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Miraloma, Taq. Mira LomaOMR: 7.03
755 Portola
cross street: Evelyn
ph. 415/681-2474
Map Visits: 4
Surely San Francisco's highest-altitude burrito purveyor, Taq. Miraloma up on the big hill added several colorful two-top tables to its groceryside setting in the late '00s. The majority of its business, however, is of the take-out variety. Interesting, isn't it? Not really...but neither is this taqueria. Breakfast and minimal outdoor seating available. Credit cards accepted ($10 minimum, boo).

Will My Health Be Violated?

03/20/12Super al Pastor$7.956.58 Mustaches
Swish: burstage abatement (9); rice (8); temperature (8)
Shrug: size (7); tortilla (7); vegetables (7); meat (6); beans (6); sauciness (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: cheese (5); spiciness (3)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

Slender, woefully spice-deficient, and just kind of lunkheaded overall, our 2012 burrito at this hilltop taqueria-in-a-market was one for the gutter. Problems ran the gamut from minor (occasional grease drips; ingrown tortilla) to middling (overly aged refried beans; tough, underflavorful pork) to out-and-out unforgivable (aforementioned lack of spice; the way certain bites included nothing more than guacamole, cilantro, diced onion, and unmelted cheese). Crikey! In a rare pleasant turn, the Mexican rice was reliably fine and Miraloma's burrito-construction practices proved fairly sound. Also, this meal-in-foil did somehow manage to ratchet up one bonus intangibility...but you'd have to subpoena our highly corruptible judges panel for the skinny on that. Still, this slab barely stood a chance of respectability even before its ingredient mix completely devolved in the latter half.

01/31/09Super Chicken Molé$7.657.92 Mustaches
Swish: temperature (10); sauciness (9); burstage abatement (9); size (8); cheese (8); vegetables (8); ingredient mix (8)
Shrug: tortilla (7); rice (7); beans (7); spiciness (7); meat (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

Thanks to a post-construction stint on the grill (upon our request), temperature issues were nil here, even if intangibility came up weirdly short for such an otherwise respectable effort. The steamed tortilla was freakishly stretchy in the early going before soon turning into just another steamed tortilla. Miraloma’s sweet molé sauce put the olé in this right-sized slab – on the few sauce-deficient bites, the chicken came up remarkably bland and everything else on hand seemed to lose a bit of life. A manageable ooze factor spoke to solid construction, while the ingredient mix didn’t leave anything out of the picture. Spice heated things up in the second half, and other than the slightly thin guacamole, all the veggies on hand were sporty and fresh. Refried beans were the portrait of seven-mustache adequacy; same went for the unspectacular Spanish rice, which could have been –- ah yes, looks as if we’ve got a question from an audience member. Sir? Go ahead.

Hang on, hang on. Wait a second! “Sporty veggies”? Sporty?! Sometimes I don’t know what the hell you morons are talking about! First you mis-meter your sorry attempt at a “molé” / “olé” rhyme. Now this “sporty” silliness. Get it together!

12/08/06Super Spicy Chicken$6.357.17 Mustaches
Swish: burstage abatement (9); size (8); vegetables (8); spiciness (8)
Shrug: tortilla (7); rice (7); sauciness (7); meat (6); beans (6); cheese (6); ingredient mix (6); temperature (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

The final rating here may have been woefully unspectacular, but we found ourselves doling out the maximum of two bonus mustaches for intangibility, and we’re still trying to figure out why. A number of tangible items suffered from blissless mediocrity - none moreso than the boiled, pulled chicken that, although well-soaked in salsa roja, couldn’t overcome a whole lot of internal dehydration. The brown rice / refried beans foundation wasn’t able to pull it all together, as the moist and plumply grained rice was often guilty of overencroachment, while the beans were heavily pasty and did little more than play a vaguely supporting role. Shards of grated jack (three-quarters melted) were an equally insignificant contributor, and the steamed tortilla was adequately shrug-worthy. Spice was unruly and properly ill-behaved, so things were headed in the direction there. However, the temperature roller coaster was thrilling in all the wrong ways – too many chilly areas and not enough hot ones. Vegetable content was a real standout (particularly the excellent, avocado-rich guacamole)...perhaps that’s where all intangible credibility came from, who knows.

12/06/04Super Spicy Beef$5.457.66 Mustaches
Red bell pepper and fat onion slices gamely attempted to offset the piecey beef, some runny guacamole, and a drippy hind end. And the homogenous sloppery inside made it tough to differentiate one ingredient from another. Here’s another burrito whose sum total was less than its numbers indicated, furthering our belief that the one ingredient often making or breaking a burrito stuck on the fence of recommendability is one that’s completely intangible. And in the end, this was a broken burrito.