the Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly Apparel Bazaar

Rosa Taq. & Grill, La Civic Center / TenderloinOMR: 8.08
709 O'Farrell
cross street: Hyde
ph. 415/567-8975
Map Visits: 1
La Rosa Taq. & Grill's burrito-purveying predecessor at 709 O'Farrell, Chunky's, once housed a cell phone dealership in this tiny space. (In the early 1990s, perhaps you acquired your first pager here?) La Rosa's sprawling menu closely apes that of Chunky's — you can order a taco and a burger on the same ticket — but given our first experience here, we of course recommend a burrito. Unless you're interested in wedging yourself and your meal into one of two tables, take your foods to go. Credit cards accepted. Open late.

Will My Health Be Violated?

11/04/12Super al Pastor$6.958.08 Mustaches
Swish: spiciness (10); temperature (10); sauciness (9); burstage abatement (9); size (8); cheese (8); vegetables (8)
Shrug: meat (7); rice (7); beans (7); tortilla (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

When Ms. Slabmaker Gal at La Rosa got the burrito-production party started by tossing our tortilla onto the hot grill, we reckoned we'd have a nine-mustache wrap in our midst soon thereafter. Imagine our surprise, then, when the tortilla turned out to be a strangely sticky disappointment. And yet, this weighty slab of foods managed to crest our eight-mustache line of quality, an achievement due in no small part to its thorough sauciness, full run of hot bites, dependable construction, and combustible level of spice. The meat itself may have lacked hammer-wielding flavor, but its grilled onion accompaniment compensated nicely. Elsewhere, cheese was well-melted but never turned into the steady contributor we hoped for, while the capable refried beans were simply overwhelmed by the sectioned-off rice and raging, take-all-comers salsa. Intangible charms pushed their way to the top, though, and we all went home from the taqueria feeling a little better about ourselves.