Cholita Linda 4923 Telegraph Ave./51st St., Temescal, (510) 594-7610. L-D M–Sat.
In this festive, colorful, high-ceilinged spot, salsa music is loud, potted plants are tall, and big windows let in plenty of light. Order at the counter, then select a seat. The menu blends Mexican, Peruvian, and a few other cuisines. Soft corn-tortilla tacos are the go-to dish here, and the delicate fried-fish and tasty carnitas versions are my own favorites. I hear good things about the carne asada and tender, flavorful pollo al pastor (using spit-roasted chicken), and a tofu version is also an option. All tacos are enhanced with cabbage slaw and baja crema. Sides include fried plantains (5 pieces), a good but simple rice and beans, and chips with salsa or guacamole. Aguas frescas are served in a tall Ball canning jar (mango, strawberry, and blackberry are usually an option, and combining them is permitted). Larger plates and sandwiches are available, including a Cubano Sandwich described as “excellent!” that is made with pulled pork shoulder, black forest ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, pickles, and aioli and on crunchy grilled French bread. Outside seating is available on a small back patio.
After, you’re just a hop, skip, and jump from the shops of Temescal Alley.
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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers