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