Friday, August 19, 2005

King Taco


When I think of Los Angeles and tacos I think of King Taco. This chain of authentic mexican fast food resteraunts started off as a taco truck in East LA. Now there are over 20 locations. King Taco has conquered the city and we Angelenos bow down to their carne asada and al pastor tacos as well as their sopes and burritos.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I decided to go to the Cypress Ave King Taco location. This is my favorite king taco resteraunt. Mainly because of it's neighborhood feel but mostly because of the abundance of taco competition in the area. It's five minutes from Highland Park, the taco capitol of LA and a much smaller venue than the other King Tacos. The good news for your humble taco correspondent is that lines are never as long as they are at the other King Tacos which means one can "dos mas" if you feel so inclined. Veteran taco truck patrons will be farmiliar with "dos mas" but it's hard to pull it off as a gringo. You order your 3 tacos para aqui, munch them down with a beverage and then make eye contact with the man or lady behind the counter and hold up two fingers and say dos mas. If the response is "de que" you simply say "de asada con todo". But hey..dont get too brave with the espanol because they might ask you further questions in spanish and then the gig is up. Your "dos mas" privledges at the taco truck are finished and you have been exposed as a desperate gringo with no patience and a proclivity for deception. To quote Walter Sobchak "this isn't Vietnam, there are rules"

Each taco comes with onions, cilantro and king tacos famous hot sauce.The carne asada is grilled to perfection with king tacos secret recipe. The al pastor is also tender and flavorful and always fresh and tastes like it's just been sliced from the spit. It's also a rare sight when you find a piece of fat on your taco. I call these pieces of fat on tacos "fatty bits" you can call them what ya like just dont recommend me a taco truck with lots of fatty bits. Some fatty bits are ok but when the taco has too many of them I just feel like i've been given the harshest gringo treatment that one can imagine. I start to question my character and what I did to offend the cook and how I can repair our relationship. So dont put me in that situation. I may be your humble taco correspondent but i'm also emotionally fragile.

So my friends if you have not been to a King Taco and you like tacos then what are you waiting for? I think most people who like tacos and that live in LA have already been to this fine establishment and are probably thinking "king taco? is that all you have for us Bandini? Why dont you start a burger hunt blog and then go to in n out burger?"

My response is that this is a taco hunt and the time will come to hunt down the great hidden taco trucks of our fine city and when that day comes your humble taco corespondent will report on these experiences. So let it be known that I am Bandini the taco hunter and no taco establishment is safe from my gab and vigor for good tacos.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com 4.5/5 for King Tacos carne asada and al pastor tacos.



King Taco is at 1118 Cypress Ave, Los Angeles 90065. Tacos are $1.25 each
visit www.kingtaco.com for other locations.

40 comments:

  1. Thanks for visiting my site. Its a funny old world really. Today in Taiwan i stumbled across a wonderful English-language bookstore , but I only had 500NT in my pocket- enough for just one book. I mooched around for hours, picking up titles and putting them back again, reading first paragraphs and back-covers.
    You know what book I decided upon? 'Ask the Dust', by John Fante (the Bukowski introduction sold it to me). I never heard of this author before, or Arturo Baldini, the protagonist (can I assume this is where you got your psuedonym?). Then I went to a restaurant to eat fried dumplings (a local speciality here) and read the first three chapters. THEN I came home, checked who visited my site and found you, Baldini.
    Strange eh?

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  2. archibald

    what fortuity!

    Your assumptions are correct as to my handle Bandini (the protagonist in Fante's literature)

    I also was turned on to Fante from Bukowski but i've never tried fried dumplings. How is the taco scene in your city? and how are you enjoying "Ask the Dust"?

    If you enjoy that I suggest "the Road to Los Angeles"

    regards,

    Bandini

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  3. if you are really serious about checking out GOOOOOOOOD tacos from taco trucks i know the best GEM of them all.... it is in the City of South El Monte..

    http://locator.coolmaps.com/bankofthewest/map2.cfm?id=11673

    right next to the back of the west...

    now becareful cause there is like 5 taco trucks there at times and dont get me wrong they all pretty good shit.... but you have to make sure you go to the one right next to the bank of the west......the name is MARISOL'S tacos..... do your self a favor get some asada and some lengua and a quesadilla as well.....The salsa is the shit.

    you wont regret it.

