I had been to Gloria's once before. It's a tiny shop in Golden Hill. Unfortunately I couldn't eat there because it's Crips neighborhood and I was wearing my Bloods colors. Also, they only take cash.
So cash in hand (thanks to my lucrative rock-slinging business) I made another trip out there. I wanted to like it. I really did. It's a cool little shop, kind of old and run-down-ish. Not exactly shady (a place where you wouldn't be surprised to get stabbed; like "Damn, I went to Gloria's to get a Cali burrito and this dude stabbed me." "Damn, that sucks. How was the burrito?" Which is different than 'sketchy,' a place that would most likely give you hepatitis).
Anyway, back to the reasons I wanted to like Gloria's. There's just one old Mexican guy who works there. Their California burrito is less than $5. They use guac and sour. The fries are good and crispy. But the carne asada is gristly. Like, really gristly. Remember the creature that lived in the trash compactor in Star Wars? Right after they rescued Leia? Imagine that you killed that thing and cooked it. That's kind of what their carne asada was like. And that's not the kind of thing that other factors can make up for.