When Rowell and I first heard that Puesto was going to open up a new location right here in the Bay Area, we got excited. Then we found out it was opening up in Santa Clara Square which is about 15 minutes from our house and we got even more excited! Puesto originates from San Diego. They have two locations: La Jolla and the San Diego Headquarters on Harbor Drive which is the location Rowell and I have previously been to. So its nice having a little piece of San Diego follow us to the Bay Area!
What I like about this location is that there is ample parking. It’s in a semi new plaza which also has a Whole Foods, Sur La Table, and other restaurants such as Il Fornaio, Flemings and Opa! Definitely a great neighborhood spot for a date night!
We came on a late Saturday afternoon so there was ample parking but I’m sure that it gets really busy around lunch time (weekdays) due to the office workers at nearby companies such as Ericsson.
The first thing you’ll notice when you first enter is how big this place is. And right smack dab in the middle is a massive, fully stocked bar with ample seating all around it. We didn’t sit at the bar this time around since the kids were with us but we did ask for a table by the window and we were seated in a huge leather booth in the outside covered patio. It was the perfect table for a family with 2 crazy kids who can’t sit still!
The place is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a huge space and they put a lot of work on the architecture and design of the restaurant. Every little detail was thought of down to the design of their glasses. I love places that take the time to focus on the details.
What we drank:
Puesto Perfect Margarita with blue agave reposado tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice, and agave nectar. It was refreshing and had a slight tang to it which was perfect on a hot day.
Puesto Red Michelada with chile, tomato, lime, and Victoria. This drink was a mix of a Mexican beer and tomato juice and surprisingly the combination is amazing! I would recommend trying this if you are looking to try something new!
What we ate:
Chips and Salsa (free) – the chips were homemade and came warm and super crispy. The salsa was mild and perfect for the kiddos to dip their chips in.
Classic Guacamole – probably one of the best guacamole I’ve had at a restaurant. It was simple yet super tasty and went well with the chips. It didn’t have anything fancy in it, just good old avocado with cilantro, onion, lime/orange and chile habanero seasoning.
Side of Herb Lime Rice – in my opinion, this was a little bland. I was expecting something close to the orangey Mexican rice but this was white rice with just some herbs on it. I wouldn’t order this again.
Esquite – now this is my favorite dish of the night. It’s grilled corn removed from the husk, with chile, lime, queso and crema. It was so good! The combination of the flavors was a little sweet, salty and definitely savory!
Kids meal for Gabe: chicken taco, quesadilla, side of rice and beans and a mango aqua fresca. Gabe loved it and ate everything but the rice and beans. His favorite was the mango aqua fresca. It was a sweet and refreshing drink and good alternative to the regular apple or orange juice we usually order him.
Okay, now for the tacos…
3 tacos for Barb: Chicken al Pastor, Chicken Tomatillo, and Carnitas. The chicken al pastor and the carnitas were a definite hit. I gobbled them up so fast they were that good. However, I found that the chicken tomatillo was a little too dry and wasn’t as flavorful as the chicken al pastor and the carnitas. I think next time, I’m going to try the fish taco instead.
3 tacos for Rowell: Chicken al Pastor, Carnitas and Verduras (zucchini & cactus). Rowell’s favorite was the carnitas. No surprise there! He never had cactus before so the verduras was stepping out of his comfort zone and he was pleasantly surprised.
The service was excellent from the minute we arrived and were greeted by the hostess (who is a San Diego native herself, we later learned) to the food runners serving us our food. They were very attentive even though it was a packed house by the time we were done, we never felt neglected or forgotten.
Things to Know:
Make a reservation for peak days and hours. They get busy, really busy.
Happy Hour is Monday to Friday from 3-6pm in the patio and bar area. Tacos are $4 and Puesto Perfect Margs are $9!
Taco Tuesdays is from 3pm-close. Tacos are $3 and Modelos are $3.50. A great time to go if you want to taste a bunch of different tacos.
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