Hungry Man Seeks to Eat His Way Across La Lengua

The La Lengua Autonomous Zone in the Dominion of Bernalwood is famous for two things: 1) Militant political separatism and 2) A deliciously high density of restaurants and drinking establishments.

To fully experience the latter, new neighbor Dave MP, who moved here recently from Boston, has established an ambitious goal: Over the course of 2012, he wants to eat at every restaurant on Mission Street between Cortland and Cesar Chavez. He calls the project the La Lengua Chronicles, because he also plans to write a review of each one on Chowhound:

I moved to San Francisco a few weeks ago, and I am living very close to the strip of Mission Street known by some as “La Lengua.” Since I like exploring food options in my neighborhood, I’ve decided to embark on a little project – eat at every restaurant on Mission Street between Cortland and Cesar Chavez. I finally got around to making a list of all the places I have to try, and will be reporting on all of them. The aim is to have this completed by December 31st, 2012.

I would love advice about what to get at these restaurants, if you’ve been. Also, if you are interested in joining me for any of these meals, definitely give me a shout! I’ll definitely want company for some of them.

So, here’s the list of where I have to go. There are a few places that I’m not sure about including because they are mostly just bars – I think the rule will be that if there’s a menu (whether food or cocktail), I will try it. Also, there are some places that are very close to that stretch of Mission Street, but not quite on it, that won’t be on the official list, but I might try anyway. So I will list those as well.

Here it goes:

3489 Mission – Zante Pizza (Indian, Pizza)
3486 Mission – Pastores (Mexican)
3472 Mission – La Terraza (Mexican – Michoacan)
3471 Mission – Angkor Borei (Cambodian)
3459 Mission – Nena’s Restaurant (Latin American)
3458 Mission – Universal Bakery (Mexican Bakery)
3452 Mission – Shiso (Chinese and Japanese)
3438 Mission – Nervous Dog Coffee (Café)
3401 Mission – Melody Café (Lebanese)
3385 Mission – Oye Managua (Nicaraguan)
3369 Mission – Ichi Sushi (Japanese)
3346 Mission – La Alteña (Mexican)
3349 Mission – Pizza Hut (Pizza)
3326 Mission – Coronitas Bar and Grill (Mexican, Bar)
3322 Mission – El Paisa (Honduran, Salvadoran, Mexican)
3319 Mission – Nulite Kitchen (Chinese)
3318 Mission – Playa Azul (Mexican, Seafood)
3306 Mission – El Gran Taco Loco (Taqueria)
3303 Mission – Eagle Donuts (Donut Shop)
3299 Mission – Inkas (Peruvian)
3286 Mission – Al’s Café (Diner)
3263 Mission – San Miguel Restaurant (Guatemalan)
3259 Mission – Pad Thai Restaurant (Thai)
3253 Mission – Jasmine Tea House (Chinese)
3235 Mission – Dell’uva (Wine Bar)
3230 Mission – El Zocalo (Salvadoran)
3226 Mission – Mi Lindo Peru (Peruvian)
3221 Mission – SiamSaigon (Vietnamese, Thai)
3218 Mission – Blue Plate (New American)
3216 Mission – Lotus Garden (Vietnamese)
3215 Mission – Locavore (New American)
3211 Mission – Taqueria Cancun (Taqueria)
3206 Mission – Los Panchos (Salvadoran)
3202 Mission – Royal Cuckoo (Bar)
3193 Mission – El Patio Restaurant (Mexican)
3149 Mission – Baby Blues BBQ (BBQ)
3137 Mission – Acapulco SF Grill (Mexican)
3100 Mission – Sweet Chinito (Donuts, Sandwiches)

Okay, simply compiling that list counts as an amazing feat unto itself. But if you read the full post, Dave also adds about a dozen more restaurants that aren’t precisely on Mission Street, but which he may try as well.

Ambitious? For sure. Yet he’s already off to a good start, with write-ups penned and posted about San Miguel Restaurant, The (New) Jasmine Tea House, and Al’s Cafe.

Go Dave MP, Go!

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

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26 thoughts on “Hungry Man Seeks to Eat His Way Across La Lengua

  1. I wish Dave MP all the best in his quest. Jonathan Gold tried set out to do something similar in L.A., eating at every restaurant on Pico Blvd. He gave up, but his list was longer (eating in every restaurant on Mission from Daly City to the Embarcadero would be closer).

    He should definitely add Good Frikkin’ Chicken to the list. The take-away entrance is on Mission, though the dining room is on 29th. And for a change of scene he could stray a few yards and add Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack and The Front Porch to his list.

  2. Goood Frikkin Chicken is anything but “good”, but to a completist perhaps it should be included. If you add Emmy’s and Front Porch, may as well add Stefano’s too.

    I live in that hood, and have been to 20 of the 38 places on his list.
    I don’t think Coronitas has food, and I won’t eat at Pizza Hut.
    But I’ll use his list to finish out my own tour.

      • Wish I could delete my comment, I see this conversation happened lower down. I agree, the mousakhan (sp) with hummus is good, that’s pretty much all I order because I like it so much.

  3. This is a noble pursuit! Will check out the blog. I respect how taqueria is a separate category from Mexican.

    And, even though I realize these are fighting words in this town, I hold that El Gran Taco Loco has the best pollo asado in SF. It tends to be the only (grilled chicken) burrito I’ll accept, which is restrictive, but I’m so often disappointed elsewhere… They marinate the meat with onions and goodness.

    Love GFC. My better half is addicted to their half-chicken combo, but always changes up the sides, so I’m not sure what to recommend. Their bread is DELISH.

    Was at Jasmine Tea House the other night. Great dry fried calimari and garlic spinach.

    Nervous Dog makes a MEAN dry capp!

    My neighbors LOVE Playa Azul, so I’ll look forward to getting more opinions.

    As for the accusation against Mi Lindo Peru, I would challenge @teewordy to explain the charge. I had salmonella a few years ago and worked with DPH in-depth to determine where it could possibly have come from, and learned that it’s NOT the last place you ate. Food poisoning (botulism in this day and age is surprising in and of itself!) is similar, and since those charges are pretty damaging for a restaurant, it would be only fair to consider the power of your words. Plus, doesn’t “hellacious” always automatically qualify “food poisoning”? :-)

    I could totally see going to Mitchell’s in between every spot on here, to settle the stomach!

    Great, now I’m hungry.

  4. Inkas, which, sadly, is closing in a week or two, has the ABSOLUTE BEST chicken I’ve ever eaten. Peruvian rotisserie chicken (pollo a la braza) that towers above Limon’s, GFC’s (ironically enough), and anything I’ve had in Peru on my two trips there. Paired with their yellow chili (aji amarillo) sauce, it is like a drug to me. He should go there immediately, as should all of you… before it’s too late.

  5. I look forward to following Dave’s journey through la lengua. I have not eaten at many, but do love Angkor Borei’s Pumpkin Curry! It’s the only place around here that it’s actually served in half of a squash…..

  6. Thanks everyone for the encouragement. Be sure to follow me on Chowhound or on Twitter, so you’ll see updates of the most recent reports! Chowhound: Dave MP Twitter: @DaveMpHound

  7. I take exception to the designation of La Lengua…there is no such place except in the mind of the creator of Bernalwood…It’s called Bernal Heights no matter what you say and it will continue to be called Bernal Heights until the old residents of Bernal Heights start to die off and the newcomers can rewrite history to their liking.

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