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  4. That's what I'm talking about. Since you're a fanatic, you can have a tee. Just drop us a line.

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  5. It has been many years since I was fortunate enough to eat a King Taco taco or one of there delicious Tortas but your review brought back wonderful memories.

    Thanks,

    Scottie D.

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  6. King Taco is good stuff. I used to hit King Taco after donating plasma down the street on Long Beach Blvd. Greasy carne asada was rejuvenating for the long ride home on the blue line.

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  7. heyyy i am so proud to say that i work for king taco in the corporate office ;-) lucky me, huh? ;-)

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  8. I concur. The KT on Washington and San Pedro makes me a very happy man and always worth the drive from WeHo. The asade sopes are what I am always hankering for. BUT, I think the pastor is lacking and I prefer the carmel, stewy, tropical pastor that El Gran Burrito has to offer much better. There needs to be an Al Pastor blog!

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  9. What's up with the King Taco cook that wants to charge 55 cents for a tiny plastic container of salsa verde? 4 of us went to the Washington and San Pedro location and ordered 3 Burritos, 4 Tacos, 2 Nachos w/ meat. Ordered all burros and tacos without the killer salsa rojo. Asked Pancho for 7 salsa verde and Pancho replies that's too much and wants to give me only 5. What the heck!! Spent $31 on the freaking food and Pancho wants to play hard. Guess what, Pancho probably thinks his restaurant is the only taco joint in LA. His taco maybe be good but there are other tacos that are just as good.
    Ain't going back to KT anymore.

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  10. well im happy u love king taco.its the best but only if u go to the one in Pasadena its better looking.
    but its so addicting, im there every sunday

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  11. i want king taco on the westside... lets make this into a petition for a westside location!

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/368377

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ive hit King T once or twice but never really to impressed. some people are easily amused. Really all king taco has is its famous red sauce. nothing a lil chipotle and kayanne pepper cant fix. but take the sauce away and you have just a plain old taco shop. theres better in south gate im telling you the new kings are in town. people just havent discovered them Los Barrigones. there on tweedy and san miguel cant miss them. king T about 10 15 years ago was good now you get nothing for a hefty price. WOW!!!!

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  13. Ok, I want to start off by saying that King Taco is the only fast Mexican food in La and surrounding cities... Infact of all Mexican Resturaunts! I have never ever been ale to get that taste or even simular to the taste of King Taco. You don't need a fancy shmancy high end resturaunt to experience true quality of fantasitc simple basic mexican food.. If you have yet to experience it? try it; I promise you won't regret it!!

    someone from San Dimas

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  14. I go pretty often to the Pasadena King Taco (which is probably cheating a little) and I'm hooked on their suadero tacos. I'm pretty sure they soak the meat in lime juice. Their molleja is amazing, too.

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  15. hello taco bandini,
    so i was trying to look up a king taco location close to me. i noticed on their photo for the hoover location link is a picture of el taurino! did they buy the building or is it the same owners?

    thanks!

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  16. el taurino is owned by the same folks at king taco, hence the reason for a picture of el taurino on their site.

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  17. My best King Taco times were at the Long Beach location. Why did it close down?

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  18. To Anonymous (above): Not sure why they closed the Long Beach Blvd location down but it looks like they broke the building down for several businesses. A new location is up the street and should open soon. Great, now I'm getting hungry!!

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  19. The reason they closed the Long Beach KT is because of a fire. That is what one of the workers told me.

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  20. King taco is Good but Dam that last time I ordered a burrito teneya puro frijoe so the next time you go thier dont ask for carne asada tell them da me un taco de frijole might as well they dont put meat on it mean burn I pass I go to el capitan on olympic 2 for a dollar

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  21. To Anonymous (above) - Just ate lunch at the new Long Beach location (1841 LB Blvd). Love their sopas. As good as ever!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love me some King Taco. I will cook sopes at home, with all the trimmings, but my sons will stop at King Taco to get the red and green sauce. The red has a hint of clavo- hard to recreate. It's my favorite. I'd love to know how they make it...

