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Farolito, Taq. El (24th St.) MissionOMR: 7.94
2950 24th St.
cross street: Alabama
ph. 415/641-0758
Map Visits: 5
Able to accommodate more patrons — and perhaps prone to fewer noisy customer outbursts — than the flagship El Farolito shop a half-mile west, this popular taqueria and its amiable staff boast a once-bright yellow awning over its front entrance to match all the still-bright yellow tables inside. Breakfast available; same goes for bottled (and canned!) beer. Credit cards accepted. Open real late.

Will My Health Be Violated?

07/10/12Breakfast (Chorizo)$6.257.54 Mustaches
Swish: burstage abatement (10); size (9); vegetables (9); cheese (8); temperature (8)
Shrug: tortilla (7); eggs (7); rice (7); beans (7); spiciness (7); ingredient mix (7); meat (6)
Clang: sauciness (5)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

Unlike the champ breakfast slab we enjoyed about a year earlier at El Farolito in the Excelsior, this rightly sized scud turned out to be kind of a thud. A dearth of sauciness played a major role, as did a sub-workmanlike chorizo/egg scramble and a whole slew of other shrug-worthy elements, from the chewy tortilla to the nothing-special refried beans and blah rice (which we ordinarily don't order in our breakfast burritos, but hey). That same set of blah rice was cordoned off to one side, and while the cheese was fairly melted, it remained globby on the periphery throughout...not exactly an ideal ingredient mix. Anyway, the whole shebang could have been hotter. Reliably solid construction, much avocado, and occasionally booming spice pushed this burrito's fortunes northward a bit, but dragging intangibility clung persistently to the dull region of the scale. It's uncharacteristic for El Farolito to allow itself to get sucked into the Black Hole of Ordinary like this. Our reaction: Hrumph.

03/26/11Super Chile Relleno$6.758.27 Mustaches
Swish: cheese (10); size (9); spiciness (9); temperature (9); burstage abatement (9); beans (8); vegetables (8)
Shrug: rice (7); sauciness (7); ingredient mix (7); tortilla (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

As should be the case with any self-respecting chile relleno burrito, this hefty/girthy Farolito slab was cheesed out eight ways to Sunday — bursting out from the plus-size vegetable centerpiece, all around the inside perimeter of {{cheese}} the tortilla, pretty much everywhere...and all melted, to boot. Our foiled meal’s weak link was its barely grilled tortilla, which was way too chewy for {{cheese}} our panel’s liking. And it wasn’t the first time here that we were subjected to about a metric ton of rice, which sadly walled off the excellent refried beans too {{cheese}} often. And around ten bites in: a small chunk of tomato! Otherwise, kind of light on the pico de gallo...although the avocado slices made for some vegetabular fun. {{cheese}} Speaking of which, the chile relleno itself was super-grilled — clearly it was trying to compensate for the strangely ungrilled tortilla. But minor sauce seepage couldn’t derail the two-mustache intangibility bonus, and spice was a real factor throughout. {{cheese}}

10/01/08Super al Pastor$5.458.42 Mustaches
Swish: vegetables (10); size (9); tortilla (9); meat (9); cheese (9); spiciness (9); temperature (9); burstage abatement (9)
Shrug: beans (7); sauciness (7); rice (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

Our crusty judges panel forgave a few mildly frustrating elements of this enormous, 21-bite slab – namely, a bunch of unsexy rice and an ingredient mix that seemed to say, Let’s just stick all this unsexy rice together over there where maybe no one will notice it. Well, we noticed. But hats off to some exceptional roasted pork, a wonderfully grilled tortilla, and a Slabby Award-worthy contingent of vegetables, which took in heaping helpings of grilled onion and sliced avocado for no additional fee. And how about that booming spice and melted jack? We noticed all that, too. Minimal demerits went out to sauciness and burstage abatement for pork grease and slabular floppiness, respectively, but it wasn’t nearly enough to sully the mustache-fortunes of this delicious lunch.

06/18/06Super Pollo a la Parrilla$4.957.50 Mustaches
Swish: burstage abatement (10); size (9); vegetables (9); temperature (9); meat (8); cheese (8)
Shrug: tortilla (7); spiciness (7); beans (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: rice (5); sauciness (5)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

We’d heard rumors that burrito quality at this particular El Farolito tends to improve once evening rolls around. So, given that our first on-the-record visit here had occurred in the afternoon, we heeded the call of the dinner slab our second time through. Our dusky visit resulted in a .08-mustache boost. Sized to bloat and infallibly constructed, this burrito’s fortunes were compromised by an unfortunate ingredient mix, which resulted in minimal elbow-rubbing between the overabundance of rice and most everything else – especially Farolito’s life-giving salsa. Mid-slab rice-outs are becoming a regular occurrence on our visits here, as at one point about halfway into the food-blimp, rice must have composed 90% of all visible ingredients within the politely grilled, but ultimately average tortilla. Spice ebbed and flowed throughout, while the avocado-anchored vegetable squad provided reliable enhancement whenever its components could poke through all the grainy dominance. The grilled chicken performed admirably, if unspectacularly; as with the refried beans, the chicken chunks were another victim of the bunch-happy ingredient mix. We arrived hungry, we departed hrumphy.

03/22/05Super Carne Asada$4.957.42 Mustaches
Did El Farolito really back up the rice truck and dump its payload into our lunch? Or did it just seem that way? Whatever the cause behind this burrito’s grain fetish, it was as dry as the L.A. River, albeit with a much more tactical display of burstage abatement deployment. As a sad result, refried beans – the other half of any self-respecting burrito’s foundation – were buried in the blinding rice-out. So, which ingredients were stars-by-default in this long, slender, indifferently mixed, grilled tortilla-swathed, cylindrical foodpiece? (Insert shrug here.)