Tacos in Los Angeles
March 27, 2015 10:55 AM   Subscribe

 
Half way thought this I thought "If this isn't by Juliet Banana I'll buy a hat and eat it."
posted by The Whelk at 10:56 AM on March 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


The profiles of black-owned businesses putting their own spin on the taco at the end of the "Rise of the Compton Taco" article are not to be missed!
posted by Juliet Banana at 10:58 AM on March 27, 2015


The best thing about this post is that it was posted in time for Angelenos to change their lunch plans to include tacos. The worst thing about this post is that it's still a good hour or so till lunchtime for Angelenos.
posted by mogget at 11:02 AM on March 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


I just bought some Maseca recently, and tried to make some, but protip: HAVE YOUR SHIT TOGETHER FIRST. I couldn't find my salt, and by the time I found the RED (hey, generic salt, why can't you copy Morton's color, KTHXBAI), all the water was absorbed into the flour.

Make sure you have your salt ready to add so you don't add water thinking you know where it is and then bam, it's gone.

Because I really want to have tortillas like I had at Del Taco. That shit was so good, and I hope this gives me a similar experience.

Now I want tacos.
posted by symbioid at 11:07 AM on March 27, 2015


Growing up in SoCal, they were always just one of the many yummy antojitos available, but after Invader Zim this is all I can think of when I hear the word.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:08 AM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Half way thought this I thought "If this isn't by Juliet Banana I'll buy a hat and eat it."

There's a hat for every occasion.
posted by jedicus at 11:08 AM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Perfectly timed.

I have an upcoming trip to California (San Diego) to watch a dear friend get married but I'm more excited for Tacos and In-and-Out than anything else.

I'd love to try cachete or other offal. I'll eat a lot of things, though I'm not really sure I could eat an eye.
posted by bondcliff at 11:18 AM on March 27, 2015


Man, he really throws it down with the Tacopedia.

He won me over. LA is the best taco town indeed - outside of Mexico of course.
posted by vacapinta at 11:18 AM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's a hat for every occasion.

OK. wow. Someone too young to make a Simpsons reference.
posted by rhizome at 11:21 AM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


bondcliff, the fish tacos in San Diego are to die for.
posted by cazoo at 11:26 AM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Every bike ride through the city is one taco temptation after another for me.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:27 AM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Taco Tuesday is now on Fridays
posted by Flood at 11:28 AM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


LA is the best taco town indeed - outside of Mexico of course.

One of the benefits of the spreading diaspora is finding amazing tacos in places you wouldn't have expected. Getting good tacos in LA is no surprise, but finding them in a ridiculously out of the way place is always a pleasure.

Sad, tasteless tacos are a crime against humanity and perpetrators should be punished.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:30 AM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Literally one of the best things about moving to LA has been the tacos. $1 tacos! Taco trucks! You can just hire a taco truck and have UNLIMITED GUACAMOLE AND TACOS! (The worst part is getting stuck behind a taco truck at 8 a.m. on the freeway and having everything smell like tacos without being able to eat a single taco. I did not know about tacos in Compton before, but those profiles are great and their tacos sound wonderful.
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:51 AM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


OK. wow. Someone too young to make a Simpsons reference

No, that page just had a recipe for making your own nacho hat.
posted by jedicus at 11:51 AM on March 27, 2015


There's likely to be a wide range of these styles at the LA Taco Festival. Get the VIP bracelets, it's totally worth it.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:11 PM on March 27, 2015


Lengua. I hope people continue to be grossed out by cow tongue tacos so I can eat them all myself.

I know it's a good place for breakfast tacos when I can get my two standards: lengua, and nopales and egg.
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:28 PM on March 27, 2015


in time for Angelenos to change their lunch plans to include tacos.

All of our lunch plans already include tacos, thank you very much.
posted by The World Famous at 12:29 PM on March 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've had lengua tacos, probably because I've had tongue (without being told) prior and liked it. They were from a local food truck known for it's willingness to experiment with various meats. None of the local Mexican restaurants have anything quite that adventurous. But we are a long way from Mexico so perhaps that's understandable.
posted by tommasz at 12:32 PM on March 27, 2015


You used to be able to get lengua and cabeza burritos in SF's Mission District, which is also a long way from Mexico. Though I hear thing might have changed there in the last 20 year, so I don't know if you still can.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:44 PM on March 27, 2015


I love cabeza tacos! White people will happily eat beef cheek ravioli at Mario Batali's Babbo, but put the same cut of meat on a tortilla and they're convinced it's got brains in it.
posted by Juliet Banana at 12:47 PM on March 27, 2015


We have a strong mexican community in my central Iowan town. The tacos have ruined Taco Bell for me.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 12:48 PM on March 27, 2015


Glad Tacos Leo gets a shout out from LA Magazine and LA Taco - al pastor is my personal favorite and they do it exceptionally well. Though the Chiquis truck (which I think might be newish) seriously gives Leo a run for their money.

And not surprised to see Ricky's at the top of the tacopedia. It really is is the greatest fish taco I have ever had in my life. Man, I am pissed I already ate lunch.
posted by joechip at 12:54 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hell, I'll eat brains (sesos) if you got 'em. They're not my favorite but they're pretty good. Last found them in a hole in the wall in Palm Springs, of all places.

