9629 Lost Knife Rd.
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Cuisines: South American, Mexican
Price Range: Inexpensive
Reservations: Not Needed
Three-star operations with long cocktail lists aren't the only ones that know the importance of minding the details.
One way this taqueria shows that little things add up to big things is by stationing its high-tech fixin's bar near the counter. All taco toppings--several kinds of house-made salsa, sliced radishes, cilantro--are stowed in a compact apparatus that keeps everything cool and fresh. No digging into a tub of watery pico de gallo here. Guacamole gets the same care, and it doesn't stint on the lemon.
The best of the tacos, the al pastor, features glistening, spice-rubbed pork sliced from a spit and piled into a nubby, two-ply corn tortilla. You have to ask for the grilled pineapple slices traditional to the dish (the fruit's sweetness and acidity balance the heat and fat), but the staff is happy to accommodate the request.
Also good: Carnitas and lengua tacos.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.