Puesto is a Chipotle style Mexican eatery in La Jolla, across the street-ish from Burger Lounge. We’ve heard really great things about Puesto and they’re doing so well they’re opening a second location at the Headquarters by Seaport Village (read more about The Headquarters here, there’s gonna be a Pizzeria Mozza!). Most importantly though, they were giving out free tacos for Cinco de Mayo.
The tacos they were giving out were Gringo tacos, they were filled with a tasty ground beef mixture (beef picadillo). In terms of toppings they have an extensive selection including onions, cilantro, radishes, lettuce, limes and avocado (FOR FREE). The tacos are a little pricey (2 for $6.95 or 3 for $8.95) but I imagine the free avocado helps to mitigate this. For sauces they have green sauce, red sauce, a creamy habanero sauce and a chunky mango and tomato salsa.We literally got all the toppings and all the sauces. This resulted in a very tasty, albeit very messy taco.
Also as a note the salsas are a little spicier than we expected but this was a welcome surprise. If you don’t like spicy I would say to tread carefully.
In terms of what comes standard with the taco they usually all have a meat and a cheese (except for the vegetarian one naturally). We ordered the Carne Asada, Chicken Al Pastor, and Carnitas. All the meats were pretty tasty although I wish they had a bit more of the crispy bits. The carne asada and the chicken al pastor came with Puesto’s crispy cheese which we highly recommend. They basically griddle cheese until it forms a crispy brown crust on one side and line the taco with that. The carnitas came with cotija cheese. A lot of the tacos also come with tinga, a mixture of hibiscus and chipotle. Although this sounds delicious and came in the chicken al pastor we couldn’t really discern its taste under the copious amounts of toppings and salsa on the taco. The cactus in the carne asada was more noticeable and was a nice touch.
We also ordered a side of half rice and half beans. At first we just ordered beans but the sides come in a rather large cup that left me wondering what on earth I was going to do with all those beans. Luckily they do half and half sides so we did half brown rice and half beans. The beans are black beans, they are a little on the bland side and come with very little sauce, I imagine maybe this is because they are meant to be added to the tacos? The rice was also unremarkable, in the future I think we might skip these sides and try the spicy lime corn which sounded really good.
One must order item there is the Frozen Horchata. This was amazing. Like a super concentrated flavor horchata in slushie form. It’s a little sweet but I am not a fan of overly sweet things and still really enjoyed this.
Lastly they also have paletas from Viva Pops. We got the Mexican Chocolate Paleta and although a bit small it was quite tasty. No picture because we ate it too fast.
Overall we liked Puesto and although it is a little pricier they use top-notch ingredients like grass fed beef, sustainable seafood and they make their own tortillas from stone ground maize (no flour tortillas and no crispy taco shells here btw). Most importantly though, that Frozen Horchata was really something…
1026 Wall St.
La Jolla, CA 92037