Priscilla Curiel has been working in kitchens for most of her life, first at her parents’ Chula Vista restaurant, Talavera Azul, then at her catering company, where she perfected the art and science of making birria, the comforting and spicy Mexican meat stew. She opened her first restaurant, Tuétano Taquería, on San Ysidro’s main drag last year and has already caught the attention of Food & Wine magazine for her spin on tacos.
Tuétano means “marrow” in Spanish, an apt name for the taquería since roasted beef bones are a star attraction. Curiel first slow-cooks them in the oven before dunking them in a rust-red ancho and guajillo chile broth she’s labored over, then they hit the grill as a topping for tacos stuffed with beef birria. The cut shank is served whole, and you’re meant to scoop the meaty butter out and spread it atop the taco.
It’s a messy meal that requires a fork and several napkins, but the juicy beef, complex herbal flavors from the broth, and thick homemade corn tortilla make it worth it. Ask for a small cup of the consomé to sip.
143 West San Ysidro Boulevard, San Ysidro