Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Mario's


I've been wanting to try cabeza again. I've only had it once before and it was gamey,fatty and totally disgusting. I've been getting some recomendations from readers that I have to give it another try(and lengua too) so I went to Mario's on Overland Ave in West LA to try the famed marinated cabeza.

Mario's is a taco cart that at one time was parked at the car wash next to the Mcdonalds at Overland and Venice. They've moved about 100 yards north and now park in front of what I think is a psychic shop. I would have asked the psychic my future but I already knew my future would be eating tacos.

Aside from tacos Mario's serves tortas, burritos and sopes. They also serve breakfast and chilaquiles.

I ordered two asada tacos and one cabeza. I usually order my tacos in spanish but I feel like an ass sometimes when the person behind the counter answers me back in english. It's like saying "hey I know you're a gringo you dont have to pretend with me"

I know I'm a gringo too but I still like to order my tacos in spanish. Sometimes the dude in the truck will answer back with some crazy fast espanol and I just say "si, con todo...para aqui" I mean..what else can he be asking me? my opinion on global warming?

So my tacos came pretty quick and I tackled the asada first. I had a lime jarritos handy in case the salsa roja was kickin but it wasn't. The asada was good tho, not great. The beef was finely cut and no fatty bits were present.

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So I stared at my cabeza taco and fingered some of the cilantro away to get a closer look at the beef. It looked nothing like the previous cabeza I had eatin and was very soft with a beefy aroma. I squirted some lemon on the taco and dug in. It was a strange feeling at first because the beef was so unlike any other I've had in a taco. It was so soft and tender and reminded me of a roast that simmers all day and eventually breaks apart by itself. I can see this kind of meat being something that is an aquired taste but I really enjoyed it.

My only regret is that my camera ran out of batteries after I snapped a shot of my tacos. I wanted to get a close up of the cabeza.

But I think I'll be heading back to Mario's anyway. I'll try cabeza again and maybe even some lengua. Maybe I'll even find that psychic and ask her when I'm going to find the perfect taco.(It would be a trick question cuz I've already found the perfect taco at El Parian )

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Mario's parks on Overland Blvd halfway been venice and palms. Tacos are $1.25 each

18 comments:

  1. I really want to try buche sometime, but I'm not man enough.

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  2. Bandini - You found good cabeza; I'm still searching here in San Diego. Most of what you'll get is chunks of waxy-oily garbage. But good cabeza tastes like the essence of beef has been condensed into each bite!

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  3. Hey Bandini, there is a taco truck on Vernon and Figueroa. Yeah a bit far and sketchy neighborhood. But the thing is I pass by this truck weekend evenings(havent had time to try yet) and I swear it is a mob scene everytime. Perhaps you can make it a target of one of your hunts one day

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  4. I just want you to know that your site makes me so very homesick for L.A.
    Thanks so much for the great read.
    : )

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  5. slack

    not buying into the causality of not trying buche with not being man enough. Replace that with not being crazy enough. Buche....pig intestine...you've got to be crazy to try it. I might just be crazy enough to give it a go one day tho

    Kirk,

    yeah this cabeza was much better than what I had before. The first time I ordered cabeza put me off ordering it again. It was like oily and fatty and just awful.

    anonymous,

    vernon and fig. just wrote it into my little black taco book. Thanks for the tip. Pick a name so I know who to thank if it turns out to be a winner :)

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  6. While you're at it, you might as well try some sesos

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  7. FYI - Mario just moved the trcuk back to the car wash after a short period where the car wash may have been moving. Until Futuro gets its act together, Mario's is available at the previous location on Overland, right off Venice Blvd., close to McDonald's.

    Plus, I think you got them on a bad day with the chile rojo. I have a weekly ritual of forgoing breakfast at home on Fridays just to have chilaquiles at Mario's.

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  8. The Cabeza is my favorite at Mario's. I've tried the buche...the texture (chewy, over-cooked calamari-like) freaked me out. But Mario's is the best...I can't help but eat five to six tacos in one sitting.

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  9. Mario has disappeared. Does anyone know where he went? Both the Psychic Shop and Car Wash are gone.

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  10. WHere is Marios now?????The carwash is gone!

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  11. he moved to somewhere in north hollywood.

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  12. i can't find definite answers on what exactly cabeza and buche are. is cabeza cheek meat or brain? and is buche pig stomach or cow cheek? can someone who actually knows clear this up?

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  13. Cabeza which is aka barbacoa is steamed Cow cheek meat, which is why it breaks apart so easily and sometimes is fatty. Sesos aka cow brains are deep-fried or steamed or cooked with eggs. I have never eaten this, but don't recommend it because of mad cow potential.

    Buche is collectively known as the ears, snout and outer belly/skin(porkskin) from the pig. Buche is usually deep fried.

    Tripas are the intestines and for the esophagus, don't know the name right now, but it is very rare to find in the USA.

    Finally, tacos de lengua, which are cow tongue tacos, are very delicious and I recommend it to everyone with cilantro, onion, lime juice and a little green chile on a steamed tortilla. :) have a good one.

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  15. While you're at it, you might as well try some sesos

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  16. FYI - Mario just moved the trcuk back to the car wash after a short period where the car wash may have been moving. Until Futuro gets its act together, Mario's is available at the previous location on Overland, right off Venice Blvd., close to McDonald's.

    Plus, I think you got them on a bad day with the chile rojo. I have a weekly ritual of forgoing breakfast at home on Fridays just to have chilaquiles at Mario's.

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