Tuesday, November 29, 2005

El Matador



Los Angeles is a taco town. New York and Chicago may quarrel over who has the better hot dogs and San Francisco may have the mission style burrito but when it comes to tacos Los Angeles has no equal. There are sunny days year round in Los Angeles which allow this taco environment to thrive and when the sun goes down it's never too cold to enjoy a plate of tacos at a taco truck or outdoor cart.

Which brings us to El Matador, a taco truck on Western and Lexington Ave in East Hollywood. This taco truck has been on my radar for quite some time and I was eager to test the asada and al pastor. After a cumbersome drive up western blvd during rush hour(seriously took me 45 minutes to go 2 miles) the truck came into view just before the 101 freeway parked on the property of an auto shop.
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A no frills menu of tacos, burritos and tortas as well as your choice of meat keeps things quite simple when ordering. I almost went completely off the deep end to order a burrito de sesos(cow brains) but I caught myself just in time to order two asada tacos and one al pastor. My tacos came with onions, cilantro and a delicious spicy salsa roja. The salsa had alot of kick to it but also alot of flavor with a hint of grilled habanero pepper.

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As far as the tacos the al pastor was a real winner. With a saucy blend of grilled onions and spiced pork combined with the salsa there was alot of flavor here. The asada wasn't far behind with charred beef with the right balance of moistness and crunch. No bits of fat on either taco could be found which is a testament to the cooks. These guys really know how to prepare their meats.

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charred fine cuts of carne asada with a delicious salsa roja

I was tempted to order some more tacos but a line started to form and I decided my taco business was done here. I'll be coming back here again and again for the al pastor, charred beef and salsa roja but next time I'll wait for the traffic to subside.

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1174 N Western Ave in East Hollywood. Nightly after 7pm. Tacos are $1 each

28 comments:

  1. On Chowhound, a hound said that there are usually 2 taco trucks in the same paking lot at Western Ave and Lexington: one is named El Matador and the other is named Mi Terasita. Both trucks are suppose to be good.

    Did you notice 2 taco trucks?

    Your review mentioned that the truck was unnamed. I wonder which one you reviewed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ahhhh thanks for this info. My camera malfunctioned and I didn't get a proper photo of the truck. I'll have to go back and see which taco truck I ate at. Gives me an excuse to try that al pastor and salsa roja again :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. bandini - Just found you site through Simon's - you've got a wonderful site! I wish I had taken advantage of Taco Truck fare when I lived in LA.

    ReplyDelete
  4. kirk,

    thanks!

    i'll trade ya a king taco for some of those carne asada fries mmm :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. cuddy, fuck a mission burrito. its always about LA when it comes to mexican food.

    btw, have you tried taco zone on alvarado and montana in echo park?

    also, do you do reviews of machaca? i gotta know where the heat lives.

    ReplyDelete
  6. shigglesworth

    yeah i've been to taco zone but not since I've started this taco hunt.

    i'm up for machaca. any recs?

    ReplyDelete
  7. i checked out El matador 'cause of your review, did the asada tacos, got 3 of 'em - I wish i ordered 3 more. Awesome. Just awesome. The right amount of spicy, tender meat, and left me wanting more. I'm a big fan of cilantro too. Great site, keep it going...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree with you all about the tacos thay are good but recently I noticed that some fat was coming up in my burrito,sometimes the tacos.It's sad to see this happening because most other plcaes where they sell tacos fat is in the meat and that's discusting so "MATADOR"please stop putting "FAT"on my burrito..Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great, but one time they were out of Al Pastor. Noooo@!

    ReplyDelete
  10. arturo the other bandini4/14/06, 8:09 PM

    yea El Matador only at night right?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I ate at El Matador tonight for the first time ever despite it only being a couple blocks away. I made noticed the 2 trucks in the parking lot and no one was even at the other truck vs 7 people at the El Matador truck. (BTW El Matador is the truck on the left.) The carnitas were the most flavorful and best I've ever had.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I gotta try this. One of my buddies said that they have some incredible tacos.

