Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Tacos Leo - LA's Al Pastor King


If LA’s taco truck scene were like the big leagues Tacos Leo would be that confident rookie that comes up from Triple-A that keeps going deep until someone throws him a curveball. That curveball came to Tacos Leo in the form of the anti-taco city government who shut down Leo’s trompo last year. The hearts of taco lovers all across the city had been broken as word came that the trompo was no more. Some people on the internet blamed other people on the internet for mentioning Tacos Leo on the internet. People like Pat Robertson believed it was God punishing America for tolerating gay people. Others believed that the health department just happened to be driving by when they saw the trompo.


Before long Tacos Leo had figured out that the city only enforces their anti-taco policies Monday through Thursday between 9am to 5pm. After 5pm the same people that took away Tacos Leo’s trompo would eat tacos on their way home from work at one of the many trompos across the city. Within a few weeks Leo’s trompo was back, this time only from Friday through Sunday, when the city cared even less about taking away people’s tacos.


Tacos Leo upgraded their lonchero. The new sign says "Tacos Leo" in bright fluorescent lighting. These are the kind of lights you would use if you made bad ass tacos and wanted everyone to know your name.


The skilled taquero was gone, replaced by another who was more a workhorse than a showman. He didn’t have the pineapple flipping skills but he kept the plates coming: three al pastor for the man holding the baby, four al pastor to go for the man with the grey ZZ-Top beard, two al pastor for the girl with the chihuahua , three al pastor for the undercover taco reporter. Now and then someone would ask when their order was coming up and another man in a red apron would flip through the tickets and say, “your order is coming”. Everyone would just stand around staring at the trompo as if it held the meaning of life. For some people it did.

People were tempted to top Leo’s tacos al pastor with cilantro, onions, and all kinds of salsas from the salsa bar. But in fact the best way to eat them was with just a drizzle of salsa or with not any salsa at all.


People came all night to the corner of La Brea and Venice. They parked their cars where they would normally fill them up with gas. Some people would stay in their cars and send other people to pick up their tacos for them. These people were either really lazy or bossy and the people they sent were mostly children.

But the tacos were so good no one cared. Not even the people who owned the gas station who couldn’t sell gas. Not even the people that would wait thirty minutes for a taco. Not even the taquero who labored all night to make those tacos. Not even the city that decided it was ok that we have them.


Tacos Leo
La Brea and Venice
Los Angeles 90019
tacos $1 each

Rate Tacos Leo


  1. lol, great article! I go to this truck all the time and you captured the scene perfectly.

  2. great article, great taco's. my record is twelve and I could have eaten more. they are so good!

  3. Mmmm, that Pastor with pineapple is huge! Saludos from Mexico!

  4. I will be going to the LA area in October and definitely want to stop by here. Can someone confirm their hours? Are they only open Friday - Sunday nights as suggested in the article?

  5. Open everyday but they only have the outdoor spit Fri-Sun nights.... so i would recommend going one of those nights the al pastor is definitely better on the spit. (open really late too)

  6. They haz teh spot inside teh truck on all days. Teh just put an extra one outside for show. ^_^

  7. Interesting, I'm always looking for great Pastor, this one was certainly good, but I had 5 some with and without salsa. Now I like Pinapple and fruit, but I couldn't really taste the meat and spices over the fruit. I actually had the somewhat untraditional Pastor at El Taquito Mexicano the next night, and though it didn't come off a spit, I thought it was better.

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  9. Al pastor with spicy onions... now THAT'S a life-changing taco.

  10. @Darsh: The trompo was out there on a Tuesday night at 10pm, so perhaps they've expanded their hours?


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