Eat & DrinkSan FranciscoSlider

24th Street Series: Salvadorian Food at Usulutan Restaurant

Sign up for the best newsletter EVER!





Best Newsletter Ever!

Join our weekly newsletter so we can send you awesome freebies, weird events, incredible articles, and gold doubloons (note: one of these is not true).




Usulutan Restaurant



A couple of weeks ago, as part of my 24th Street Series, I wrote about La Palma Mexicatessen.  An eatery-cum-corner store, it was and is an exemplar of good, authentic food.  In addition, it exemplifies the old guard which is being not-so-slowly pushed out by the new.  For the sake of juxtaposition, I then wrote about Pig and Pie, a recently minted joint which seemed to embody the rapid carpet-bagging of 24th Street.

This week, I went back in the opposite direction away from gentrification, to a long-time fixture on the northeast corner of Harrison and 24th, called Usulutan Restaurant.  It proved, based on my first and possibly only visit, that the enduring presence of a restaurant isn’t necessarily predicated upon the quality of what’s in the offering (Salvadoran food, in this case).

Upon entering on a Monday evening, I was immediately struck by two things: first, the utter desolation of the place.  Dappled, fading sunshine illuminated the bareness of the interior, whose population consisted solely of one waitress walking slowly between formica tables, the absent-minded swipe of her damp rag keeping time with the tectonic shift of the muffin top perched above the bedazzling embroidered upon her low-rise jeans.  The second was an overpowering reek of disinfectant which nearly caused me to swivel on my heel and return from whence I came.  I swallowed, and resigned myself to mouth-breathing for the next 30 minutes.

The food, while not terrible, had a spirit-crushing blandness that’s almost worse than outright shittiness.  I’ve always loved the word pupusa; there’s a sensuality in that array of consonants and vowels that is thoroughly undermined by the reality: a flat, mushy disc of corn meal stuffed with a grey mush allegedly consisting of carbon-based sustenance.

I came away from Usulutan feeling bloated but oddly unsatisfied from my meal, a sensation having to do with its dispiriting flavor-shortfall and also, I suspect, it’s complete lack of nutritional value.  Unlocking my bicycle, I was able to breath through my nostrils again, savoring the un-sterilized, fetid aromas of the Mission as they’re meant to be smelled.


Usulutan Restaurant
2990 24th Street (@ Harrison)
[The Mission]

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

Free Birthday Party for Harvey at the Lookout 05/22

Next post

TONIGHT: Grolsch #ChooseInteresting Music Series at Brooklyn Bowl

Fatt Mink

Fatt Mink

I was born into a family of bookworms and staunch pinkos in downtown San Jose, California.
I lived in San Francisco from 2002-2016, during which time I studied music and Italian at S.F State and worked as a waiter and bartender in restaurants and bars both foul and divine; I credit my considerable experience in the industry with birthing my eternal burnin' love for food and booze, still a driving force in my life. I lived in Rome for 8 months in 2016 and then moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, where I currently write for a newspaper and play music.