It's all down to the location, though. Some places, the cabeza is magnificent (the best beef cut, by far, IMHO), in others, it's mediocre, but get a load of the al pastor. If you're really lucky, you'll find goat birria, Jalisco-style.

There used to be a place in Snohomish County, WA, I think in Stanwood or maybe Arlington, that served ostrich tacos, but I think they're closed now. I know you can get ostrich tacos in LA.

I read a thing some time ago, I can't remember where, that explained why sometimes far-flung places with only recent Mexican immigration can sometimes have more adventurous food and more unusual regional specialties than cities with long-established Mexican-American communities. In the long-established communities, the old-timers will always tell the newcomers "oh, no, forget about that, gabachos won't eat that, you have to stick to the combo plate with cheese, trust me, I know, we've been doing it this way for decades".

Not really true in a place as vast and various as LA, but I know that it was certainly true in Seattle, until the past decade or so. It's amazing to think that for decades almost all of the Mexican cooks in Seattle came from the same tiny village -- a pattern that's true all over the US (again, until recently).
posted by Fnarf at 1:01 PM on March 27, 2015


So this might be derail-ish, but I think this post has the people I want. I discovered cochinita pibil at a burrito place near me in Boston about 3 weeks before they took it off the menu. I've been jonesing for it ever since , and will be visiting family in Northern Orange County (city of Cypress, which is just east of Long Beach/605, between the 91 and 22. Anybody have any recommendation(s) where I could find it?
posted by benito.strauss at 1:40 PM on March 27, 2015


I end up at Tacos Leo every once in awhile. Al Pastor, certainly, but also Buche and Lengua.
posted by linux at 2:29 PM on March 27, 2015


benito.strauss, the Cochinita Pibil at Guisados is incredible (as is everything else there), and is well worth the drive to downtown L.A.
posted by The World Famous at 2:44 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Benito if you're willing to drive to downtown LA there is a place called Chichen Itza which is the best Yucutan style food in LA. Their cochinita pibil is the best I've had, and the restaurant itself is highly recommended by the author of the Tacos 101 series.

If that's too far, there are definitely some good taco spots in Long Beach but I am not sure about the cochinita pibil. I will ask around for you.
posted by cell divide at 2:50 PM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


joechip, yeah, Ricky's! I used to live really close by Ricky's, and I became a total regular there. Then he got shut down and moved to Chinatown, and I haven't been back since. Although, he might be back in the old spot... I'll have to look into this.

I still haven't been to Guisados, but I've heard it's pretty incredible.
posted by teponaztli at 2:51 PM on March 27, 2015


You used to be able to get lengua and cabeza burritos in SF's Mission District, which is also a long way from Mexico. Though I hear thing might have changed there in the last 20 year, so I don't know if you still can.

You definitely still can, thank god.
posted by Aizkolari at 2:59 PM on March 27, 2015


teponaztli, Ricky is now in his old spot with a legit truck and is permitted etc.
posted by cell divide at 3:04 PM on March 27, 2015


Yucatan Grill in Seal Beach (E of Long Beach, S of Cypress) right on PCH has cochinita pibil, and is supposed to be good, though I've never eaten there.
posted by Fnarf at 4:03 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks guys. I'll try to use the fact that I've got personal recommendations from people I know (or even met!) to persuade folks to go downtown. (You'd be amazed at how strong the Orange Curtain is in some people.) If not, Yucatan Grill looks good - The pibil is Fri-Sun only, so I'm hoping that means it gets love and attention.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:25 PM on March 27, 2015


I love lengua - grew up eating it - tongue is on every Jewish deli plate - so I never knew it was something to be grossed out by. Also, born in L.A. so lengua tacos were pretty normal fare for me. The best thing is that now everyone I know is hiring taco trucks for their parties. Super happy about that.
posted by Sophie1 at 5:30 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, also, thanks JulietBanana for this post!
posted by Sophie1 at 5:30 PM on March 27, 2015


Yesssss, Korean tacos are mentioned in fully half of the articles here. We have two Korean taco joints here in St. Louis now—Seoul Taco and KimCheese—and I'm pretty obsessed.
posted by limeonaire at 6:19 PM on March 27, 2015


I just discovered tacos visiting LA a few weeks ago and now that I'm back, nothing NOTHING compares. I've found some authentic taco places here (we've got a decent sized hispanic population) but none of them come close. I need to move to Los Angeles just for the fucking tacos.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 6:29 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not yet open, but Trejo's Tacos seems to be all any of my friends are talking about at the moment.
posted by ShutterBun at 5:49 AM on March 28, 2015


By the way, if any MeFites are interested in attending Taco Madness, please MeMail me and I can get you discounted tickets.
posted by cell divide at 6:41 PM on March 28, 2015


I'm happy to hear Guisado's is genuinely as good as I experienced it. I felt like I was in taco heaven, but also like I could be exhibiting first class naivete by being blown away by the first taco place I visited in LA, and a chain to boot! I've never had better tacos.

Didn't even bother trying to find a better place to eat dinner after that first night: five straight days of long hours of work followed by Guisados, and then had it for lunch as well before flying out.
posted by tychotesla at 12:36 AM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


The first article has an asterisk on flour* and then that asterisk is never followed-up with some kind of footnote or margin note or anything and it has me all twitchy
posted by secretseasons at 8:26 PM on April 2, 2015




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