Quietly nestled on the corner of 3rd Street and Washington sits a taco shop with a rich historical connection to San Diego and, more importantly, to the San Diego music scene. When the bars and clubs of central San Diego dump their patrons on the street at 2 a.m., some go home, some go to jail, and the rest head for some late night Mexi-grease at La Posta.
On any given night, but particularly on Thursday through Saturday nights, one can find a ripe cross section of San Diego's nightlife at La Posta: indie rockers, clubbers, vagrants, gangbangers, hospital workers, drag queens and rockabillies all converge on the tiny taco stand. Just as high school kids congregate at Denny's and try to get high off free coffee refills, La Posta has become the de facto grazing outpost for central San Diego's rock contingent.
La Posta opened way back in 1978, says current owner Nahu Peralta. When asked to recall some lusty tales of celebrity sightings, Peralta only recalls a Denver Bronco who showed up after the Super Bowl back in 1998 and signed some autographs and a dollar bill that still hangs in the kitchen area.
Despite the history of its early years being shrouded in secrecy, it is the die-hard patrons of La Posta that can recall the vivid memories of late night dining:
Jeffrey Trageser (Rotator): “I work at Mercy Hospital and used to work night shifts and La Posta was the only place to eat. One night around 2, while I was getting a carne asada quesadilla for my dinner, Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction came by with his posse and asked if I knew where to get some heroin... at least I think that's what he asked me. He was pretty incoherent. That's my most rock 'n' roll story about that joint. Mostly we just get a bunch of beat-up drunks and drag queens from that place as trauma patients. I suppose UCSD gets a lot of the same action...”
Robert Walter (Greyboy Allstars, Robert Walter's 20th Congress): “Devon Goldberg and I lived across the street from La Posta for awhile. We would eat at El Cuervo (about a block West of La Posta) for dinner and then after going out to one of several bars, stop by La Posta before bed. We did this daily for many months and I don't think my body has ever really recovered from that. La Posta will always be one of my favorite places to eat late at night. It's a great place for spotting local rock stars. I still go most nights after I play the Casbah. [Casbah] owner Tim Mays usually shows up as well.”
Whether or not you are active in San Diego's nightlife, it doesn't take much to understand the complex mechanics of actually remembering what happened last night at a taco stand. For many, the layover at La Posta is the part of the post-club blur that occurs after many-a-round at the bar. Some even believe La Posta's culinary powers don't reach maximum potential until the early hours of the morning.
“I've tried to go there in the daylight,” Walter says, “and it's not as good for some reason.”
Adam Gnade (CityBeat contributor and co-editor of local online 'zine, Anti-Complacency) sums it up: “I had some insane times at La Posta... half of which I remember.”
At which point he recalls one-a story of the time a young punk kid tried to sell him a severed human finger in a plastic bag...