The Fruitvale district of Oakland is known for having authentic Mexican food. There are plenty of local taquerías and restaurants that live up to this expectation, and La Mexicana is no exception.
What sets La Mexicana apart is the fact that they have handmade corn tortillas, which are made with only corn and water. These tortillas are as thick as two or three store-bought tortillas combined. They come out hot in a basket with butter packets on the side, and these tortillas are so flavorful that you can just eat them straight or with a small touch of butter to enjoy them.
Of course, these tortillas also work as delicious wrappers for the authentic Mexican food that they serve. This time around, I opted to try a new dish – Chicken a la Mexicana. This dish was unlike any of the usual Mexican dishes I eat (and as someone who grew up in this neighborhood, I’ve had quite a few Mexican dishes!). I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got this since I never had this dish before. The dish is essentially chicken breast chunks, peppers, and onions in a thin tomato-based sauce. The chicken was more tender than I expected (since I usually equate chicken breast to dry meat), probably because of the tomato sauce. I put some of the sauce, chicken and peppers into the tortilla, and it made a scrumptious bite.
The other thing worth writing home about is the rice. I love rice, and this rice was delicious, so of course I had to say something about it. This rice had a unique flavor from the usual Mexican rice, which I think comes from the additional green peppers that they added to the mix. What I really liked about the meal as a whole was that everything was very well flavored and well-seasoned, and it did not taste overly salted as what tends to happen in restaurants.
From the outside, La Mexicana looks like a run-down hole in the wall restaurant, but as a wise person once said – don’t judge a book by its cover. The inside of this place will bring you joy and happiness as you indulge in a meal of authentic Mexican cooking.
P.S. Fun fact about this place – it was featured on Check, Please! Bay Area by KQED.
3930 International Blvd
Oakland, CA 94601