    Now for myself, the sesos are going to be at the top of what to try.

    Had some seso tacos in Chicago and they weren't so hot.

    Do you know the name of the taco truck that operates down on La Brea and Olympic? It only seems to be there at night, they have some really good lengua.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  14. The truck that Bandini is referring to is no doubt El Matador. So far, I've tried their al pastor, carne asada and buche!! They are all very good and trust mm I know good tacos when I taste them.

    Since it's dark earlier you can catch El Matador at Western & Lexington as early as 5-5:30 pm.

    The other truck wasn't there. I've seen it in the late hours especially coming back from a friend's gig (who peeped me to El Matador), but I haven't ventured to that truck, only El Matador.

    If you happen to go there, say hi. I'm the only African-American chick that's there at the truck getting my grub ON!!

    -Lady Meka

    ReplyDelete
  15. I forgot to mention that I also tried sesos. I've only tried sesos at El Matador, but my esperiemce with that use a lot of lemons and chile and it's mmm,mmm, good!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. cross the street & check the stand next to the Hollywood Blacklite- now we're talkin...

    el rey

    ReplyDelete
  17. and while you're there, have a drink at the L- You can bring your tres taco's in & eat em at the bar

    e-r

    ReplyDelete
  18. This Place Is REALLY AWESOME!! :) Its Really Good & Totaly Worth The Drive! TRUST ME!! They Have Awesome Asada & Everything Else. I PROMISE You Wont Be Dissapointed!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I had the Tacos and it was the best I have ever had they should be number one in your list. I spoke to the cook and they have been in the same spot since 1981.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Even though the Militant is partial to El Gran Burrito, he has tried El Matador, not too far from his compound. Tis good, nice and spicy.
    He has seen two trucks but on the night he and one of his operatives came here after a Dodger game last year, there was only one truck.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Los Angeles is a taco town. New York and Chicago may quarrel over who has the better hot dogs and San Francisco may have the mission style burrito but when it comes to tacos Los Angeles has no equal."

    You must not have been to Chicago. We have maybe the best Mexican cuisine in the world (all regions of Mexico and their offerings can be found here) and taco's are a plenty at them.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This Place Is REALLY AWESOME!! :) Its Really Good & Totaly Worth The Drive! TRUST ME!! They Have Awesome Asada & Everything Else. I PROMISE You Wont Be Dissapointed!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I ate at El Matador tonight for the first time ever despite it only being a couple blocks away. I made noticed the 2 trucks in the parking lot and no one was even at the other truck vs 7 people at the El Matador truck. (BTW El Matador is the truck on the left.) The carnitas were the most flavorful and best I've ever had.

    ReplyDelete
  24. "Los Angeles is a taco town. New York and Chicago may quarrel over who has the better hot dogs and San Francisco may have the mission style burrito but when it comes to tacos Los Angeles has no equal."

    You must not have been to Chicago. We have maybe the best Mexican cuisine in the world (all regions of Mexico and their offerings can be found here) and taco's are a plenty at them.

    ReplyDelete
  25. cuddy, fuck a mission burrito. its always about LA when it comes to mexican food.

    btw, have you tried taco zone on alvarado and montana in echo park?

    also, do you do reviews of machaca? i gotta know where the heat lives.

    ReplyDelete
  26. ahhhh thanks for this info. My camera malfunctioned and I didn't get a proper photo of the truck. I'll have to go back and see which taco truck I ate at. Gives me an excuse to try that al pastor and salsa roja again :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. bandini - Just found you site through Simon's - you've got a wonderful site! I wish I had taken advantage of Taco Truck fare when I lived in LA.

    ReplyDelete
  28. On Chowhound, a hound said that there are usually 2 taco trucks in the same paking lot at Western Ave and Lexington: one is named El Matador and the other is named Mi Terasita. Both trucks are suppose to be good.

    Did you notice 2 taco trucks?

    Your review mentioned that the truck was unnamed. I wonder which one you reviewed.

    ReplyDelete

 
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