Sunday, September 26, 2010

El Flamin Taco - Koreatown

(review #26 of the 30 taco trucks in 30 days challenge)

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El Flamin Taco parks on the lot of a car wash at the corner of 5th and Vermont in Koreatown. El Flamin Taco actually started the flat screen TV and electronic signage trend in Koreatown. Now most taco trucks have both. It’s too bad the Dodgers suck because it would be cool to watch a ball game while enjoying a plate of tacos.

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homemade tortillas made from scratch inside the truck

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The al pastor is cooked at a separate cart next to the truck and the pork is sliced right from the spit on to a homemade tortilla. It’s good al pastor and is comparable to Tacos El Tauro, it’s closest competitor, but neither compare to Leo’s. The essence seems lost in the preparation of the spit. The pork just doesn’t look as well refined as Leo’s. But make no mistake this is still better than you will find at a lot of trucks and if you are at El Flamin Taco al pastor should be on your plate.

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al pastor $1.25

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asada and suadero $1.25 each

The best taco was the suadero. The beef rib was juicy, tender, and so flavorful. The fresh handmade tortilla soaked in the juice from the beef and the jalapeno salsa verde added a little spice. This is one of the best beef tacos I’ve had in recent memory. The carne asada was decent but I’d probably leave it off my plate next time and explore the other meats.

The salsa bar is loaded with condiments and three salsas (roja, verde, avocado). It was a little difficult to garnish my tacos because of the rude salsa bar etiquette of the patrons. I waited my turn while someone ahead of me garnished their tacos and filled up some containers but people repeatedly cut in front of me. Once I was at the bar it was still difficult to ladle salsa on my tacos with all the people crowding around.

It’s hard to say which taco truck is better between El Flamin Taco and El Tauro. Both are giving a maximum effort and putting out quality . Both have hand made tortillas and al pastor that is better than most trucks in LA. Neither makes a very good carne asada taco and the edge goes to El Flamin for the suadero. I prefer El Tauro’s squeeze bottles of salsa to El Flamin’s UFC cage match version. But I prefer El Flamin's dining area of plastic tables that overlook Vermont Ave. It's a close call and one I am not committed to making right now. If you're in the area for tacos you should eat at both.

4/5

El Flamin Taco
Vermont and 5th Ave
Koreatown
90005
tacos $1.25


www.elflamintaco.com
twitter.com/elflamintaco


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