La Oaxaquena
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Address: 2128 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (Cross street: 17th St)
Neighborhood: Hayes Valley / The Mission
Specifics: Mexican
Phone: 415-621-5446
Cost: $
Restaurants Try the tlayuda--a large tortilla slathered in toppings.

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On Our Radar:
Tostada + Pizza = Yum
Posted by:  Valerie Ng

Go ahead, try something new. If it's a chicken burrito or taco with carne asada you're craving, it's hard to go wrong at any Mission taqueria, but for something totally different head to La Oaxaquena. The name should tip you off that this is the place to go for Oaxacan specialties like tlayuda, a cross between a pizza and a tostada, and the chicken mole tamale. With all the Latin American and regional Mexican cuisines represented in the neighborhood, it's surprising that Oaxaca's food isn't more prevalent, which means I'm all the more appreciative of La Oaxaquena. The tlayuda, a large tortilla grilled and slathered with refried beans and topped with lettuce, Oaxacan cheese, avocado, and a choice of meat, is enough to feed a party of three. But if you are jonesing for something more Mission traditional, check out its specialty tacos topped with venison, ostrich, or even crunchy grasshoppers, when they're in season. This place doubles as a bakery, and a variety of desserts like flan, cakes, and sweetbreads are available as well. Consider getting a doggy bag for your food, so you'll have room for the sweets.

Photo:  Valerie Ng
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