Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Five Favorite Taco Trucks at the Moment

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It’s been a couple months since I’ve posted so I thought I would get back into the swing of things with a list of my top five favorite taco trucks at the moment. This list is always evolving so bear with me. And if you have your own list feel free to share it in the comments.

 I’m very particular about what I like in a taco. First, I need a good chile salsa and it has to be spicy. If it’s not spicy there at least needs to be a freshly grilled jalapeno on my plate.The meat has to be up to par as well. Some gristle is okay, but if I have to do a meat inspection after my first taco that’s not a good sign. I think the least important part of the taco is the tortilla. I like tortillas hecha a mano as much as the next taco lover, but I’ve had plenty of very good tacos with regular store bought tortillas. The tortillas have to be prepared right however. This means properly oiled,hot on the plate,and not burned.

 5. El Taquito Mexicano (510 S. Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena)

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I love these kinds of tacos. Right off the grill, topped with onions, cilantro, and a spicy chile salsa. Try the al pastor, which is more like seasoned carnitas. The asada is very good too. There’s nothing ground breaking here; just some great LA tacos. Though on a recent night, after a good session in Old Town, they were especially delicious.

4. La Isla Bonita (4th and Rose, Venice)

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 This is my local taco truck on the weekends. My usual order is a shrimp tostada and three tacos (asada, carnitas). The tacos come garnished with onions, cilantro, pinto beans, and a flavorful medium spiced salsa. If your lucky your plate comes topped with grilled onions and a grilled jalapeno. Some may be surprised by this inclusion since La Isla Bonita doesn’t usually get name checked among LA’s taco truck elite. But I’ve been eating here for years and it never disappoints.

3. El Matador (Western and Lexington, East Hollywood)

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 There is a lot to like about El Matador. The taquero is friendly, the service is quick, and the salsa roja is blistering. The meat is quality too but for me its all about the salsa here. You don’t pay until your done eating so don’t worry if the taquero hands you your plate of tacos and then ignores you. Just settle up your bill in the end. Try the asada, al pastor, and longaniza (sausage).

2. Tacos Leo (La Brea and Venice)

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I remember the first time I tried the al pastor at Tacos Leo. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell the Internet. These days it’s hard not to notice the bedlam at the corner of La Brea and Venice. If it’s a Friday night it looks like a party atmosphere with half the neighborhood converging around a spinning wheel of pork, hungry and willing to wait for as long as it takes. However long it is, it’s always worth it.

1. El Chato (La Brea and Olympic Blvd)

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You would dance too if you were about to eat at El Chato


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Well what more is there to say about El Chato? This is one of the most popular trucks in LA. I always order six tacos evenly split between al pastor and carne asada. Sometimes I’ll sub a chorizo for asada. The tacos come piping hot on your plate with a delicious and spicy salsa roja. They are the size of your palm and can go down in one bite. The lines can get long but the crew inside the truck is very efficient and professional. When I have friends visiting from out of town this is the first truck I take them to.







8 comments:

  1. I'm surprised King Taco didn't make the cut, for their excellent salsa rojo.

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  2. There is a great taco stand that sets up at Pico and Fairfax in the evening - fantastic al pastor, large, juicy, seasoned pieces of pork straight from the trompo, with the obligatory slide of pineapple on top. They also make an excellent carne asada, big chunks of well-seasoned beef, and it's pretty lean for taco truck beef, no fat or gristle. They have a great salsa bar: salsa roja, salsa verde, avocado salsa, onions, cilantro, onions and habeneros, pico de gallo, cucumbers, fresh limes, etc. I like their horchatas, as well, not too sweet, really nice cinamon flavor.

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  3. Bandini, we thought we lost you!!! Good to have you back!

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  4. Maybe Bandini just wanted to give us time to appreciate the significance of the Gringo Taco showdown...

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  5. Welcome back, Bandini, you are always missed! BTW, I wanted to make sure you saw my comment about Taqueria Los Anaya. Highly recommended!

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  6. Why is it that you eat Asada and Pastor drowned in Salsa Roja, 9 times out of 10. Don't you think you should expand to the tastier meat options, particularly Lengua, Suadero, and Cabeza, a little more regularly. Maybe experiment with some salsa verde or avocado salsa once and a while. It just gets old after a while, reading over and over again how no one can stand up to Leo's Al Pastor

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    Replies
    1. I don't like lengua or cabeza. They may be tastier meat options to you. Not to me. Most trucks don't have suadero.

      Also, all of the trucks in this list sauce the tacos for you. So it wasn't me that "drowned" them. Nor did I have the option for different salsas.

      My favorite salsa is actually a spicy salsa verde.
      http://www.greattacohunt.com/2011/02/tacos-el-gordo-vs-tacos-el-vaquero.html

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  7. Leo's tacos are the best! Try El Compito on Norton and Pico. Good tacos!!

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