cross street: Mission
Map Visits: 4
Shrug: rice (7); cheese (7); meat (6); beans (6); vegetables (6)
Clang: ingredient mix (4); sauciness (2); spiciness (1)
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)
The idea of fries in a burrito doesn’t repulse us in the least, so we excitedly arranged for Los Coyotes’ California burrito to appear at our table a few minutes after our arrival. What resulted was easily one of the wackiest slabs on Burritoeater record. Early moments held promise, as this burrito’s sharply grilled tortilla, hand-warming temperature, and full sizing started things off on the right path. Soon enough, however, it was clear that the brutally divisive ingredient mix, parched conditions, and non-existent spice (despite our request to the contrary) had it in mind to clang atonally until our panel was pretty much rendered deaf. The major ingrown tortilla fully barricaded the dry, overfried fries right there, while over here, everything else bowed at the mercy of the adequate Spanish rice and equally unjuicy, but still somehow tasty-enough beef. Cheese was plenty melted, given all the heat involved here, but it kept to itself too much to make anything more than a capable contribution. And the refried beans could have been fresher. Yes, we specially requested that rice and beans be added to our San Diego “delicacy,” but that’s not why this slab hit the skids so hard. Rather, we had to point the fingers of blame at that silly mix and all the appalling saucelessness and spicelessness. And yet, the craziest thing was that this lunch retained enough indefinable allure to earn two bonus mustaches for intangibility. Unrealized potential never tasted this weird.
Shrug: cheese (7); sauciness (7); meat (6); rice (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)
Los Coyotes does not kowtow to nouveau Mission clientele hoping for a sprig of parsley and fruit salad garnishment - nor does it purport to. This is a place that tosses skin-inclusive chunks of potato into its already-hearty chile rojo pork for good measure. Our lunch slab, conveniently made in 30 minutes or less (though not by much) by Los Coyotes’ one-guy kitchen, had certain basics going for it, such as idiot-proof construction and a credible temperature base, and other areas that could have used some improvement. We mostly took issue with the divisive ingredient mix - space-hogged at times by the adequately flavored rice - and also with the down-home pork whose fatty cuts missed the butcher’s knife more than they should have. The refrieds came off completely fine, and the ungrilled tortilla somehow managed to not make any enemies among our mustachioed gang of judge-folk. Just as the guacamole got overwhelmed in this burrito’s sauce-out, the chile rojo sauce itself turned out to be pretty alright in its own peppery way. And the small amount of cheese melted so completely, we hardly saw it. And for the record, we didn’t mind the potatoes.