Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I was really excited when I heard about Toma, a Mexican restaurant in the Marina that opened this past year.  I really do enjoy mexican cuisine, but most casual places use lower end meats and products than I'm really comfortable consuming.  But Toma boasts that all of their meats come from Golden Gate Meats.  Everything is free range, no hormones, etc.  The recipes have been handed down from their grandparents.  The tortillas are even made to order!  They have multiple vegetarian choices, and even gluten-free options.  It sounded very promising, although Yelp! reviews were quite mixed.

I eagerly stopped in one afternoon when I saw that they were offering a $5 credit if you paid with Paypal.  It was a hot afternoon, and I really wanted a refreshing horchata, a taco, and some salty chips!  Unfortunately, they did not have any horchata, even though the menu listed it, instead, a single agua fresca was available (along with standard canned and bottled drinks).  Strike one, but understandable.

The space is tiny, with a couple counter seats along the window, and two small tables outside.  A small salsa bar completes the space.  Most people seem to take their food to go.

The staff weren't exactly friendly.  They kinda glared at me while I decided what to order.  Paying with Paypal worked like a charm though, I really am loving it.  No awkward scanning of QR codes like LevelUp.  I'm very curious to see how their adoption goes, as it is only available in a handful of places in SF so far.

Anyway, the food sadly wasn't very good.  I won't be going back to Toma.
Championes Taco.  $2.95.
I'm not a vegetarian, but I don't really care for chicken, pork, or beef,  so I was excited to see that they had two different veggie options.  I went for the championes, a mix of "grilled mushrooms, roasted chile poblano, and onions", since the roasted poblanos sounded fantastic (my other choice was grilled yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and onions, which also sounded good), topped with pico de gallo.

My taco was delivered to me a few minutes later.  It looked a bit difficult to eat, so I grabbed a fork to try out the filling first.

The filling was almost entirely mushrooms.  I was surprised by what they were.  Since the menu said grilled mushrooms, so I expected perhaps grilled portabellos.  Or, um, at least something grilled.  These were small mushrooms, super slimy, and honestly seemed like they came out of a jar.  Like pizza topping mushrooms.  I'm guessing they had just been cooked down extensively.  Unremarkable, no flavor, and certainly not grilled.

As for the poblanos that I was excited for, my entire taco contained exactly two small pieces.  Again, "roasted"?  I don't think so.  There was also a small amount of cooked down onion.  But mostly, it was just a very large pile of mushroom.  Very, very, watery mushroom.  There was a pool of liquid in my box within the first moment I picked it up.  Impossible to eat.

The wateriness completely ruined the tortilla.  It might have indeed been a fresh, made-to-order tortilla.  It did have a nice corn flavor.  But, it was a very soggy mess.  Not remotely crisp, and it really didn't seem like it had been griddled long enough, as it was kinda doughy.  But maybe that was just all the liquid.

It was topped with a simple pico de gallo, tomatoes/onions/cilantro.  Not particularly interesting nor flavorful.  Served with a slice of lime.

I didn't even want more than a few bites of this taco.

As I mentioned, there was a salsa bar, with four different salsas, more chunks of lime, and an onion/cilantro mix.

I tried all four salsas, and all were incredibly watery.  I guess that is the theme here.  The most mild one honestly seemed just like watered down tomato sauce.  One had a bit of heat.  None were labelled, so you had to try all of them in order to figure out which were spicy.  Incredibly boring salsas.  I brought home some chips and salsa for Ojan, who loves chips and salsas, but he didn't want any of these either.

At $2.95, the price for the taco was fine, and would be considered quite good for a meat one (they are all the same price), but meh, not even worth that.
Side of chips.  $1.
Since the tacos do not come with chips, I splurged for a side of chips.  They came in a cute little paper bag.  They were cold.  Very standard chips.  I was expecting something more freshly made since that seemed to be the idea they were going for at Toma, but these could have been from any bag in a grocery store.

Good portion for $1, but not really worth getting, particularly given that the salsas were so weak that there was nothing to do with them.
Toma on Urbanspoon
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