Admittedly, walking in to the new Mission-based branch of Joe Hargrave's Tacolicious feels like stepping through a teleportational nexus into a polished Marina restaurant. Someone on the design team clearly had the grit and grime of the neighborhood taqueria in mind, but married the concept — and the obviously expansive budget — with the modern sheen of an IKEA store.
Ignore the Death Cab pulsing from the speakers, the glowing orange plastic chairs, and the giant too-hip-for-words Mission mural. Sidle up to the bar, catch your empirically attractive bartender's eye, and place an order for an achiote braised pork belly taco.
Instead of the small chunks of pork belly so commonly seen these days gussying up lackluster dishes, Tacolicious drops a single rectangular block of seared swine belly in to the center of its house made soft tacos. This isn't an enormous taco (a four-bite affair at most), and the elongated cube of meat stretches from end to end, crested with a minute hill of apple-fennel slaw soaking in a puddle of just-spicy/just-sweet tamarind and habañero salsa.
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