Friday night I went with my mom and some people she works with to California Taco. As the name might suggest, it is not a "Cali-Mex" place (i.e. California's version of Tex-Mex--lame attempt at a joke, I know), but the restaurant is located on 32nd and California--a part of California Street that seems particularly proud of being called California.
There are a good number of restaurants that could be called "Omaha institutions." This would be one of them. I'll confess, I'm not really that sure why. The food is good, not mind-blowing, but good. But it is cheap--real cheap (thus populated by many, many students). It's been around a while. And it's on 32nd and California. Which means, for those who aren't familiar with the neighborhood I live in, it's less than a mile (or two) from Mutual of Omaha, Kiewit, Berkshire Hathaway, two major hospitals and Creighton University. But it's hidden back in a neighborhood that is populated by students, hippis, families that haven't moved in 50 years, gay couples, probably a few drug dealers, and Democrats. Definitely one of those hidden treasures.What is just about mind-blowing at Cali Taco are their homemade flour tortillas and chips. I love Tex-Mex places that make their own chips, probably because they're really salty, really crispy and really bad for you. And the guacamole has enough garlic to be impressive (not as good as my mom's though). Cali Taco is actually yet to be featured in an episode of Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (I'm guessing under the "Dives" heading).