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Best New Mexican Hole-in-the-Wall San Francisco 2009 - La Oaxaqueña

La Oaxaqueña

La Oaxaqueña

2128 Mission St.

San Francisco, CA 94110

415-621-5446

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This tiny storefront has a few Formica-topped tables in blue and green with wooden chairs, four counter seats, and lots of Oaxacan crafts (shawls, dresses, paintings, pottery) adorning its walls and shelves. You can get better soft tacos at any taqueria or truck in the neighborhood, so concentrate on the specialties of its region: tlayudas, sometimes known as "Mexican pizza," which are big tortillas, griddled until crunchy and topped with refried beans, shredded cheese (quesillo) from Oaxaca, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and your choice of cecina (spicy pork), milanesa (breaded pork), carne asada, ham, eggs, stewed chicken, longaniza with potatoes, chorizo, cabeza, tequila chicken, or tongue. Other good things include homemade tamales (topped, if you wish, with red or black mole or salsa verde), stewed chicken pibil with rice, and fresh coconut milk served in its shell. La Oaxaqueña also has a case full of pastries baked in-house and sells such Oaxacan products as pepitas (crunchy pumpkin seeds) and tasajo (dried beef).

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