Taqueria Cuernavaca: Central Mexican Cuisine in Ventura

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Restaurant Ventura

Seemingly every Mexican food fan knows about the joys of La Super-Rica thanks to longtime proponent Julia Child, and Los Angeles probably has the best Mexican food outside of the motherland, but that still leaves a considerable distance between the two cities. Yes, plenty of Mexican restaurants reside along the way, and of course some of them are worth visiting. One notable option is Taqueria Cuernavaca, a five-year-old restaurant in Ventura near the 101 that takes its name from the largest city in the central Mexican state of Morelos. A sign hints at the restaurateur’s spirit, depicting revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata.

According to the menu, “Cuernavaca is known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring.’ It is a very modern city with a definite Mexican flavor, and since Aztec times has been a favorite vacation and weekend retreat. Cuernavaca is a word in Nahuatl, originally Cuauhanahuac, which means close to the trees.” The menu also referenced Cortes, Emperor Maximilian, and the climate, but Food GPS isn’t Wikipedia, or an Almanac, so back to the restaurant.

Taqueria Cuernavaca’s interior has tile floors, figurines and a detailed mural of Cuernavaca and the surrounding state, which the owner, Joaquin Solorzano, painted. Order at the counter from a menu that is by no means limited to Morelos.

Mexican Food Ventura
They had several different meaty stir-fries called Alambres. El Fortachon ($8.50) involved a crusty mess of thin-sliced steak, marinated pork, chorizo, ham, cheese, onion and bell pepper, topped with fresh shucked avocado, and served with stack of corn tortillas.

Taco Ventura
A satisfying Al Pastor ($1.50) taco starred spit-shaved slices of pork loin marinated in onion, garlic, chile de arbol, chile guajillo, and habanero for a hint of heat. The condiments included a firm slab of pineapple, mildly sweet and reminiscent of Mexico City.

Mexican Food Ventura
Our final bite was from a Sope ($2) with crisp edges, supple center and a topping of pinto bean puree, cheese, sour cream, onions, iceberg lettuce, and potato. Of course they had meatier versions, but the alambre pretty much covered our protein consumption for the day.

Salsas Ventura
Their salsas were also above average, including a hot and tangy salsa of habanero-tomatillo, spicy habanero-tomato, and an aromatic slurry of avocado, jalapeno, onion and garlic.

During our visit to Taqueria Cuernavaca, I learned that the owners recently opened a branch in Santa Barbara at the corner of Cabrillo & De La Vina. Clearly Taqueria Cuernavaca’s revolutionary spirit is gaining traction.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

Place looks like a really experience. I always like to experiment and be exposed to culture other than my own. Thanks. Looks good.

the food looks great. totally a place i’d like to try next time i’m in that area, instead of la super rica.

Cuernavaca used to be known as the City of Eternal Spring, but now it is known as the city of murdered headless bodies hanging from the bridge.


This isn’t really the place for that kind of comment. I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico since 2009 and have only had positive experiences. Yes, the country’s been facing adversity with the drug war, and Cuernavaca’s been hit hard, but this isn’t really the forum to fan the flames.

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