La Selva Taqueria’s wild side

La Selva Taqueria, 1049 23rd St. in Richmond. (All photos by Kathy Chouteau)

By Kathy Chouteau

Eater SF recently named La Selva Taqueria on a list of “destination-worthy tacos.” But what we’re here to talk about is the elephant in the room — literally.

The Mexican restaurant at 1049 23rd St. is easy to spot: Just look for the gorilla statue by the side of the road, and also the large-scale patio grill that’s responsible for its popular grilled chicken dishes.

La Selva Taqueria features a whimsical jungle décor—such as the aforementioned gorilla figure, and other animal cronies including a black panther, lion, elephants and more. It’s no wonder, since in Spanish La Selva Taqueria means “the taqueria jungle.”

Interior of La Selva Taqueria

The 18-year-old Richmond establishment owned by Jesus Segura greets customers with a vibrant interior decorated with murals of the aforementioned exotic animals and jungle greenery, as well as friendly service. I ordered two Crispy Tacos with carne asada and a Taco Salad with chicken to go. A menu board touted specials which included a wildly apropos “Tarzan Plate,” for $19.25 featuring shrimp, chicken, roast beef, rice and beans.

Back home, this reporter’s husband was all-too-happy to help me sample the restaurant’s fare. All the ingredients tasted fresh, with the Crispy Tacos living up to their name in that they were super crispy. Otherwise, the tacos were quite Spartan with just the meat inside.

Crispy Tacos with carne asada

Likewise, the Taco Salad also featured fresh ingredients including chicken that tasted smoked and lettuce, tomatoes, onions, rice, beans and sour cream arranged in a fried tortilla.

The tortilla chips from the fixings bar, which included red and green picante sauce, limes and the like, were a highlight.

Have you tried La Selva’s yet? If so, tell us — and greater public — about your experience, and what to order, in the comments.

La Selva Taqueria is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Catering is also available. Call 510.237.0913.