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Taqueria la Raza

Lynnwood WA

6815 196th st sw, lynnwood WA 98036
mon-sun 11am-8pm

Agua Verde

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Rating: 94
Price: $

While Taqueria la Raza isn't the only reason I come home, it certainly encourages it! The location is great; it's nestled in a strip mall about halfway between my parents' house and my friend Trevor's place, between a Chinese restaurant and a barbershop, and in the same parking lot as a 7-11; it's conveniently on the way to the freeway and the mall; and it is easily the best Mexican food available in the Edmonds/Lynnwood area. I was glad to see a lot of business (11 customers in the 20 minutes I was there) because on a couple previous visits it had been pretty dead.

First and foremost, the owners are extremely friendly people. They'll often give you free samples of stuff they're trying out – this time I got a crunchy ground beef taco that is their weekly special. All their tacos come with a mysterious special sauce, the contents of which I do not know but the taste of which is excellent. They've also got three good varieties of salsa: green (which comes from an awesome basalt mega-bowl), jalapeno (almost a creamy jalapeno) and vinegar (but not overwhelmingly vinegary). Expert tip: green-vinegar 50/50 combo.

After ordering my tacos (1 carne asada and 1 pollo asada) I watched the owner/chef take a hunk of raw chopped steak and grill it up right in front of my eyes, expertly season it, and put it onto a couple corn tortillas. The chicken was waiting for me in a delicious marinade. La Raza took the interesting step of putting cheese on otherwise standard tacos (along with the classic onions, cilantro, and special sauce) and it turned out wonderfully.

As an incentive to return, the cooks were chopping up lettuce and tomatoes for other peoples' meals right in front of me (looks like they make a mean burrito, with awesome-looking guacamole). Perhaps a bit of hometown favoritism at work here, but this place gets top marks!

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