I’d love to take credit for finding this gem of a taco truck but the truth is my inbox has been lighting up for months about the superb tacos al pastor carved to order at the corner of Pico and Westmoreland.
Like most great taco trucks Tacos Tamix is parked on the lot of a Car Wash. And like all great taco trucks, if it’s Friday night there’s going to be a crowd. A plate of tacos and a Mexican coke just has that extra bite on a Friday night.
note to self- add no cell phone at the salsa bar to the salsa bar etiquette essay
al pastor $1 each
It’s hard to compare Tacos Tamix and Tacos Leo without eating both on the same night. Both make superior al pastor that is better than anything you will find in LA. Both have skilled taqueros that carve the pork directly on to the tortilla and then flip a snippet of pineapple from the spit on to each taco. This skill alone was non-existent in LA up until the arrival of both these trucks. The standard for great al pastor has been set by these great taqueros.
At a lot of taquerias and taco trucks what passes for al pastor is pretty sad. Ground pork doctored up with achiote is not al pastor; neither is shredded pork. Al Pastor cut from the spit is the minimal set up you should look for. When it’s carved from the spit then griddled on the plancha it loses something but I’ve still had great tacos this way. But the al pastor cut from the spit directly on to the tortilla is a whole different experience.
Tacos Leo’s disadvantage is their location. At La Brea and Venice they are out in the open and are prime pickings for the city’s anti-taco patrol. Because of this Tacos Leo only pulls out the spit on Fridays and weekends. Tacos Tamix on the other hand is in the more taco friendly area of Pico-Union. When the police pull up to the truck it’s to order a plate of tacos, not shut them down.
You order from a man behind a cashbox and all al pastor orders go to the taquero handling the al pastor with the other orders going inside the truck. If you order different meats chances are they will be ready at different times. This actually turns out pretty well as every taco has a maximum freshness. After getting my carne asada taco I took it to the table of salsas to garnish. They had a salsa roja, and verde with onions, cilantro and a pico de gallo. The salsa roja was excellent; a peppery blend of chile that was both spicy and flavorful. The asada taco was excellent; the greasy and finely chopped beef paired perfectly with the onion and chile salsa. I embarrassingly got a case of the hiccups after the first bite, which happens sometimes with spicy food.
With al pastor this good I could almost eat it bare but the salsa roja was something special I didn’t want to miss out on. The pork had it all; charred bits at the edges, tender perfectly seasoned meat and the aftertaste of sweet pineapple mixed with the spicy pepper taste of the chile.
Does Tacos Tamix have the best al pastor in LA? Or is it Tacos Leo? I don’t know. More research (eating) is needed.
Pico and Westmoreland
tacos $1 each
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