48 PM, updated on 9/18/2012 12:29 PM