I have been to Taqueria Velazquez a couple times. The first time was maybe eight months ago. But on that night the batteries went dead on my camera. My first impression was the tacos were above average. This impression was re-enforced with the second visit a few months later.
This isn’t the safest of neighborhoods but your fine if you stay on the main boulevard. There are a lot of parts of LA where you feel safe and don’t even realize your standing in territory that is disputed by multiple gangs. And then there are areas where you feel the tension the moment you leave your car. This area can sometimes be like that. I remember this night because there was a taco truck parked down a dark side street off Vernon and I made a U-turn to check it out. I was curious why a truck would park down such a street when there was plenty of curb space on the boulevard. It was a pretty stupid curiosity now that I think about it but sometimes the sense of adventure gets the best of me. So I parked on the street, walked towards the truck, and got about halfway when I had this creepy feeling that someone was watching me. I turned back to my car but didn’t see anyone. I looked all around. Then I saw a dog run by me nervously. It was a pit bull or Staffordshire bull terrier or a Rottweiler or maybe not even a dog at all. Something told me to just go back. The truck was so bright, the street was so dark; the bulbs hanging from the wires along the truck were like lights on a runway guiding me in. I got the feeling I wasn’t ready for this truck. Whatever it was I wasn’t ready for it. I didn’t need it. The people standing near the truck stared over at me. They knew I wasn’t ready for it. I knew I wasn’t ready for it. Everyone knew. Even the dogs knew.
asada, chorizo, al pastor $1.25 each
I was back on Vermont driving north when I saw a truck at the corner of Gage at a car wash. I parked on the lot and walked up to the counter and ordered. I was ready for this truck. The girl inside the truck smiled. The patrons smiled. I ordered my tacos. I popped open a jarritos and chugged it down. I ordered another jarritos. “Another?” she asked. “Yes” I said. “I’m thirsty”. But I caressed this one with tiny sips until my tacos were ready. The al pastor was cut from the spit but not directly on to the tortilla and there was no pineapple. The flavor was good though, and the overdone bits gave the pork a nice charred taste. The carne asada was polite in its presentation; no fatty bits, no tough bits, and with a medium spiced salsa roja went down easy. The chorizo was a greasy mess but I devoured it anyway.
I got back in to my car and turned the iPod to random play; Maggot Brain by Parliament Funkadelic came on. I drove north on Vermont all the way past MLK until I came to the 10W. But that’s all I remember.
6219 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90044
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