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West LA/Santa Monica Tacos

Paying a visit to LA this weekend and heard there are some places for really good tacos. Would love a local's opinion and why it's so good. Thanks!

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  1. There are, for better or for worse, various "types" of tacos; however, this maybe all you'll (& me too) ever need to know:

    P.S. ~ Explore the rest of above's website......

      1. Shrimp Tacos @ La Playaita on Lincoln Blvd......they raised their prices slightly.....

        1. La Playita and Tacos Por Favor are very good options. The ceviche at La Playita is also well worth trying. And at Tacos Por Favor, I'm partial to their chorizo and cheese taco. (I especially love the fact that Tacos Por Favor has a big sign advertising that they do not use lard, so as I eat my chorizo and cheese taco, I'm supposed to actually believe that I made a wise, healthy dining choice!)

          There are two taco trucks in Venice. One on Lincoln, just south of Rose, that is there for dinner and late night. The other is on Rose, a couple blocks east of Main Street, and it is there for lunch. Both are first class, though I prefer the evening truck.

          El Super Taco in West LA (Santa MOnica/Brockton) has gotten very good reviews, though I have not been there yet. I'll be there this weekend...

          1 Reply
          1. re: glutton

            Used to order the "Surf and Turf" at La Playita... Do they still make it and if so, is it still great?

          2. There are many good tacos on the Westside ... some more controversial than others (as you'll see as soon as someone mentions Tito's Tacos in this thread).

            I like different tacos at different times.

            Lately -- and lately has lasted a long time lately -- I've been partial to Tacomiendo tacos. There are two locations, one is at the corner of Inglewood and Culver (on Inglewood) and the other is on Gateway, just south of Pico. The locations are both good, I eat at both and can not distinguish a difference in quality.

            Excellent, freshly made corn tortillas are one feature of Tacomiendo tacos. Assuming one prefers soft tacos, a fresh tortilla is to packaged what freshly baked bread for a sandwich is to Roman Meal.

            I'm not an exotic taco eater: I prefer carnitas, asada and pollo. All are grilled and excellent at Tacomiendo. Tacos come with a grilled scallion as garnish and there are a variety of fresh salsas to choose from at the salsa bar. They also have a pot of frijoles next to the salsa bar and I always eat some of those, too ... they are free.

            I've never had the shrimp taco at Tacomiendo, so I can't compare to La Playita -- which does make a good shrimp taco.

            Hard-shelled tacos are a different story. I have to be in the mood for them. And my standards are lower. I will eat a Tito's hard shelled taco and I like the ones at Cinco De Mayo, too (both are at Sepulveda and Washington Place). I truly dig Gilbert's hard shelled taco and Tacos Por Favor is great, too.

            But, currently, Tacomiendo is my taco.

            1 Reply
            1. re: PaulF

              I really get out of control at Tacomiendo... haven't been disappointed with anything I've ordered... It's great to see the tortillas pressed then and their... people pay big bucks and get subpar food at local restaurants for this - Tacomiendo does it because it's the right way to make a great taco...

              My little chiquita likes the hard shell tacos at Sanchez - I have to admit that they are quite good - they go the extra step of putting good condiments in them and also more stuff on the bottom of the clamshell container - you get your money's worth... The pollo is great... They do make really tasty shrimp tacos - traditional - as well...

            2. for delicious al pastor tacos, head to don felix. they are located at the intersection of sawtelle and washington.

              6 Replies
              1. re: wilafur

                About Don Felix ...

                Is this place on Sawtelle, just north of Washington on the west side of the street?

                Sort of near a liquor store?

                I've always wanted to go in there and have seen the taco sign, but I've not gone in. There's another taco place on Washington (south side) just west of Centinela that I want to try ... Estillo, something like that.

                My neighborhood has many places to eat tacos and burritos. There's the aforementioned Tacomiendo. There are the two locations of Taqueria Sanchez. There is El Abajeno, There is Mi Ranchito (actually good for seafood, too). There is Don Chuy's. There is also Tito's and CDM.

                I've got to try Don Felix (come to think of it, it must be Sawtelle and Washington Place, right? Because at Sawtelle and Washington is 7-11 and there isn't a restaurant across the street.)

                Thanks, Wilafur.

                BTW -- there is a taco truck that hangs out near the laundromat on Culver between Inglewood and Sawtelle across from Bill's Liquor ... anyone ever been?

                1. re: PaulF

                  Don Felix is a combination Carniceria/Market/Taco and Burrito place. You actually enter the market, grab a beverage of choice and when you pay the cashier you also order and pay for your tacos which are made just to the left of the cashier. There is a small area to scarf down these amazing tacos y burritos inside. Don Felix is on the NW corner of Sawtelle and Washington. The best,IMHO, carne asada tacos (get the habanero salsa!)in L.A.

                  1. re: PaliBruin

                    Hey Pail;John ... thanks for the rec.

                    1. re: PaulF

                      No problem Samo. Give Don Felix a try.

                  2. re: PaulF

                    sorry for the late reply but it looks like palibruin hit the nail on the head. enjoy!

                  3. re: wilafur

                    LOVE Don Felix! I also buy marinated meat/chicken/carnitas (already cooked) to bring home and assemble...a favorite meal!

                  4. Tacos Por Favor -- Santa Monica, Olympic at 14th -- Larger and slightly more expensive tacos, close to $2. Many love the chorizo and cheese, I find it a bit too rich. Al pastor and carnitas, very good. Perhaps the best salsa roja at the salsa bar. Note -- when they first started opening on Sundays, some months ago, there was a different staff there and my tacos were much smaller and not nearly as good as I was used to.

                    Taqueria Sanchez -- West L.A. between Culver City and Mar Vista, Centinela between Washington and Culver -- Specialty here is the shrimp taco, well-seasoned and somehow not overcooked, delicious. Good seasoned al pastor and carnitas. Tacos about $1.25, shrimp a bit more. Clean, friendly place, parking in back. They close early in the evening.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: nosh

                      This totally changes the topic, but Sanchez' shrimp burrito has completely eclipsed La Playita's shrimp burrito in my personal shrimp burrito pantheon.

                      It's more expensive, but the shrimp simply tasted better and fresher and had more flavor. The fresh avocado is a great touch.

                      I go to the "other" Sanchez, the one at Inglewood and Culver -- it's just a stand with the butcher shop on the inside. Now, I have to try the shrimp tacos.

                      1. re: PaulF

                        Good to know!! I have yet to visit La Playita! :)


                        1. re: Dommy

                          La Playita's is good.

                          It's fatter and cheaper, too.

                          I order both without rice, though for years I just ate the LP straight up, with rice and beans. It's spicier, too. (The more I write, the more I realize I do like it).

                          Sanchez' is just a little fresher to me and I don't need all the beans and rice.

                          (One bad thing about Sanchez ... it closes too early. La Playita, Tacomiendo, El Abajeno ... all stay open later, as do many other places. Sanchez I can only hit on the weekend.)

                          I'm a long time La Playita eater ... now I feel guilty :).

                          1. re: PaulF

                            I think what used to be Marina Mago's will soon be another Sanchez restaurant... maybe extended hours?

                            1. re: bulavinaka

                              Wow... that would be awesome!! :)


                              1. re: Dommy

                                That's what I heard... take a look at the change in the "architecture" - looks like a Mexican restaurant to me... a nice warm gordita con pastor at 10PM may become reality!

                    2. Thanks, everyone! With all the great suggestions, the challenge will be which one to try (or try first!). Yum!

                      2 Replies