    AmyLynn

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  23. wannabe_bandini1/27/08, 6:24 PM

    i'm on a mission to follow in bandini's footsteps.. trying every taco stand in greater Los Angeles (at least the 4 - 4.5 out of 5 ones bandini recommends).

    finally made it to King Taco today (the one on Cypruss).. i can see why he's so obsessed with it. it reminds me of my all time favorite fast-food (they even have a drive through) Mexican Taco place (in the OC, that's right, the OC) Taqueria De Anda.. i didn't think the al pastor was as good as the epic El Taco Llama (now my current favorite thanks to this blog) but the carne asada was awesome. and yes, the salsa is amazing.. i'll definitely be going back to that one since it's not too far away.. but first there are too many other places to try....

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  24. First off, I think your site is fantastic. That said, I'm not sure that I agree with your assessment of King Taco. Is it deserving of that high a rating? After all, it's a chain, which wouldn't really matter, except that I feel like that affects its quality. I've consistently ordered Tacos al pastor at King Taco and I haven't always been impressed. Does it matter which King Taco I'm going to? Also, how can I evaluate the proper al pastor taco? Some, like the ones from King Taco, are completely different than others, like the ones from Cactus Taqueria. Which one is more authentic? Better?

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  25. eso es todo mis compas ellos tienen los mejores tacos de to los estados unidos yo emirado como empezaro y hora hasta donde an llegado. KINGS TACO LOS CHINGO ESOS TACOS ESTAN MU BUENOS THANKSS>.

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  26. We are going to try the Long Beach King Taco on our visit to CA. I remember the good old taco stands in Tiajuana, so I hope they can compare, will let you know...

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  27. King Taco does not even rank on my list of great tacos. The quality has been slipping for a while now. $1.25 for two terrible tortillas and a couple pieces of meat?The only thing that saves this taco from being a complete failure is the red sauce. What kind of "taqueria" does not garnish their tacos with radishes. Lets face it, king taco is not what is used to be.

    ReplyDelete
  28. We are going to try the Long Beach King Taco on our visit to CA. I remember the good old taco stands in Tiajuana, so I hope they can compare, will let you know...

    ReplyDelete
  29. King Taco does not even rank on my list of great tacos. The quality has been slipping for a while now. $1.25 for two terrible tortillas and a couple pieces of meat?The only thing that saves this taco from being a complete failure is the red sauce. What kind of "taqueria" does not garnish their tacos with radishes. Lets face it, king taco is not what is used to be.

    ReplyDelete
  30. To Anonymous (above) - Just ate lunch at the new Long Beach location (1841 LB Blvd). Love their sopas. As good as ever!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. The reason they closed the Long Beach KT is because of a fire. That is what one of the workers told me.

    ReplyDelete
  32. To Anonymous (above): Not sure why they closed the Long Beach Blvd location down but it looks like they broke the building down for several businesses. A new location is up the street and should open soon. Great, now I'm getting hungry!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. i want king taco on the westside... lets make this into a petition for a westside location!

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/368377

    ReplyDelete
  34. Ive hit King T once or twice but never really to impressed. some people are easily amused. Really all king taco has is its famous red sauce. nothing a lil chipotle and kayanne pepper cant fix. but take the sauce away and you have just a plain old taco shop. theres better in south gate im telling you the new kings are in town. people just havent discovered them Los Barrigones. there on tweedy and san miguel cant miss them. king T about 10 15 years ago was good now you get nothing for a hefty price. WOW!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I concur. The KT on Washington and San Pedro makes me a very happy man and always worth the drive from WeHo. The asade sopes are what I am always hankering for. BUT, I think the pastor is lacking and I prefer the carmel, stewy, tropical pastor that El Gran Burrito has to offer much better. There needs to be an Al Pastor blog!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I love me some King Taco. I will cook sopes at home, with all the trimmings, but my sons will stop at King Taco to get the red and green sauce. The red has a hint of clavo- hard to recreate. It's my favorite. I'd love to know how they make it...

    AmyLynn

    ReplyDelete
  37. They were talking about opening a King Taco in Vegas, is this true?

    ReplyDelete
  38. I am a big fan of King Taco, I usually get two sopes de asada and one or two tacos de asada, with the onions and red sauce, they are very delicious and are very consistent at all locations.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Love Love Love KING TACO!! The closest one to me is in Ontario 30 minutes away. So happy. I can't go down the 60FWY with out getting off on Mountain Ave and getting up to 4 Sopes de asada and my tiny 6 yr old daughter has eaten up to 3 and she drinks the red sauce. I guess it's good I don't have one closer.

    ReplyDelete

 
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