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Friday, May 23, 2014

First Bite: Uno Dos Tacos, Downtown's Newest and Biggest Taqueria

Posted By on Fri, May 23, 2014 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge Taco Trio: Fish, Carne Asada, Chicken Tinga (in order)
  • Taco Trio: Fish, Carne Asada, Chicken Tinga (in order)

Adriano Paganini is the restaurateur behind a number of different successes in San Francisco including Beretta, Starbelly, Delarosa, Lolinda and Super Duper Burger. His latest venture is Uno Dos Tacos, a Guadalajaran-inspired taqueria. It opened downtown Tuesday at 595 Market, and we were there to test for tastiness.

The menu is a simple matrix where you pick your preferred vehicle of consumption on the y-axis: taco, burrito, salad, or a plate. You then select your filling of choice on the x-axis. Choose from carne asada, stewed chicken, carnitas, lengua, fish or a vegetarian medley of roasted squash, peppers, mushrooms and onions. Given the restaurant's name, we decided to try the tacos.

click to enlarge Menu Matrix
  • Menu Matrix

We ordered a taco trio of carne asada, chicken tinga, and fish; the latter was by far the best. A nice piece of white cod is beer-battered with Negro Modelo and is fried-to-order. It's accompanied with a cabbage slaw that's drizzled with a chipotle crema and topped with a salsa fresca. It's everything you want it to be. The carne asada is also notable, using freshly flame-grilled flap meat that is cooked to a medium-rare. It's not your typical street meat. A squeeze of lime, and the addition of the accompanying salsa made from roasted tomatillos and arbol chiles complete the dish. The chicken tinga was just fine.

The tacos were served with a little cup of black beans that are refried in olive oil and topped with cotija cheese. Though not pictured, they were well-seasoned and just the perfect portion.

click to enlarge Fresh-made tortillas -- a rare sight even in The Mission's Taquerias.
  • Fresh-made tortillas -- a rare sight even in The Mission's Taquerias.

Most impressive and notable about Uno Dos Tacos, especially given its size, is the fact that all the tortillas for the tacos are made in-house with fresh masa brought in daily from La Finca Tortilleria in Oakland. The ingredients are simple: corn, water, and lime. You can see the freshness in the tortilla's bright yellow color.

It's only day one, but from what we can tell so far Uno Dos Tacos is sure to be a hit. But given Paganini's track record of success, we're not exactly predicting the future here.

Follow @streetfoodsf for all things delicious.

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Omar Mamoon


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