Hermanos, Los MarinaOMR: 7.04
cross street: Fillmore/Mallorca
Map Visits: 5
Considering the tony neighborhood, this humbly sized shop at the eastern end of Chestnut’s sophisticated retail/restaurant stretch is surprisingly bare-bones. And while Los Hermanos never gained a toehold among San Francisco’s first-rank burrito shops, its burritowork was fine enough until recently, when it sadly slipped into the realm of the sucktacular. On a purely editorial note, give us a red pen and a tall enough stepladder and we’ll gladly cross out that disposable apostrophe in “Los Hermano’s” on its front sign. Breakfast available. Credit cards accepted. Closed Sundays.
Will My Health Be Violated?
02/23/11Super Carne Asada$6.756.92 Mustaches
Swish: spiciness (10); size (9); meat (9); burstage abatement (8)
Shrug: tortilla (7); rice (7); beans (7); sauciness (7); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: vegetables (5); temperature (5); cheese (3)
Intangibility bonus: 0 (of 2)
Gah! Terrible. Just awful. OK, we appreciated the mega-ton spiciness, and alright, the carne asada was flavorful and juicy. But the fact that we dreaded this gargantuan burrito’s outsize dimensions was evidence enough that this slab did a whole lot of sucking. Want proof? Woefully underperforming veggie elements, way too many lukewarm — or just emphatically cold — bites, and scads of unmelted cheddar cheese grates ensured a terrible Overall Mustache Rating. Between the vaguely grilled tortilla, faceless Spanish rice, and just-there refried beans, we had front-row seats for Los Hermanos’ race to Shrugtown; furthermore, this burrito’s burstage-baiting late squirts sure didn’t do anyone any favors. The lovelessness with which our lunch was prepared was made abundantly clear by its zero-mustache intangibility bonus. Do we need to repeat it? Really? Fine then: late squirts.
04/02/08Super Chile Relleno$5.957.27 Mustaches
Swish: temperature (10); size (9); beans (9); burstage abatement (9); cheese (8)
Shrug: tortilla (7); vegetables (7); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: rice (5); spiciness (5); sauciness (4)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)
When done well, as it is at La Corneta’s Glen Park shop and Mariachi’s, a chile relleno burrito is an orgy of gooey cheese and hot vegetable action; here at Los Hermanos, it’s more along the lines of polite smooching. The cheese inside the green chile was nice and melted enough, although no other cheese seemed to be added to the entire confection. As for the chile itself, as well as the rest of the veggies (including the too-smooth guacamole), it all seemed to shuffle along in seven-mustache step, content to gain neither contemptible nor outstanding status. Fair enough. However!: We were totally taken under the pasty spell of Los Hermanos’ refried beans - their rurally evocative aftertaste won us over every time. Spice was mild, quite mild, and on the whole, the burrito was woefully undersauced with only a sub-OK ingredient mix. We appreciated its sizable dimensions and, aside from all the oversquishiness, its construction methodology. But it’s high time Los Hermanos’ kitchen breaks that crazy saffron rice habit.
03/29/06Super Grilled Chicken$5.307.83 Mustaches
It was kind of a comedown this time around at The Brothers, although to be fair, it’s hard to get too riled up over a 7.83-mustache burrito. This sizable scud looked a lot denser than it really was, as saucy slop played a significant role inside the lightly grilled tortilla. All the soft elements took advantage of the undermanned, run-of-the-grill chicken by assuming control early and often. As a result, much squishing did occur, though nary a drip hit the waxed paper in the red plastic tray - impressive burstage abatement, right there. Los Hermanos’ bizarre saffron rice fixation continues to baffle us, but we’d rather belabor the kooky ingredient mix, which, though unusually exceptional side-to-side, left something to be desired when examined end-to-end. Cheese: Why cheddar? Why not jack? Back over in the slop sub-plot, the guacamole veered dangerously close to the disastrous guaca-cream so popularized over at Fisherman’s Wharf Taq.
, and that’s not okay. But more than all the interior negative space, more than the real nice refried beans, even more than the politely peripheral spice, what we’ll remember most about this burrito is its salsa roja’s slightly cattywompus aftertaste. And who wants to deal with anything cattywompus in their burrito? Not us. Hopefully not you.
09/28/05Super Carnitas$5.308.17 Mustaches
With the exception of some limply melted grated cheddar, Los Hermanos stepped up and delivered a burrito without serious fault - mildly surprising, considering we never hear many significant testimonials in their favor. Despite some occasionally overbearing saltiness, the carnitas were ultimately to our liking, with plenty of chunky pieces heaped into the overall fray. The real killer was this well-sized blimp’s lip-biting spice-heat index – who knew the Marina could deliver such delicious pain? Meanwhile, perfect construction also garnered ten mustaches of dominance. On the weird side of the ledger, what’s with the saffron element always present in the rice here? We don’t necessarily mind since it always tastes alright; it just strikes us as a peculiar way to present our essential grain-goods. Refried beans? Solid slop, real tasty. Shame that the guacamole got lost along the way. But a dead-sharp ingredient mix, plenty of chopped onion in the fine pico de gallo, and a near hot-bite sweep sealed the deal for this prototypical eight-mustache effort.
09/02/03Super Carne Asada$4.997.00 Mustaches
While saffron-graced rice, green onion-enhanced pico de gallo, avocado chunks, and solid construction seemed like the recipe for a winning burrito, an unheated tortilla brought down the house a lot more completely than you might expect. (Unless a room-temperature flour sheath does the trick for you, in which you ought to get your head checked at once.) In other news, this may have been the most orange-sauced burrito in history – not that there’s anything wrong with that, since it tasted fine. Still, all told it was nothing special.