[Redwood City, CA] Delightful pupusas from Pupuseria Nineth, hidden inside a pool hall

Blink and you’ll miss Pupuseria Nineth while driving along El Camino in Redwood City. I’ve driven by it probably a hundred times but never saw it. Its not a restaurant, but rather a little kitchen serving food for the pool hall/ bar crowd at El Zarape Bar And Grill. There is a small banner for the pupuseria above the door of the pool hall. The señora who runs the kitchen is from El Salvador, and serves up some delightful pupusas.

The kitchen serves other food as well, but since I came for the pupusas, I ordered all the pupusas on their menu- revueltas, queso loroco, queso frijol, queso chicharron. The first observation was the señora made the pupusas from scratch for every order.

The exterior of the pupusas arrived crisp, warm, and delightful. Not greasy. The queso had the right amount of salt and tasted great. The pupusas came with curtido and salsa roja. The 4 pupusas tasted good in different ways, the loroco (a Salvadoreno plant) and chicharron (ground pork) and revuleta (loroco + chicharron + cheese) tasted good on their own. Porky for the revuleta/ chicharron. The frijol (black bean) combined very well with the tomato-based salsa. The ratio of filling to masa was just right that every bite there was a good chunk of the savory filling.

The curtido was acidic, but not spicy unless I bit into a jalapeno. The star was definitely the pupusas.

Cash only. There is parking in the back of the pool hall, but its just before you see the pool hall sign driving south bound on El Camino. Or park on the street around the pool hall.

The menu:

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold