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La Playita taco truck, Napa

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  • Melanie Wong Mar 26, 2001 09:05 PM
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Thanks to our Napa hounds for planting this name in my head. I made a quick U-turn when I spotted the truck on upper Soscol today at lunchtime. Got a three taco sampler - lengua, carnitas, and al pastor. All wonderful, with different salsas on each, and very good corn tortillas. The al pastor had the hottest, and it's still burning a hole. The grilled whole green onions were a treat and I liked that the radishes were icy cold. Good horchata too. Ate quickly standing up under the shade of the truck's canopy, using the ledge to hold my drink. All and all, I'm a happy customer for my 5 bucks.

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  1. Yes! Isn't it good? I think I've heard there's some connection with someone who worked at Domain Chandon's restaurant. That's why I was brave enough to try it. Besides the many recommendations from people around here.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ann L.

      Brave girl! Having grown up in rural Salinas, aka the summer home of some of Michoacan's and Jalisco's finest citizens, I have a hard time relating to this. But I'll mention that in my student days working in downtown LA I would often buy lunch from the roach coaches, whereas my second and third-generation Latino co-workers were queasy.

      More than 90% of the restaurant local's members in Calif. is Latino. I'd expect that nearly everyone behind the scenes at Chandon is Latino.

    2. b
      Brandon Nelson

      Buenos Dias

      Glad you finnaly got there Mel! I have always thought that the taco truck was a great symbol for the Chowhound experience. I don't know of a greater lure to adventure than the aroma wafting off of a taco truck. O.K. BBQ joints too, but thats off the subject.

      I'm glad you got some spirited mexican eats after your Quinto Patio experience. Villa Corona is also worth a nibble, and they make their tortillas in house. Yummy!

      Chow!!!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Brandon Nelson

        Restored my faith in Mexican cuisine in Napa. Have tried Villa Corona - a dried-out, inedible tamale, and the carnitas/salsa on my taco were only average.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I was just wondering about Villa Corona. Had something there once that tasted like a poor imitation of a Chinese spring roll and haven't been back. This morning a friend brought me some Mexican cheese made in a special place in Mexico famous for their cheese, ('spose her mother smugggled it in from Mexico, since she just got back from there), and sopas from Villa Corona for the mole sauce her mother made. My friend loves their sopas. Maybe I should rethink this. Melanie, did you have your less than wonderful experience in Napa or St. Helena?

          1. re: Ann L

            I was in Napa, in the corner of the shopping center.

          2. re: Melanie Wong
            b
            Brandon Nelson

            Shame on me

            I failed to make any menu suggestions. You didn't catch them on a bad tamale day, they aren't that good. If you are there on a weekend try the birria, but go early because they run out. Another suggestion is the camerone burritto. They use salsa verde on this one, most of the other burrittos are sauced with something akin to cheese whiz. Give these morsels a go and you will be pleased.

            Chow!!!

        2. c
          Christine Freedman Vallejo

          Hey, Melanie, you were about 4 blocks away from my office in Napa.

          Isn't Tacos La Playita the best? Just got dinner from them last night; it was $10 for two people. I'm going to drag Jenise there next time she's in town.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Christine Freedman Vallejo

            Christine Freedman! Thanks for speaking up - I'd forgotten your new name. This is another pleasant surprise. I thought you'd moved away from Napa.

            I'm sure Jenise will love it. Nothing white if we keep her away from the horchata. (g)

            I noticed that the address on the taco truck was Broadway in Vallejo. Not related to the taqueria in downtown Napa? Seems like the salsas and corn tortillas were from a different source.

            1. re: Melanie Wong
              c
              Christine Freedman Vallejo

              Moved away from Napa and moved back about 2 years ago...actually work in Napa and live about 20 minutes away since my husband works in Contra Costa County.

              No, the truck is no relation to the La Playita restaurant on Jefferson. We had hoped, especially during the taco truck's winter vacation. But when we went to the restaurant, it was very, very, very bad.

              When I lived in SoCal, favorite Mexican place was Rosa Maria's in the Highland/San Bernardino area; I did take Jenise there and she gave it the seal of approval.

              Your comments about Cafe Lucy intrigue me. Hope to try going there soon.

              1. re: Christine Freedman Vallejo

                Hmmm, guess it's been 3 years since we've seen each other.

                I've been to the place on Jefferson. The fried fish was actually quite expertly done. But the corn tortillas were not the best. I did like the chipotle salsa, although that wouldn't have been my first choice to accompany fish. This wasn't a good place to eat in, too drafty and they were working on the flooring while we were trying to eat.

                I'll e-mail you my office number, maybe we can get together at Cafe Lucy some time.

          2. Where is the La Playita taco truck? in Napa.
            Thanks

            7 Replies
            1. re: Hank
              b
              Brandon Nelson

              What we hounds endure for grub!

              I don't know if you are local, or know the area, so I'm going to be rather specific. From Northbound 29 take the Lincoln Ave. exit. Take Lincoln East through about 4 lights. Turn right (south) on Soscol Ave (major intersection with a stop light). The truck will be parked in front of the used appliance store, maybe a quater mile from Lincoln (maybe further, but not a lot). Las Playita isn't the only roach coach on this strip, but it is a favorite. If you reach the intersection of First and Soscol turn around! you went to far! The truck is parked at this spot from 1 pm to 10 pm. Enjoy!

              Chow!!!

              1. re: Brandon Nelson

                thanks for the detailed directions....I'll look forward to stopping there next time I'm up in Napa!

                1. re: gordon wing

                  Gordon, I "dined" at Tacos La Playita again on Monday night about 8pm. About 6 parked cars curbside full of people munching on tacos. This time I had the lengua, chicken and carne asada tacos. The lengua wasn't quite as transcendental this time, the carne was very good and the chicken was, well white meat chicken, tender but not that flavorful.

                  Coming from the East Bay, I'd take 80 to 29 to 121 which becomes Soscol. As you drive north, you'll come across the Michoacan truck first. Keep going until you see the Vintage Bank on the right, and the La Playita truck will be on the other side of the street.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Melanie,
                    Thank you for the menu update on the taco truck and further directions. I'm looking forward to my next trip to Napa.

                    1. re: gordon wing

                      Actually I didn't mean to put down the Michoacan truck, since I've not tried it. I did notice that both trucks had an equal number of cars parked around so they seem to be equally popular.

                      You're welcome on the directions. Did you notice that the Chron's feature last week on wine country dining grouped the places into Napa county, Sonoma County and Geyserville? I wonder where the author thinks Geyserville might be if not in Sonoma County?

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        Picky, picky, picky. You're reading too closely! Catching geography miscues and the misplacement of apostrophe's. There's lots more out there waiting ...

                        1. re: gordon wing

                          The apostrophe thingie was not my idea. But since someone took the time to send me an e-mail, the least I could do was to respond. And, as with all inquiries that are sent to me privately, I put 'em on the boards. Ann L. had it right the first time, then switched. Must have been my corrupting influence. (g)