Ocean Taq. Western AdditionOMR: 7.75
cross street: Bush/Pine
Map Visits: 4
One look at this slab shopís menu ó itís etched in marker on some boards nailed to the wall ó and you may wonder how a bunch of fifth-graders managed to open a business. This offshoot of the original Ocean Taq.
in Ingleside boasts one of the largest burritos in captivity (the Jumbo), a dozen meats (some of them flavor-deficient), and a perfectly horrible physical layout, so we canít really recommend it over El Burrito Express
on this same block of Divisadero...unless itís Sunday, when Ocean is the only open burrito shop on the block. Bottled beer available. Credit cards and wearing of sweatpants accepted.
Will My Health Be Violated?
02/28/10Super Carnitas$6.507.75 Mustaches
Swish: spiciness (9); burstage abatement (9); tortilla (8); meat (8); cheese (8); sauciness (8); temperature (8)
Shrug: size (7); rice (7); beans (7); vegetables (7); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)
We may have had only a few legitimate complaints about this slightly flattish scud ó ingredient integration lagged in a side-to-side way, and too many bites were merely warm rather than hot ó but hardly anything made our panel sit up from its usual slouchy posture, either. The tortilla was pleasantly grilled, and the sheer quantity of the soft, but surprisingly sharp-flavored carnitas could and would not be denied. And all the cheese was melted...too bad it was yellow cheddar. Mister Slabmaker Fella really poured on the habanero salsa, but even that couldnít tart up the exceptionally just-there pale refried beans and even-paler-than-the-beans rice. Even the capable veggie mix kind of floundered inoffensively, and we wonít even get into the laggard-level intangibility. Facelessness often assumes many forms in this world, including foiled lunches on Divisadero.
07/10/07Super Carne Asada Fajitas$6.507.42 Mustaches
Swish: spiciness (10); vegetables (9); temperature (9); tortilla (8); cheese (8); burstage abatement (8)
Shrug: size (7); ingredient mix (7); meat (6); sauciness (6)
Clang: rice (5); beans (5)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)
The downward spiral continued at this increasingly maligned taqueria, where mustache ratings have been on steady decline since our first on-record visit in early 2005. But then, remarkably dull-tasting meat and a blaaaaand rice/beans foundation will do that to a place. Itís fair to say that the liberal addition of habañero sauce pretty much blasted our panel membersí lips to bits, but everyone knows it takes a hell of a lot more than world-dominating spiciness and a well-heated burrito to win us over. Oceanís slabmaker-fella grilled the tortilla, but it still didnít knock the flour wrapís rating up to nine mustaches like it should have. And while this acceptably sized foiled torpedo didnít mold to our hands, it was certainly on the irritatingly soft side Ė combine this with the perpetual threat of saucy drips, and weíve got burstage demerits in our midst. Hell, even the good-looking guacamole got itself lost in the saucy shuffle. The tall heat index created enough melted cheese to eek out eight mustaches, and the burritoís pepper/onion fajitafication ensured a sharp performance from the vegetable contingent. Isnít it confusing when a negative review ends on an up note?
03/19/06Super Pollo Asado Fajitas$5.507.67 Mustaches
It was an unfortunate case of misled expectations this time around at Ocean Taq., where we watched our cooked-to-order chicken spend significant time on the grill before mildly fizzling once the bite-chew-and-mull portion of our program got underway. Furthermore, a laggard foundation of undermanned refried beans and drab rice, coupled with remedial spicing, ensured this burritoís spot on the unremarkable side of our 10-Mustache Scale fence. And thatís a disappointing end considering the many exceptional aspects of this slab, wherein no less than five elements Ė sharp external construction, gregarious sauciness, consistent heat, steady-truckiní vegetables, and an aggressively grilled tortilla - garnered nine hairy ones on our scorecard. The green bell peppers and long-chopped onion slices made strides to compensate for the chickenís bafflingly punchless flavor, but this burritoís chief culprit of flavorlessness Ė its bland, pale rice Ė turned out to be little more than a freeloading space-hog. Despite a clumpy moment or two along the inner tortilla, this girthful blimp was, as a whole, fairly well-cheesed. Plenty of cilantro and pico de gallo furthered the veggie cause, and the serviceable mix didnít get us too down. All this, and yet still not nearly enough end-to-end flavor. Perplexing.
01/09/05Jumbo Chile Colorado (Pork)$8.258.26 Mustaches
Itís jumbo, they ainít kidding: 14 inches + two tortillas = one mackiní burrito. So you see, size isnít really the issue here. Neither was delicious sauce (it came from all sides), high-charting spiciness, the sagacious mix, and the everyday basics of consistently hot temperature and rock-solid construction. In fact, our only complaints seemed to be with the very chewy tortillas and semi-melted cheese, and perhaps with the unexciting veggies as well (cilantro excepted). Got a spare stomach lying around the house? Bring it.