The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Guapas Review: A Bite Into Menlo Park’s Newest Taqueria

Staff photo: Geoffrey Franc

All we had was a location and a description of an upscale Chipotle. Upon turning into the Menlo Park strip mall on Middle and El Camino, we looked to the shops to the left of the Safeway. In large green and pink lettering, we read “Guapas” below an illustration of a skull.

Guapas opened September 20th, and this was apparent upon entering. The restaurant — whose name literally means “handsomes” in Spanish — felt like a large cupcake shop with an alcohol license. Bright green, soft pink and a bar empty save for a dozen bottles and a neon pink sign reading “Tacos are my love language.” We were intrigued. 

Geoffrey and our guest stars — his brother Matthew and Assistant Sports Editor Asher Darling — began to order burritos, delighted by the endless customization options and toasting of the final products. Sonia chose a different route, ordering two pollo asado tacos, but was equally excited for the warm tortillas. Though, trying to pay separately necessitated the use of our Spanish skills. Even after, Sonia was still charged for three tacos instead of the two she received.

Despite this, Sonia enjoyed her tacos and left a clean plate. To evaluate our experience more concretely, though, we based our review on the following criteria, rating value, atmosphere, service and overall food satisfaction on a scale from 1 to 10. We also will dole out a bonus point for uniqueness if we are so moved. In this case, we were not.


Food Satisfaction: 8.5/10


Geoffrey: My carne asada burrito with black beans, cilantro rice, jack cheese, sour cream and guacamole satisfied my hunger and intense burrito yearning. I greatly appreciated the option to customize my meal. I also relished the opportunity to include cilantro rice in my burrito, as it is unique among rices in its flavor. At the end of the meal prep line, my burrito was mildly toasted to add a subtle but welcome crunch to the tortilla. However, I noticed thick layers of tortilla at the burrito’s extremities, signaling that the tortilla could have been filled with more food.


Sonia: A self-proclaimed picky eater, I too appreciated the customization offered and filled my tacos with pollo asado, white rice, cheese, corn salsa, onion and cilantro. Each element of my tacos was more than acceptable, and I would even go as far to say the corn salsa puts Chipotle’s to shame. If you get the tacos, I recommend a fork to scrape up all that falls out of your tortilla. You won’t want to waste it.


Atmosphere: 6/10


Sonia: It was difficult to ignore the fact that during the majority of our dining at Guapas, the establishment had more employees than customers. Although, we did go on a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps it was an error in timing.


Geoffrey: Honestly, this fits the vibe of a road trip lunch stop in a Central Valley strip mall. With at least a dozen tables inside (all empty except ours), and more empty ones outside, the space was dominated by the Pop Latino playing over the speakers. Yet, I enjoyed this relaxing lunch atmosphere secluded from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley.


Sonia: I hope Guapas has a significant DoorDash clientele, but I wish we would have been surrounded with more liveliness.


Service: 7/10


Sonia: Because this wasn’t a sit-down, the one opportunity to evaluate quality of service was the ordering process. Honestly, it didn’t involve that much interaction. I’m pretty indifferent to the service here.


Geoffrey: I will note that communicating with the staff wasn’t straightforward, and at one point we were asked if we spoke Spanish. While I was more than happy to use my skills in the field, anglophones should be advised that basic skills in California’s second language may be useful.


Value: 4/10


Sonia: Even though I was wrongfully charged for three tacos instead of two, I still maintain that spending over fifteen dollars on three tacos is absurd. They were good, don’t get me wrong. But were they life-changing? For $16.43, they should have been.


Geoffrey: The mid-range vendor down the street from where I live sells me an identical burrito for just $13.50, compared to the $16.70 I paid at Guapas. This included a $1.75 surcharge for guacamole. Still, though, the burrito was not as full as it should have been, and I think the $14.95 base price is too high.


Uniqueness (bonus point):  0/1

We did not give Guapas the uniqueness point.


TLDR: 25.5/40

Don’t let the score scare you, though: both of us would gladly and happily return to Guapas for the quality of food and laid-back atmosphere. We expect that the small kinks will be worked out and encourage you to indulge in your burrito-and-taco-yearning and give it a try.


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About the Contributors
Sonia Dholakia
Sonia Dholakia, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: Working with the entire staff to create a great product and becoming friends along the way.

Interests outside of school: Mock trial, traveling, and listening to Taylor Swift.

Class of 2025

Geoffrey Franc
Geoffrey Franc, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: Telling people's stories and learning about the world through them.

Interests outside of school: history, running, and Mock Trial

Class of 2025

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