What’s in a name? That which we call a taco by any other name would taste just as delicious. Similar to judging a book by its cover, a restaurant should not be reviewed solely by the sign above the door. But when La Chingada Taqueria (roughly translated: “The Fucking Taqueria”) first popped on my radar, I couldn’t help but wonder about the back story.

After schmoozing with La Ching’s owner, Leo Aceves, for a few minutes, I finally popped the question: what’s up with the name?

“Oh, well that’s the name of the town in Mexico,” he said, referring with a wry smile to the small town in his home state of Veracruz. Now that I had that mystery solved, I turned my attention to answering my favorite question: what’s for lunch?

Chingada has a broad menu that serves up everything from breakfast, to the ubiquitous tacos and burritos, along with a nice selection of seafood to round things out. I went with their standard street tacos ($2.20 each) to sample the various meats, and some Crazy Fried ($4.75), which is their version of Carne Asada Fries but with any choice of meat.

The selection of meats included the more exotic Lengua (tongue), Cabeza (head) and notorious Buche (pork stomach). While all were good, I particularly enjoyed the Lengua for its extremely beefy taste and tenderness. Their Buche might have been the least gamey I’ve had and was extremely tender. The Crazy Fried was also equally delicious. Just when I thought my visit was complete, I saw another customer order something that made my eyes pop and my mouth drool—and I knew another visit would be in order.

The Piña Loca (Crazy Pineapple) is a heavenly dish conceived by a devilish mind. It consists of shrimp, octopus and pineapple cooked in a red hot Diabla sauce and blanketed in a sheet of melty Jack cheese—all served in a cored-out pineapple half-shell. The sweet heat made my eyes tear and sinuses clear, but I couldn’t stop engulfing it. The blend of spices, pineapple and seafood was a symphony to the senses and a dish worthy of being their signature item.

All jokes aside, La Chingada is a great little joint in Berryessa, which is a neighborhood desperate for more good eats. With a versatile menu, affable ownership and terrific chow, they could be a cornerstone for years to come.

La Chingada Taqueria
3281 Sierra Rd, San Jose.