The challenges of COVID-19 notwithstanding, business is booming at La Grana Fish, the popular Fruitvale taco truck — a success that co-owner Ana Morales attributes in part to the truck’s fairly expansive outdoor dining area. But there’s something to be said, too, for its proprietors’ unceasing creativity. While La Grana Fish is mostly known these days for its quesabirria tacos, the truck has always been hard to pigeonhole. Its vast menu also features loaded baked potatoes, assorted seafood specialties, and, now, its latest creation: an overstuffed quesadilla-pizza hybrid known as the “pizza mula.”
According to Morales, most people who are really into tacos already know about mulitas (“little mules,” literally), a kind of quesadilla variant that’s popular in Tijuana: a small, taco-size corn tortilla that’s loaded up with meat and cheese, then topped with a second tortilla to form a kind of sandwich.
The “pizza mula” takes that simple concept and makes it, well, bigger. Instead of corn tortillas, La Grana Fish uses a large flour tortilla — and instead of folding it half like you would to make a quesadilla, the taquero stacks a second tortilla on top of the meat and cheese (they use mozzarella and Monterey Jack), adds more meat and cheese on top of that, and then a third tortilla, flipping the whole thing over so it gets golden and crispy on both sides. Yes, the pizza mula, at its core, is a kind of triple-decker sandwich.
“It looks like a pizza, right?” Morales says. She notes that they’ll cut the pizza mula into however many slices the customer wants, and the whole thing is served in a pizza box, adding to the effect.
Some customers are daunted by the dish’s $30 price tag, but Morales explains that the “pizza” is meant to feed three or four people — and comes with a full slate of fixings: chips, salsa, pico de gallo, grilled onions and jalapeños, and more. It’s a whole meal.
The Pizza Mulas are available with any of La Grana Fish’s meat options, so customers can opt to get theirs stuffed with, say, birria or grilled shrimp. But Morales says the most popular option so far has been the adobada, or Tijuana-style al pastor, which gets tossed with grilled pineapple at La Grana Fish — you can see the chunks of pineapple spilling out of the pizza mula in the photo above.
That’s right, a new data point in the eternal debate on whether or not pineapple on pizza is actually good. And if the pizza mula de adobada’s popularity thus far is any indication, it looks like we can chalk one up for Team Pineapple.
La Grana Fish recently expanded its hours and is now open for takeout and outdoor dining four days a week — Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.