This straight-out-of-TJ mini-chain turns out traditional Mexican handhelds from its various SoCal outposts. Inspired by Tijuana street food but rooted in La Jolla, The Taco Stand boasts burritos, quesadillas, elotes, and churros from its scrap metal menu that's posted outside its doors. Step up to the counter and pick your poison, but know that you'd be remiss not to try the flame-grilled cactus tacos.
You can always tell a really good restaurant by how they treat their side dishes and condiments. The Taco Stand makes their tortillas, guacamole, and salsas fresh daily, and every dish is made to order. Savory Angus carne asada is meltingly tender, seafood choices like grilled mahi mahi, spicy shrimp, and batter-fried white fish are fresh and light, and hand-carved al pastor has just the right hit of tangy/sweet pineapple. Fillings can also be rolled into burritos or grilled as a quesadilla, and local paletas provide a cool cap to your meal.
How to book: Indoor and patio seating is on a first-come basis and varies by location.