ISO the Best LA Taco Trucks/Carts
- David Kahn Jan 18, 2007 12:15 AM
I love good Mexican food, but strangely, I haven't really explored the many trucks and carts that dot the city. I feel the time has come for me to correct this personal failing. What, in your view, are the top, absolute best, trucks/carts within, say, 50 miles of downtown LA, where are they located, when are they there/open, and what should I order when I get? (As always, TIA hounds.)
You should check out the taco blog http://tacohunt.blogspot.com/
but my favorites are:
El Pique for al pastor on York and about Ave 54 in Highland Park.
Tacos Sinaloa on Ave 53 or 54 and Monte Vista for the unusual Vampiros and Charreadas.
The truck that parks on Alvarado, South of Sunset in Echo Park next to the Vons for their suadero.
A truck called takitaco or something like that on Figueroa next to the Food for Less for most anything.
A woman who sells tamales and great champurrado in Koreatown on the corner next to the Jons on 8th St.
TakiTaco now officially rules my veggie burrito world. They have rice and sharp, salty cheese (two things I find most taco trucks don't cart around, because who puts rice on a taco?), and then there's cilantro and onion and two awesome salsas in pump-top dispensers. Last night they stuck half of a perfectly grilled onion on the paper plate next to the burrito and I'll be damned if I've ever eaten an onion that good before. And it's like three bucks. The taco-hound guys in my string quartet gave the tacos high praise too last time we went.
About Ave 51, I think. Every time I've seen it, it's been parked alongside the Food 4 Less building, on that side of the street.
I should also mention that Taqueria Azteca in Glendale is similarly good, and it's always there because it's a building, not a truck. Verdugo between Colorado and Broadway, across the street from Glendale High School.
Work takes me up to LAX at night, well past closing time for most restaurants. On a shady stretch of Inglewood Avenue between Century & Imperial sit two taco trucks: Taco Dollar and El Comal de Mexico.
Both sell tacos for a buck each. Of the two, I prefer El Comal. The first time I tried Comal, they had a length of uncooked chorizo hanging proudly in their side window, in the same way that Cantonese BBQ joints stick their roast duck and crispy pork right near the front door. I figured, if they're displaying chorizo like that, hell, it must be good, and damned if it wasn't some of the best. Firmly cured (not loose and wet), ungreasy, well spiced, and cooked expertly. It's my favorite thing to get here, but they run out. They close up by midnight, and leave earlier when they run out of food. Don't know when they open for business, but I imagine after sundown sometime?
El Comal de Mexico parks on the corner of Inglewood AVENUE (not Blvd) and Lennox Blvd. Be forewarned: it's a seedy looking neighborhood, so don't go if you're spooked by that sort of thing. If you're not, it's an unexpected place to find a couple fine taco trucks.
You heard it here first! I was saving this for a blog post, but only because David Kahn asked, I'll share my secret spot now. I may even have scooped Bandini on this one. Bwah.
DK, you might also try the al pastor sliced to order off a spit at Los Paisanos, a little market behind Good Sam Hospital. The gas fired spit's on a cart parked outside their front door, but have a kitchen inside with other stuff. I haven't been in a couple years, and don't have current intel on their food. I believe they serve lunch, but I could be wrong.
1238 W.8th St
There was an taco table on Vermont & Venice a few years back that made some good chorizo and al pastor. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/71088 Does anyone know if it's still there?
My little corner of the internet: www.professorsalt.com
Inglewood Ave isn't that much of a secret spot, eh? Those two taco trucks have a pretty long line around dinner time till around 9pm, although it's almost purely locals. Line moves fast enough, though. I've eaten at Taco Dollar and it's good. I haven't tried El Comal, but will try that next time.
I went to King Taco for the first time last night in East LA. At 12 midnight there was a huge line. It was well worth the wait. I had the best late night tacos! I had an al pastor taco and a carne asada taco. What I like about their tacos is their corn tortilla. Unlike most of the white dyed corn tortillas, they use the yellow fresh corn tortillas. They are thicker and more chewy with a little sweetness to it. Each taco was loaded with meat and onions and cilantro. They are a little cheap with their salsas. I think its' their own secret recipe .. they charged us extra for wanting an additional container. It's relatively safe becuase they have 2 armed security guards near the lines.. It was well worth the trip after a long night of drinking.