mama testa

I first stumbled into Mama Testa back in 2004 thinking, based on the name, that it was an Italian joint. Quickly found out it wasn't. It's a Mexican restaurant, and soon the owner was explaining to me the origin of the name (and concept). Something to do with the Spanish Conquest and a covert language used by Indians - I don't remember the details. So while Mama Testa is a Mexican restaurant, it is not what you're thinking. Yes, there are tacos, salsas, rice and beans, and many of the other trappings you're familiar with. But Mama Testa focuses on regional specialties from all parts of Mexico.

I've liked everything I've had. The Yucatecos (marinated pork tacos) are especially good. But hands down my favorite thing at MT are the Mojados. Easiest way to describe it is "rolled tacos cut up and served in a bowl of tortilla soup". Doesn't sound all that exciting, but they are so good, I almost look forward to cold weather. Oh, I eat them during the summer, but they are perfect for a chilly night.

Another thing I love about Mama Testa is the salsa bar. There are at least ten different types, from mango to a salsa with sesame seeds (my personal fave). Oh, the parmesan/tomatillo salsa is definitely worth mentioning as well.

I meant to write about Mama Testa when I first moved back to San Diego a year ago. I was a little scared they might not be around, as University Ave sees a lot of turnover restaurant-wise. But lucky for me (and you) it seems to have found a little niche, and is highly recommended. Definitely in my top ten San Diego places to eat.

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