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Hometown Tortas

La Torta

FoodAbout thirty years ago, Miguel Rojas was an Undocumented Immigrant, crossing the border to help his family of eleven brothers and sisters in Mexico. Miquel worked hard, became a U.S. citizen, saved his money, and today he is the owner of La Torta, with not one, but three of the top rated Mexican restaurants in San Diego County.

It all started with Miguel enjoying the tortas in his hometown of Mexicali. Now a torta is a Mexican sandwich, made with special bread, called telera, that you can find locally in most Mexican bakeries. But Miquel has done the classic torta one better. Tortas are transformed into a gourmet experience, that starts with the garlic spread Miguel adds to the bread, then piles loads of deli meat… ham, beef, turkey, shrimp, sautéed veggies, slices of avocado, tons of cheese, then he puts the whole creation in an oven to melt the cheese and drive all the exotic flavors together.

The result is often unwieldy and messy, and you feel like a royal slob with pieces of delectable torta meat, cheese vegies and dressing dripping out all over the place, including your shirt…..but these tortas are worth the work.

FoodAll the sandwiches are named for Miguel’s family, and sister Natalia has kindly lent her name to the Super Natalia. Basically it has all the best of La Torta, with that great bread, every meat and cheese, and a size that would put any New York deli to shame...literally about six inches high.

It’s a fascinating experience to go to the restaurant and watch people trying to squeeze this monument to sandwich science down to edible dimensions. It’s about seven bucks, and enough for two hungry people. For the lighter eaters, Pillys sandwich is a nice alternative. Made with beef sautéed with onions, mushrooms and peppers, put on that wonderful torta bread, this is melt in your mouth delicious.

And, they even make other variations of Mexican dishes here. The shrimp quesadilla made with sautéed shrimp, with an excellent spice mix this is one of the best quesadillas in town for about six bucks. This exotic Mexican cuisine has caught on big time, and Miquel is planning on opening the forth La Torta soon. Quite a testament to the work ethic of a guy who snuck across the border thirty years ago, and is now a US citizen, living the American dream, and making some pretty darned good food in the process.

Details »
  • City: La Mesa
  • Phone: 619-741-6230
  • Name: La Torta
  • Address: 8356 Allison Avenue