San Diegan's are lucky. Mexican food, real Mexican food, has always been at your a part of your world. Not so for those of us who transplanted here. I came to San Diego to go to SDSU (Go Aztecs) way back when, originally from the Bay Area where tacos where filled with hamburger meat and tamales came out of cans. I am not kidding!
Flashback to La Jolla 1977 when my hair was long, my car was an MGB, and Supertramp was my band of choice. My buddy Barry lived up the street in a rental with 4 or 5 other guys and one night we stumbled down Prospect in search of cheap eats, ultimately seduced by Alfonso's of La Jolla, a restaurant that looked like it had more in common with Tijuana than La Jolla. It was that night I had my first carne asada taco, grilled strips of marinated steak topped with guacamole and salsa fresca and double wrapped in a fresh tortilla.
It was life changing. Literally one of the best things I have ever eaten.
Over the years I revisited Alfonso's of La Jolla, always to eat there first and then heading across the street to Chucks Steak House to listen to live jazz and then to Bratskeller for a Zombie before driving back to State. Hey, I'm not saying this was a good plan, I'm just telling you that a trip to La Jolla always meant a stop at Alfonso's to get a carne asada taco. And a margarita. A good margarita.
So nearly 40 years later (holy cow!) when I heard that Alfonso's was closing I was more than bummed. But here's proof that there's a God, or at least a Taco God, because Alfonso's not only reopened, they opened near my house! Their new location in Solana Beach is open, airy, a bit more urban contemporary than the original restaurant but with the same owner and same waiters. And there's even parking, something that was hard to find in La Jolla.
I went on opening day and ordered a carne asada taco and a margarita. Heaven! Throughout the years I've eaten perhaps 10,000 carne asada tacos, give or take, and none of them are even close to Alfonso's of La Jolla. Their new location has music at night on the weekends, happy hour specials, and a North County beach vibe that's sure to make this a popular spot with locals and tourists. Go. This Weekend. And you tell me if this is not the best Carne Asada Taco in San Diego.
The Vibe: Beach friendly
The Price: Very reasonable - a couple of fish tacos, rice and beans, $12, less than ten bucks gets you 3 rolled chicken tacos with rice and beans, a serious bargain.
Margaritas: Lots of options, the house margarita still the best value for a real margarita with enough punch to make you happy!
Wally Says: North County has some very good Mexican restaurants - Fidel's, Tony's Jacal, La Especial Norte - but none of them beat Alfonso's carne asada taco!