El Comal is located in North Park, but just off the main drag of University Ave. It’s tucked away on a little side street and the inside of the place looks like it used to be someone’s house that was redone to be a little restaurant. The dining area looks like the living room/dining room with no walls in between. I can be honest and say I wasn’t expecting much of this place. But after dining here, Jake and I were both pleasantly surprised at how well made and how good the food was. Home made truly makes a difference and you should never judge a restaurant by it’s dining room.
Chips and Salsa. The best thing about sit down Mexican restaurants are the free chips and salsa. Good chips. Decent salsa. I had to add a little salt to the chips though as they were salty enough for my tastebuds.
Our first ordered item was the Melted Cheese ($5). I don’t know if you know this about me… but I really like cheese. Phew, I’m glad I could get that one off of my chest!
This is a mix of melted cheeses. Of course I don’t remember what kinds. But it was damn tasty. And a bit stringy.
We got some home made tortillas to go along with our melted cheese. After one bite into the tortillas the differences between this tortilla and factory made are so apparent. These were all irregularly shaped. They had lovely little crisp pockets from cooking. They were thicker and tasted so much better! If only every place made their own tortillas, the world would be a better place. I believe that.
Jake and I shared the Sampler Platter($16.50) for dinner. This is supposed to be for three people. We were silly and did not notice that. You get: 2 mini quesadillas, 2 mini gorditas, 2 mini sopes, 2 roll tacos & guacamole. It didn’t sound like too much when we ordered it but we totally had leftovers.
This is a mini quesadilla. Just one cut in half. It looked more like an empanada to me since it was completely enclosed using some of those homemade tortillas. It had a thick outer crust and a crunch and was simply filled with ooey gooey melted cheese. YUM.
The rolled tacos were so CRISPY. The guacamole was so fresh and they used cotija cheese. Om nom nom.
The mini gordita was my absolute favorite of all of the dishes we had. We got ours with shredded beef. This is only HALF of the mini gordita. Apparently their idea of mini and my idea are different. I think I like their idea better.
The shredded beef was so tender and flavorful and again, it was in that amazing home made tortilla. The tortillas here just make all of the dishes super excellent, fresh, and wonderful. I want one of these right now.
I also got a tamale. The tamales were pretty small so they ended up giving me two. They were steamed and wrapped in banana leaves. They were tender and not too dry but these babies were spicy. Too spicy for my tender tastebuds.
Jake also got this crunchy taco. I don’t remember anything about it. I was too enamored with the gordita.
We didn’t really need to order that much food, but I had one of those coupon deals, you know? I’m so going back for another gordita. If you appreciate home made food (as well you should), you really should give this place a visit. It takes a bit longer to get your food, but it’s so worth it.
3946 Illinois Street
San Diego, CA 92104
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- mary: Hi Kirk – Wow, you tried it 3-4 times?! I’m glad someone else can confirm that it wasn’t just me who had a bad meal!
- Kirk: Hi Mary – This place is terrible, tried it about 3-4 times when we moved a couple of miles away. Bitter orange juice, SYSCO products at...
- mary: Haha I thought so
- J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats: Sorry the food was kindof mediocre…however “barfed flowers all over the place” is the most perfect description for...
- mary: Hi CC – The one in Clairemont is kind of hidden, too. Must be some kind of weird theme… the wallpaper is pretty bad. I could also see the...
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