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Parrilla Grill, La MissionOMR: 7.25
2801 Folsom
cross street: 24th St.
ph. 415/550-1193
Map Visits: 3
Although not a taqueria in the strictest sense of the term, La Parrilla certainly feels enough like one. It probably has something to do with the counter service and the half-dozen burrito options (and three types of rice) on the menu. Are we the only ones who miss former tenant El Pollo Supremo’s mascot? It ruled the roost in the way it imagined what Jose Canseco would look like if reincarnated as farm poultry. Bottled beer available. Credit cards accepted.

Will My Health Be Violated?

12/06/09Super Pastor$7.507.25 Mustaches
Swish: burstage abatement (10); size (9); tortilla (8); rice (8)
Shrug: beans (7); cheese (7); sauciness (7); temperature (7); meat (6); vegetables (6); spiciness (6)
Clang: ingredient mix (5)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

Mediocrity comes in all sizes, including comically long. Even this outstretched 20-biter’s neat-to-eat construction couldn’t pull it from the abyss of weird ingredient mix issues, bland meat, and scattered cool bites. The first bite, guac-heavy as it was, brought an instant chill to our table, while relatively few bites overall contained much of the “extra” spice we’d requested up at the counter. Ingredient proportion was certainly off much of the time, but what was so peculiar was the fact that the proportion problems were vertical, rather than the usual horizontal. Case in point: the well-sauced, moist-enough, and yet completely flat-tasting pork, bunched in the middle of the slab but absent at the ends. Clearly, La Parrilla’s kitchen staff apparently ran the payload of pastor through a flavor-removal machine before dumping it into our dinner. Neither the moderately grilled tortilla, fine Spanish rice, and outmatched refried beans disappointed too much, even if intangibility came up short.

In sweeter news, we followed all this up with one hell of a vanilla churro.

01/19/07Super Pollo$5.996.92 Mustaches
Swish: burstage abatement (10); tortilla (9); temperature (9); size (8); rice (8)
Shrug: cheese (7); vegetables (7); meat (6); beans (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: sauciness (4); spiciness (2)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

Early excitement surrounding this La Parrilla burrito gave way to late, panel-wide feelings of disappointment, paired with looks of bafflement. It looked like a real winner on the platter - all lengthy sizing, infallible construction, and gorgeously grilled tortilla – and with La Parrilla’s championship-caliber guacamole lending its thick deliciousness to the first few bites, we figured we’d boarded the next trolley bound for Eightmustacheville. Well, no. Not at all, actually. La Parrilla’s uninspired, bone-dry white meat (boldly advertised as the “best chicken in town”) didn’t impress us like we expected, and the way it was piled on beyond comprehension signaled an all-out attack on ingredient subtlety. Portion control here was all out of whack - the exceptional refried beans were sadly short-shrifted, while both sauciness and, even more so, spiciness pretty much blew off the whole occasion. But the Spanish rice was real enjoyable, and the jack cheese ended up mostly melted, and hey look, fancy video screens all over the place. Not a complete disaster, but hardly a memorable lunch.

05/01/05Carne Asada$6.597.67 Mustaches
Brief ruminations on a foil-wrapped Sunday impressively tight wrap...archetypal super burrito dimensions...aromatic, full-on grilled tortilla...tasty, yet overabundant Spanish Brown rice...finely diced, but underabundant and unmemorable carne asada...melted-at-times cheese...excellent vegetable toss-ins, including spice hammer-wielding jalapeño and chopped onion...excellent sauciness...and the grand dealbreaker: maddening side-to-side temperature differences due to a stooge-endorsed ingredient mix. Initial bites prompted us to raise our hand for a high-five, but by the end, this burrito left us hanging.