Best Yuca - 2002
If you've never had yuca (aka cassava, a root vegetable native to South America), it's about time you made a trip to La Santaneca. Located at the base of Bernal Heights, this homey Salvadoran joint makes a mean pupusa, one of the best chiles rellenos in town, and a spectacular yuca frita served with chicharrón (deep-fried pork) and curtido (pickled cabbage). Deep-fried to a golden crispness, with a texture a bit fluffier and sweeter than potato, this yuca will put every french fry you've ever had to shame. As an added bonus, La Santaneca is open until 3 a.m. on weekends -- a perfect alternative to the late-night taqueria run. If your dining companions aren't quite ready to take the yuca plunge, know that La Santaneca also serves more familiar fare -- enchiladas, tacos, even a hamburger y papas (burger and fries).