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California ex-pat ISO Tacos (LAX to Santa Barbara)

Me: California native undergoing severe East-Coast Related Taco Withdrawal (ECRTW, a terrible affliction)

You: a chowish taco stand/shack/restaurant amenable to a quick sit down or a meal in the car. Extra points for tasty fish tacos.

Where: Along the way from LAX to Santa Barbara. Modest detour possible for an extra-special experience ;)

When: 'round dinner time

Any 'hounds care to play matchmaker?


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  1. You're in luck, there is a local bloger who's done all the research for you and rated each place:


      1. Folks-

        We are going to ask that you confine the discussion in this thead to that portion of the taco crawl that covers L.A. and Ventura Counties. Dicussion of tacos available in Santa Barbara belongs on the California board.


        1. el taurino! my new current favorite as of 2 days ago...

          1. When in doubt, I just walk down the hill to El 7 Mares and grab
            the lunch special. $4.25 gets you 4 tacos and a drink. They're damn
            tasty and the price is right. Also, Midnight Tacos on Vermont, right
            by the Metro station. Perfect for the post pub crawl Al pastor.

            1. In Camarillo, Taqueria Tapatio, off Arneill Road. You wont' be disappointed, go with any pork taco or carne asada.

              1. hit the taco truck on Lincoln/Rose in Venice called La Oaxaquena. Fantastic tacos...

                3 Replies
                1. re: glutton

                  First, thanks for all the suggestions and pointers. I do like the idea of a truck, especially one in Venice as it's right on the way from LAX. Any idea what the hours are likely to be? Labor Day?

                  1. re: DavisSquare

                    There are two taco trucks in this area. The first is on Lincoln, just south of Rose. That is the one called La Oaxaquena and it is generally there during the evenings and nights. I went there at 1AM last Saturday night and they were going strong.

                    The second truck is on Rose, between Lincoln and Main Street, and it is there during the days. Since I work during the days, I don't know if it is there every weekday, but it is most definitely there on Saturday and Sunday.

                    Both trucks are very good. I would suggest performing the trifecta... get a taco at each truck and then get a ceviche tostada at the La Playita taco stand, which is on lincoln, just north of Rose. You'll feel like you just won the lottery.

                    1. re: glutton

                      I went to La Oaxaquena and actually was a bit disappointed with the tacos. I tried a lengua, al pastor, and chorizo. Maybe I made a mistake by getting the tacos "with everything" but the pastor and lengua couldn't compete with the extras, and only the chorizo could slug it out. I loved the tortillas, though. Next time I think I'll just get them with onions and a little salsa and lime.

                2. Taqueria Sanchez -- Centinela between Culver and Washington -- great tacos especially the shrimp.

                  Tacos Por Favor -- Olympic and 14th, not far from Lincoln going north from LAX -- good carne asada, al pastor, and carnitas, though Bandini likes the chorizo and cheese. Super salsa roja.

                  Heard amazing things about La Super-Rica Taco in the Santa Barbara area on Milpas.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nosh

                    Gotta second the taqueria sanchez recommendation.
                    imho, the one on centinela is better than the one on inglewood.
                    if you're open to trying something in addition to their wonderful tacos, try their shrimp tostada.
                    they close at 7 pm during the week.

                  2. Davis,
                    You're in luck!
                    I second the nomination for Tacos Por Favor, you can't go wrong there.
                    But even closer to the airport (and with equally outstanding tacos), look no further than Taco Miendo at 4502 Inglewood (at Culver) in Culver City. It is about 3 miles out of LAX, and is truly one of the best Taquerias you'll find in the city. Below is a link from LA Taco Review.
                    Also make sure you spend some time at "The Great Taco Hunt", which JBC proivided the link to. Bandini's blog is easily the finest source for L.A. taco information that I've ever seen.
                    Good luck!
                    Edited on 08/09/06 (link didn't make it the first time.)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Jeff from Michigan

                      I second the recommendation for Tacos Por Favor. I liked TacoMiendo, but I did not think it was as good as Tacos Por Favor, Taqueria Sanchez (right across the street), or the taco trucks in Venice. It's an A+ taco in 99% of the world, but in LA, it's probably a B+ taco. This is the major leagues.

                      1. re: glutton

                        OK Glutton, I'll have to check out Sanchez the next time I'm out in LA. Boy is it comforting knowing that world-class tacos can be found just a few minutes from LAX! If memory serves, there was also a busy taco truck parked right around the corner, on the sidestreet where I parked. Normally I would reflexively order at least one Asada taco, but at that point I was both full and very satisfied from Taco Miendo and heading for my hotel...


                    2. the al pastor tacos at don felix are pretty damn good.

                      located at the NW corner of Sawtelle and Washington.

                      1. Wow, thanks everyone. I have to say I'm overwhelmed by the response, both the suggestions here and the blog and the NY Times article (which I did see in the paper but somehow didn't clip, physically or mentally). I wish I had more time to sample the taco goodness; maybe I'll have to hit up another couple of places on my way back to LAX (although the SB options sound pretty good too).

                        Please keep the suggesions coming. I wish I could try them all, but it's only a one night stand (and a drive-by at that).

                        1. Hey thanks everyone! My plane was late so I just missed Tacos Por Favor (or maybe it's closed on labor day) so I hit La Oaxaquena. Lengua and (maybe surprisingly) Pollo were very good, Asada good, but the tortillas could have been better. All in all a very very satisfying meal for really really cheap ($1/taco). It was so busy around 8:45 on a Monday night that I had to wait 5 minutes just to order.

                          I hope I'll have the chance to hit one more establishment on my way back, but at least I've gotten my LA taco fix for now. On to Santa Barbara...

                          1. Final update. I made it to Tacos Por Favor on the return and had a wonderful plate of cheese enchiladas (I know, I asked about the tacos but hey, I had had a bunch in SB already). Very tasty, just the right spice level when supplemented with carrots and peppers and nice folks behind the counter.

                            Of course there was a cell-phone yakking gringo in line in front of me complaining that it just wasn't the same as at Baja Fresh...