Tacos: At first bite the two specials on the Taco Tuesday menu reminded me of taco nights at my dad’s house when I was a kid. Now my dad makes mole and chile verde, and like much of America has evolved his taste for Mexican cuisine. But back in the day taco night was as midwestern as he is: hard taco shells, canned refried beans, ground beef, mexican rice, thickly grated orange cheese, shredded lettuce, and chopped tomatoes. Azucar’s tacos were about the same, except for the vegetarian version with squash, the wimpy tortilla, and the more appropriately thinly shredded cheese. My friend Ramses described the horror he experienced after moving to the US and seeing hard taco shells for the first time, I felt that same horror trying to hold together these wimpy tortillas as they fell apart under the weight of the filling. $12 for unlimited tacos, if this is still your thing.
Drinks: We went for the $5 margarita special ($25 for a carafe which serves six drinks). It’s not a bad margarita for $5.
Hot dog: Being with Ramses, who is from Sonora, we were obligated to try the Sonora dog. Which they apparently don’t offer on Taco Tuesdays, but made an exception. Except that it was missing the salsa verde and the beans, so I think they just said they made an exception and put together their Mexican dog and Sonora dog, which basically is a lot of Mexico happening to a hot dog. Pretty much involved a bacon wrapped hot dog, mustard, ketchup, grilled onions and peppers and queso fresco. It should have been warmer when it arrived, but the real hard truth is I’m not going to spend time analyzing a $5 danger dog because we all know they’re good when we need them.
Place: This is a winning place to drink away the evening for so many reasons. I’m so done with a crowded SOMA bar where I have to fight my way to the bartender to order some cheap drink by the time happy hour is over. Here it’s the opposite. Make a reservation (I did it probably two hours in advance) and you’ll get to sit on a couch or love seat, partitioned so that every seating arrangement feels private. Streamers, art, vintage chests, and soft lights make it feel warm and colorful, but the windows are slightly opaque so it’s dark and cozy. Juanes is on the speakers (yes!) The servers come to you, and they’re charming and attentive.
In the end, I will be back for a drink and I will add this to the list of places for late night eats, the kitchen is open til 1 am on Fri and Sat. But I will probably not be back on a Tuesday.
99 9th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103