La Taqueria has been named an American Classic” by the James Beard Foundation for its Mission-style burrito, joining four other restaurants nation-wide recognized for their “quality food, local character, and lasting appeal.”

The restaurant, the foundation writes, has stood out as a standard-bearer, and a barometer upon which to argue over other burritos.” The foundation notes the rice-less approach to burritos of its owner, Miguel Jara, and the ever longer wait lines stretching down the block.

“At his counter-service restaurant, filled with simple wooden tables, Jara rejects the beans-and-rice approach, doubles down on the meat, and griddles his burritos golden-brown,” the foundation writes. The line to get gets more and more absurd as time goes by, but the quality stays high.”

Mission Local interviewed Jara in 2015 just after he won FiveThirtyEight’s “burrito bracket,” a nationwide search for the best burrito. Jara, who moved to the United States in 1958 at the age of 16 and has owned La Taqueria since 1973, said he opened up a body shop on O’Farrell Street before going the Mexican food route.

“To hell with the body shop,” he said then. “I’m going to open me a taco shop. I’m going to open me a 100 taco shops.”

Listen to our interview with Jara below.