La Especial Norte



Review #6

May 28, 2017

Before my review, I must first complain about La Especial Norte’s margaritas.  We ordered some pitchers and I had 3 or 5 glasses and can say they definitely don’t put any alcohol in them!  What’s up with that Special Norte?  They tasted really nice, especially after letting my eldest drive me around all day on only the second day of having his permit.  But surely there was not so much alcohol in the margaritas but they tasted so good and I liked them a lot.  Now I’m going to lie down and finish blogging later  good night.


Let me start by saying that Steve and I are the biggest, most pathetic losers in the history of Encinitas when it comes to trying local restaurants, until now.  Really, who is lamer than us for not trying places like La Especial Norte, which are the bones that make up the city we have been living in for 16 years? We’ve driven by it a gazillion times and have heard lots of people rave about their soup, but have never gone until now.

Being a bigger restaurant compared to the places we have been to thus far, we had a slew of friends meet us there.  La Especial Norte has their own parking lot, how nice!  We got a large table crammed into the middle of the place where we could all eat together.  We started off with chips and guac.  And margaritas.  I kind of remember mentioning something about those, but my memory is a bit fuzzy.


The guac and chips were pretty standard, and the salsa was nice and spicy.  Too spicy for me, but my eldest seemed to be drinking it.  I was drinking something else.  Did I mention margaritas?

I started with a cup of chicken pozole that was recommended to me by someone on Facebook.  Now remember, if I am a food snob, then I am a soup….nazi?  Well, I need a word snobbier than snob.


I want to say I loved it, but it really wasn’t anything more than a bowl of thinned out enchilada sauce with some hominy and scant pieces of chicken.  And where were the corn tortillas usually served with pozole?  Apparently they were uninvited to our table.  My son ordered the chicken soup.


This soup was pretty good, definitely better than the pozole.  Honestly, I like my own Mexican soups better than anything here, if I’m being perfectly honest.

My friend’s young son ordered some rolled tacos that looked pretty good.


My son ordered “Pulpo a la diabla” which translates to “Octopus with red sauce so spicy it will burn your balls off”.  I think.


My husband ordered the three grilled fish taco plate.  The tacos were overpowered by the white sauce, and the fish flavor was a bit lost at sea.  But notice the double corn tortilla vessel?  Remember from my Review #1 how this is an important feature?


I ordered a combination shrimp taco and shrimp enchilada plate.  NOTICE SOMETHING FISHY WITH MY TACO?


Just one tortilla!  Why does the fish taco deserve a double vessel but the shrimp only a singular, flimsy single layer?  And guess what folks?  It didn’t work!  My (smallish) shrimps swam away from my bite and ended up in a pile on my plate.  They needed that second layer! I will say that swapping out my rice for Mexican cabbage salad was a good call. It was yummy.

The memory of the rest of my meal gets blurry along with my pictures.  The reason rhymes with Nargapitas.


Bottom line:  La Especial Norte is a nice place to eat Mexican food with friends and family.  Personally, I didn’t find it so “especial” but I’m a tough taco to crack.  Everyone else in my group raved about their meals.  The service was slow, and the price was high.  And their margaritas need real alcohol.



Author: foodkibbitzer

I love to cook, especially soup, and bake challah. I ride horses, enjoy sarcastic people and am a food snob. I'm busy being mom to my two boys and I play mahj jong.

7 thoughts on “La Especial Norte”

  1. Pork posole and you have to add the fresh onions radishes cilantro and avocado . But I agree we need another nice sit down non chain Mexican restaurant in Encinitas with more exceptional food overall.


  2. Personally, I think that the chicken mole is the closest to authentic that I have had in San Diego. Also, the tlapeño soup is really, really good. And the service… Let’s just say that it is also authentic.


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