August 30, 2016 was not a typical Taco Tuesday. Our group of well-trained burrito reviewers congregated at the Champion’s Booth at Lucha Libre Taco Shop in North Park. Lucha Libre is potentially the most famous taco shop in San Diego. It qualified for FiveThirtyEight’s Burrito Bracket. The Luchador (Wrestler) theme is fun and silly, and there’s commonly a line of customers out the door. That night, our group applied the 10-dimensional burrito rating system to nearly all the burritos on the menu.
As a whole, the burrito experience at Lucha Libre that night was fairly variable. Overall scores ranged from 4.5/5 (great!) to 1.5/5 (disappointing!) with an average score of 3.3.
Naturally, half of the 28 burritos rated were California burritos. And of the California burritos, half were Surfin’ Californias, which include shrimp in addition to steak. Interestingly, there was no pattern for which types of burritos were rated low or high (Fig 1B). A statistical test concluded no significant difference in the overall rating between California burritos and non-California burritos. However, there was an evident relationship between burrito type and the size of the burrito. A Surfin’ California burrito averaged over 900mL in volume while all Holy Moly burritos were less than 700mL (Fig 1C).
We compared Lucha Libre to the 5 other taco shops that have received at least 10 burrito ratings over the past year. In Table 1, we see that Lucha Libre has the best salsa and some of the biggest burritos. However, Lucha Libre sells the most expensive and coldest burritos.
Lucha Libre also ranked relatively low in meat quality, which I would disagree with. But the data is the data, and I will not argue against it. As my research advisor has said, “[this] is how good science is done: by pushing against even our own past work.”
Despite its fame, Lucha Libre’s overall burrito rating was relatively low compared to other popular taco shops. Overall, Lucha Libre’s burritos ranked 5th, only beating out Los Primos in UTC, the taco shop we only go to because it’s close to campus.
The consensus is that Lucha Libre is overrated
- “Probably the best steak I’ve had in a burrito”, “Large, but feels good in my hands.”, “fries=4[/5]”, “first bite was entirely sour cream” - California
- “Good guac”, “Probably positively biased by the service”, “Shrimp was questionable” - Surfin’ California
- “Ordered a specialty burrito and guess I was expecting an ordinary one! Sauce was good but overpowering; no veggies at all; overall just did not feel like a burrito.” - Holy Moly
- “Not as good as the first time” - Surf & Turf
- “Bland” - Bean & Cheese