Taqueria Los Pericos #5 – San Leandro – Review

2013 Update

Over the years we’ve gone to Los Pericos #5 and the original Los Pericos pretty indiscriminately.  Unfortunately, they removed all the nice tables and chairs from #5 and replaced them with the same formica booths that theyhave at the man restaurant. They definitely don’t encourage lingering.  But they still have  a couple of high tables with chairs and the one large booth in the corner.

Personally I prefer to go to this Los Pericos because it’s still a bit nicer/more intimate but also because they have s “small super quesadilla” which is twice the size than the small quesadilla at the regular Los Pericos, but still smaller than the giant one. It’s the perfect size for lunch.

2005 Review

When we first moved to San Leandro, Pedro’s was our taqueria of choice. We liked their burritos, the small surroundings and leather backed chairs by the window. Alas, they got our orders wrong too many times, so we stopped going there and started going to Taqueria Los Pericos instead. Los Pericos offers a special quesadilla, which is just like a burrito but with cheese instead of rice and beans, just how I like them.
Apparently other people preferred Los Pericos too, as Pedro’s has now become Taqueria Los Pericos #5. Their menu is the same than at Los Pericos, including burritos ($2.50 for a bean & cheese to $7.25 for a “shrimp super”), tacos, nachos and quesadillas in addition to Tex-Mex dinner plates ($7-11). The food is all taqueria style, however, don’t come here for regional specialties. Meat selections, however, are wide and they include beef tongue, chitlins and intestines, in addition to more common meats.
As we discovered in our visit to Los Pericos #5, the quality of the food and the service are also like those of its parent restaurant. We ordered a small grilled chicken super quesadilla for Mika ($3.50). This consisted of a tortilla covered with melted cheese, grilled chicken and sour cream (guacamole also available, but Mika doesn’t like it) and topped by another tortilla. The whole thing was very good, but the grilled chicken is particularly tasty and a favorite of mine.
Mike and I both ordered the giant special quesadillas ($5), which are rolled like a large burrito and include melted cheese, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, salsa and the meat of your choice (Mike went for the carne asada and I for the pastor -a saucy BBQ pork). Once again they were both quite good, the carne asada, cut into very small slices, is flavorful and juicy, though it can be fatty at times. The pastor was somewhat spicy, but tamed by the sour cream and guacamole. I’d order it again if I didn’t like the grilled chicken so much. The special quesadillas are large enough that you can easily take half home for later.
Los Pericos is known for its fast and friendly service, this tradition continues at Los Pericos #5. Indeed, we recognized some of the workers from the parent restaurant. As in the other restaurant, you order your food, you are given a number that you then put at your table. The waiter then delivers the food to you. You can find complimentary chips under a heat lamp at the counter, and a tray table offers different kinds of salsas, pico de gallo, beets (don’t ask me why), pickles and lime wedges. The chips are crispy, thick and not too oily, good though a bit tasteless by themselves.
The restaurant itself has not changed much since its Pedro’s days. The Mexican murals are still there, as are the dark wood chairs and tables (the leather back chairs had disappeared years before). There are TVs at two corners and a jukebox, but the music and sound weren’t as loud as in the parent restaurant. In all, it’s a more “elegant” atmosphere than that at the super-casual parent restaurant. It’s also considerably smaller. I think that if I was going to eat there with another adult, I’d chose the #5 location, while I’d go for the main location if I had the kids alone. The space and the video games gives them stuff to do while we eat.
Note that its hours are briefer than the main location.
Taqueria Los Pericos #5
1389 E 14th St.
San Leandro, CA
510-895-0660
Daily 8AM – 10 PM