On my way to the airport for a San Diego-bound flight—and unsure about what gastronomic pitfalls or crescendos awaited me in SoCal—I stopped for tacos at one of two Doña Lencha restaurants in Irving.
The Story Road location anchors one corner of a strip mall with a large dining room, but I wasn’t there for a sit-down meal. So, I got tacos needed to gird me through my ride on Spirit Airlines as a to-go order.
To that end, I selected four gratifying tacos. So gratifying that the bizarre ending to my time there won’t deter me from returning. Inconspicuously. Barbacoa de borrego was a two-timing delight. The asteroid shower of salt was followed by a chuffing sweetness that rolled along the sides of my mouth. I’ve never gotten into a spousal argument that ended with an angry, makeup suck-face sessions but I imagine the borrego to be better.
The pastor was as good as any pastor could be, with charred edges, threads of shimmering onion and in the appropriate serving. Doña Lencha’s carnitas had nice bits of skin and fat bridging chopped pork. However, the skin could have been a touch crunchier.
When you go, make sure to ask for handmade corn tortillas. If they have them, the dining experience is all the better. Delicate but strong they might tear but won’t split open, sending a chewy, mouth-puckering strip of cecina (dried beef) plummeting to your lap.
Even if it did, it would be acceptable. It would simply be picked up and popped into a maw pleased at the morsel. What isn’t acceptable at Doña Lencha is photography.
After snapping two shots of the restaurant’s exterior, I noticed a waitress at the window opposite our car staring at the car’s grill. She was scribbling something I can only assume was the car’s license plate number. Such an act is as illegal as getting frustrated at Don José, the elderly man who lives on the corner with Alzheimer’s disease because he doesn’t return my salutation—even though I see him every day—or as illegal as taking a photograph of a building. There were no signs forbidding the use of my camera.
My experience isn’t an isolated one. Two friends got into a yelling match with Doña Lencha’s owner after the gentleman saw one of them taking pictures.
It’s a shame that a terrific restaurant would be so adverse to potential promotion, yet declare on their Twitter feed, “We love feedback! Positive and Negative Comments? Tell Us what you think of Dona Lencha?” What I think about Doña Lencha is that there’s only one thing wrong with Doña Lencha. And it’s not the food.Doña Lencha Restaurant and Taquería #1 1900 North Story Road, Irving 972-790-8813