Estradas, Daly City


In Daly City, on Mission, just before the Colma city limits, there was a wonderful Mexican Restaurant that was recommended to us by Arthur's co-worker, Faith Ritche. The interior was on the verge of dingy, with cut paper banners of various hues hanging from the ceiling. There were bull fight posters, and huge mirrors with the specials painted on them. Sombreros completed the scene, hanging over "leather" covered booths that embraced tables that were a bit too large.

The best part was the menu, however. I always looked forward to the Albondigas first - meaty broth with huge meatballs and vegetables. We always thought a bowl of that would be sufficient for a meal, but never left it at that. For me it was always a beef Tamal along with Chili Colorado. The best part of the menu was the fact that you could get all of this food with "beans, and rice, or macaroni," a wonderful addition for all the Italian stone workers carving the monuments for the dead lying in Colma. Macaroni! I ordered it once. Al dente it was not!


Now all of that is gone. Entering the room, we saw that the walls had been restored to their "Arts and Crafts Period" paneling, and the side windows were uncovered. The walls were adorned with fake Botero paintings, and the room is presided over by a "Frida Kahlo" that looks like it may have been painted by Modigliani, Giacometti, Edvard Munch, or all of them.

We quickly noticed the new tables and chairs...especially the chairs, which must have come from a defunct Chinese Restaurant. "Ah, Chinese chairs," Arthur commented to the waitress, who quickly responded, "Yes, we're not just Mexican any longer, but serve Caribbean food as well!" A stunned silence followed.

I missed the architectural details of the old room, with a moderne dividing panel with portholes that looked into the back room of the restaurant. I missed the funky menu, and the "Blazing Salad", which I never ordered. It was a suite of things that made for the dining there, now all gone.

The food was ok, the service was adequate and friendly, and the room clean and refreshed. It was, however, not Estrada's.




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