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Goza-Goza Taco South of MarketOMR: 8.15
cross street: 5th St./6th St.
ph. none
Map Visits: 4
By the time we finally made our first visit to Goza-Goza Taco, the slippery slabwagon had earned a bit of a fly-by-night reputation following stints in the Mission and Bayview. Even now, it’s anybody’s guess as to whether it’ll be at its supposedly regular spot along the south side of Townsend. The house special may be Cuban sandwiches, but the burritos fully deserve the top billing they get on this truck’s menu. The friendly lady who co-helms the operation may even drop a few prized starlight mints into your slab-bag; odds are probably slimmer if you get the grouchy fellow filling your order. Breakfast available (all day). Cash only, take-out only. Closed/absent evenings and weekends.

Will My Health Be Violated?

03/21/11Super Grilled Chicken$6.507.83 Mustaches
Swish: temperature (10); burstage abatement (10); tortilla (9); spiciness (9); size (8); cheese (8); vegetables (8)
Shrug: meat (7); ingredient mix (7); rice (6); beans (6)
Clang: sauciness (5)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

Goza-Goza’s lowest-rated foiled effort to date was far from a letdown, although its middling intangibility bonus did speak to a certain level of disappointment. The fortunes of the flavorful chicken were compromised by its lack of juiciness, and really, was the metric ton of hella-yellow saffron rice completely necessary? The sparse collection of whole pinto beans didn’t contribute super-heavily to any successes here, and the whole slab could have used a sharp infusion of sauciness. Now then, on to the better: hot bites, hooray!; zero burstage, hooray again! Our weekday lunch was sized to please, and the well grilled tortilla hosted consistently major spicing, quietly melted cheese around the perimeter, and some welcome bursts of avocado slices. Never mind the unnaturally large chunks of tomato — there was still plenty to enjoy here.

03/03/10Super Carne Asada$6.008.25 Mustaches
Swish: temperature (10); burstage abatement (10); size (9); tortilla (9); meat (9); cheese (9); spiciness (8)
Shrug: rice (7); vegetables (7); ingredient mix (7); beans (6); sauciness (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

The rice was yellow (saffron?) and distinctly buttery. The whole pinto beans were thoroughly unspectacular. Diced onion? Completely absent. And sauciness wasn’t exactly a major factor. But who cares when polite shortcomings/weirdnesses like these get gracefully sideswiped by the kind of invisible intangibility that baffles seasoned burritoeaters and defies description. Besides boasting a solid bedrock foundation of hot bites and impervious construction, this extra lengthy, densely packed slab proudly featured a flaky-grilled tortilla and deliciously salty beef, with no small amount of fully melted cheese in between. A couple avocado slices and tomato-heavy pico de gallo kept the veggie profile respectable, while subtle spice hovered over the scene before swooping in for the kill down at the hind end. We’d award five bonus mustaches for intangibility, but our regulatory agency would never allow such a stunt.

07/28/09Super Carnitas$6.008.25 Mustaches
Swish: temperature (10); tortilla (9); meat (9); cheese (9); spiciness (9); burstage abatement (9); size (8); rice (8); vegetables (8)
Shrug: beans (6); sauciness (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

It didn’t quite thwack us over the skull the way our first lunch here did three months prior, but Goza-Goza Taco proved its slabular quality is here to stay, even if its truck isn’t from time to time. This sizable burrito wasn’t heavy on the sauciness, but neither was it particularly dry. As for that goofy, bright yellow rice with the saffron-friendly taste, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t kind of into it. It just did, OK? A generous grip of externally crispy carnitas meant delicious business all slab long, as did the gently but extensively grilled tortilla and persistently melted Jack cheese, scattered all about the tortilla’s interior. We could have done with a scoop or two of refried beans, but all Ms. Goza-Goza could provide was a fistful of merely-there whole pintos, hrumph. Temperature and construction fundamentals were strong, top to bottom, and the nice guacamole and larger-than-usual tomato chunks deserved recognition. This was no sophisticated uptown burrito, all perfectly symmetrical and gracefully mixed and well-educated. Its shirt was untucked, it drove an ’88 Beretta, and it said “hella” a lot. So what? It tasted real good. Around here, we call that sort of thing “intangible credibility,” and this one had it in abundance.

04/14/09Super Grilled Chicken$6.008.58 Mustaches
Swish: spiciness (10); ingredient mix (10); temperature (10); size (9); vegetables (9); burstage abatement (9); tortilla (8); meat (8); rice (8); sauciness (8)
Shrug: beans (6); cheese (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

Aside from a set of just-there whole pinto beans that neither augmented nor detracted from the proceedings, and a bunch of tiny Jack grates that made only a minor impact, everything else about this densely packed beast was on point and, in the case of its three-alarm spice, on fire a bit. Most every bite seemed to be punctuated with a sharp jalapeño exclamation point, and this burrito fully understood that ten-mustache spice doesn’t simply melt one’s face off, but instead gracefully complements every other flavor on hand with appropriately burly heat intensity. We were OK with the saffron-y rice on hand, its humble amount adding a fresh dimension and signifying one of the most fluid ingredient mixes we’ve ever stumbled upon in a San Francisco burrito. Avocado slices contributed in the right way, as did all the powerful pico de gallo (see weird jalapeño/punctuation metaphor, above). As for Goza-Goza’s chicken, its smart seasoning more than held the fort, and thanks to the peerless mix, it appeared in all the right places. The fundamental basics of construction and temperature even stayed on top of it all burrito long, while the two-mustache intangibility bonus spoke to this lunch’s certain yo no se que. Hell of a debut.