Behind the Scenes

The Secret to a Perfect Taco from Tacolicious in San Francisco

Today, a taco can be whatever you want it to be. It can be seaweed with a Korean-spiced filling. It can be a chocolate wafer stuffed to the brim with ice cream. It can even be a orange, cheese-flavored chip shell with ground beef inside. But whatever a taco is made out of, there’s a trick to making sure it’s as delicious as possible. This week, we popped into one of our favorite taco shops — Tacolicious in San Francisco — to learn how to make the perfect taco. Learn their executive chef’s best tips and take a look at some favorite Tacolicious items, photographed on our Great White dishware.


Telmo Faria, Tacolicious’s executive chef, runs the kitchens and plans the menu for all three of the restaurant’s highly successful locations. We caught up with him at the Valencia street location in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood to get his best tips for putting together the perfect taco.

Pictured above: Three of Tacolicious’s staple tacos on our Great White Couple Dinner Plate.


“The key to a great taco is in the tortilla and the salsa,” says Faria. “You can have a great cut of meat, and put it in a terrible tortilla and have okay salsa, and it just won’t taste good. But if you have a so-so cut of meat — even a bland piece — and put it in a great tortilla with flavorful salsa, the taco will still be delicious.”

According to Faria, a tortilla is only great if it’s fresh. “It should be soft when heated, and have a toothiness but not fall apart,” he says. “The key ingredients in a tortilla are corn, water and salt. The more you deviate from that, the more you get away from what a tortilla should taste like.”


While Tacolicious is famous for its signature tacos, it also dabbles in a variety of other dishes, including these raw tuna tostadas (which were once on 7×7 Magazine‘s infamous Big Eat List). We thought these tasty bites looked perfect on one of our Great White Square dishes.


The restaurant’s three salsas (Watch out for the yellow one — it’s extra spicy!) were a perfect fit for this condiment dish. We’d love to take some home in our Great White Chip & Dip, too.


Each of Tacolicious’s restaurants has a distinct ambiance that still feels cohesive. For example, the colorful floor tile is just a bit different in each location.


Next time you’re in the Bay Area, be sure to check out one of Tacolicious‘s four locations (we recommend trying one of their margaritas, too).


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