A Baja Beer at Lucha Libre Taco Shop- San Diego
Name: Lucha Libre Taco Shop
Where: 1810 W. Washington Street | San Diego, California
Cost: Craft Beers $5.75 | Tacos $4.50
About: Since tasting craft beers brewed in Baja California last fall, I have been on a hunt for them in San Diego. Currently, Lucha Libre Taco Shop is pouring La Lupulosa IPA made by Insurgente Brewing in Tijuana, so I went for a beer and stayed for a taco.
Founded in 2008 by three brothers, Lucha Libre is perched low on Washington Street in Mission Hills. The restaurant is named for a form of professional wrestling that evolved in Mexico over the last 100 years. Lucha Libre-style wrestling is characterized by aerial maneuvers, tag teams, colorful masks, and flamboyance. Décor of Lucha Libre reflects the colorful culture of its namesake, while serving amazing Mexican food and craft beer.
Lucha Libre makes their gourmet tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and specialty dishes with fresh ingredients. Unlike many Mexican restaurants and taco shops in San Diego, Lucha Libre does not use lard in their kitchen. All of their salsas are house-made, and they bake fresh flan, daily.
San Diego City Beat has named Lucha Libre “Best Taco Shop” for the past five years.
Wear a lucha libre mask into the restaurant and you will get a “Luchador discount.”
What I Ate: I ordered the “Tap Me Out” gourmet taco with chicken. This is a huge taco made with fresh, double corn tortillas, cubes of savory chicken, juicy grilled veggies (red and white onions, tomatoes, green chiles), thick slices of ripe avocado, jack cheese, and topped with pablano sauce and queso enchilado. Utterly divine. I also had a large serving of guacamole which was made with fresh avocado. Very well-made and delicious.
What I Drank: La Lupulosa IPA (7.3% ABV) brewed by Cerveceria Insurgente, Tijuana:
Copper color with a thick, white head. Nice aromas of citrus, pine, and caramel. Delicious flavors of citrus, pine, tropical fruit, with a hint of caramel. Medium body and carbonation, the finish is clean and refreshing. Overall, it is a well-made IPA, exemplary of the style.
Likes: Local craft beers on draft, including those of Baja California. Gourmet Mexican food made with fresh ingredients and without lard. My chicken taco was sensational. Colorful, fun décor. Amazing salsas.
Dislikes: Parking is a challenge, but there is a lot just up the hill from the restaurant. Park there if you can.
The Verdict: Recommended. With quality ingredients, excellent preparation and presentation, fast service, and local craft beers, it’s no wonder Lucha Libre is popular. I plan to return for their burrito which has also won honors.