Eastside Adventures: Only in my dreams - Taqueria La Fogata
It first appeared to me like a dream. Out of nowhere, we were racing up Central Ave heading towards the 10, and then out of the corner of my eyes, I saw it... a HUGE El Pastor Tropa being wrapped by a Furious LIVE fire, words escaped me so I just shouted, “LOOK!!!” He did, but we were late to where we going, we had no choice but to wiz by and make a promise to return...
As I mentioned in my last ESA post, I did return, and the fire on Central was not to be found. I wondered if perhaps it was a dream...
No, it was déjà vu... shortly thereafter we found ourselves once again in a rush up Central... and there it appeared once more... A massive tropa. sandwiched between a huge onion and pineapple, with a pineapple as its crown and a man with a big knife carefully liberating only the most succulent charred pieces...
This time we HAD to pull over, afterall, how long can it take to eat ONE taco...
And so we found ourselves on the corner of Central and Adams at Taqueria La Fogata...
As we walked into their patio and were just overcome by the scent of meats, grilling, roasting, braising. The Tropa was just the teaser of the true taco extravaganza that awaited us...
And as you could see, they had two chefs working together to make your tacos... Yes, these were CHEFS because how he could handle the orders while keeping the eyes on the meats was a sight to be seen... And she on the side, she just wasn’t warming the tortillas... She was MAKING them... So the tortillas were super fresh...
We were completely DAZZLED by the variety and quality of the meats. We once again shouted “We have to come back again”, and ordered at the cashier just two Al Pastor Tacos. After paying, the lady directed us to the salsa table, where even more treates awaited. For not only did they have an electric soup pot for beans, they had one for one of my favorite treats ever... The Braised Onion... Each one was carefully wrapped in foil so it was still hot and steamy and moist... I grabbed one and ate it like an apple before our Taco order came up...
When we got our order, we skirted pasted the rest of the impressive salsa table and opted to have NOTHING. Just the Al Pastor Tacos (With their little slab of Pineapple) and bits of another braised onion...
And we gobbled them up so fast that... I forgot to take a picture! ACK!!!! But needless to say, eating them hot and fresh was the only way to do it... They were just amazing. The Al Pastor, while not the most spicy or flavorful I’ve had, defiantly had the smokey edge. Also, the tortilla, while not as good as the hand made ones at Luz Del Dia, was still wonderfully soft and added a nice taste to the over all meal. Honestly, this was one of the best Al Pastor tacos I’ve had in L.A... This was TRULY a grand find...
But now the bad news... while Taqueria La Fogata is a stand and is pretty much always open, this Taco Set Up isn’t available every nights. From what I’ve been able to in my many passes by the stand since that first pass and the visit, it’s only up on Fridays and in the evening (This was around 7:30pm). Yes, we can’t believe we ONLY had a taco each, but we DO hope to return and try more of their offerings (Cemitas, Multias, Burritos) and definitely more of their meats... YUM!!!!!
In my experience, yes, they are almost always chorizo, but I'm not talking about the grainy 'Adelitas' ones you use for your eggs, I'm talking about real artisan meaty ones. The key of course is the use of the red (or green) spice mixture. Here's picture of a Mulita I got from a neighborhood taco table with Hubcap. As you can see the meat definatly has that red twinge to it... :)
great taco reporting!
you have me drooling over here. Hechas a mano tortillas with a taco cart is always nice.
is the sausage in the hubcap always chorizo? Sometimes I'll be at a taco table and see a link braising in the hubcap grill and it looks like a different kind of sausage.
Stopped by this place tonight and loved it. Thanks Dommy!
They take the al pastor spit out on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings, but according to the cook, they otherwise have it up and running inside the stand. Great al pastor, excellent chorizo, lovely cooked onions, and very nice homemade (if not hand-shaped) tortillas. Also, the folks who work there are extremely friendly. Definitely worth the trip from downtown LA. They are open for lunch everyday; I'll give it a try soon and report back.
Excellent discovery Dommy!
Reposted from http://www.chowhound.com/topics/361360
Just got back from Taqueria La Fogata. 3 of us ordered:
3 al pastor
2 french fries
Al pastor: Good... pineapple slice a nice touch. The stewed onion bin was sadly empty and despite calls by the grillmaster to the staff to refill, it never happened. Made the mistake of putting too much of the spicy dark red sauce on top and it dwarfed the flavor. Next one was garnished only with a little chopped onion, cilanto and a squidge of lime. Much better! However.... it did not have the ultra succulence of those gems at the taco table on Vermont between Pico and Venice.
Chicken taco-- dry, chewy and bland.
Chorizo taco-- FANTASTIC. Super flavor that busted our tastebuds wide open. Barely needed embellishment but I added a tiny bit of onion, cilantro and radish... just enough to emphasize the flavor and add texture, but not enough to dwarf the lovely succulent chorizoness of the thing. Clear winner!
French fries-- huge plate, nice and crispy, salted well, great value at about $1.50 I think.
Great find... but for the chorizo, not the al pastor I'm afraid!!