At the corner of Aviation Blvd and W 102nd St on a roadway between the factories that serve the aerospace industry parks a taco wagon called Mariella’s. The truck is impossible to see from Aviation Blvd and mostly serves the workers who work at the factories that stay open all night and day. It’s a working man’s truck with tortas, burritos, quesadilla, tacos and hot dogs.
I ordered carne asada and al pastor. It was a ghost town. The wind was howling through the roadway. It was cold and I was miserable. The girl that took my order looked at me oddly. Her eyes said that I didn’t look like I worked in the factories but her smile said she’d make my tacos anyway.
The tacos were $1.50 which for taco truck tacos is a little pricey. Maybe if I had been wearing coveralls or some kind of factory wear I would have gotten a discount. I don’t think it helped much that I pulled up in a Prius.
The tacos came on top of a single fresh tortilla. It wasn’t hecha a mano but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was pressed in a tortilla factory that morning. The tortilla was the best part of the taco. The salsa was a little weak and the meats were lacking. The asada was a little gamey and the al pastor, which was the better of the two tasted a little bit like pork candy.
It was eerily quiet. I was the only one around. And then out in the distance on the roadway I saw an image of a someone walking towards me. The image got bigger the closer he got and then he was right next to me, a wide built Mexican hombre, big dark goatee and beanie cap. “Dame tres tacos porfavor” he said to the girl in the window and pulled off his cap. “Tres dolarers” I heard her say as I made my way back to my car.
W 102nd St. and Aviation Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Neighborhood: Westchester / LAX
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