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Mar 18, 2007 09:10 PM

King Taco in Pasadena-- very good

I had the bean burrito and a taquitos plate at King Taco in Pasadena today. I've read a number of posts on Chowhound that have mentioned the King Taco in Pasadena is the worst of all locations. I haven't had the food at other King Taco locations (maybe only one), but what I had today was really good food, for a really good price. I paid less than $8 for the above, plus a small drink (which really was quite large), and had leftovers. The green and the red salsa were great. The beans had a lot of flavor, and they didn't taste canned. The shredded beef taquitos were crispy and tasted hand-rolled. The crema and the guacamole that came with the taquitos were very good too. I was very happy with the food. If this is the worst of the King Tacos, then the others must be mindblowing. The only thing I missed was an aqua fresca made with real fruit (they have the aguas made from concentrate syrup).

King Taco - (626) 792-0405 - 45 N Arroyo Pkwy (between Colorado and Union), Pasadena

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  1. Always meant to stop by that location, but parking is non-existent. Probably only way to eat there it to take the Gold Line.

    3 Replies
    1. re: monku

      I walked there today-- exercise to burn off the calories. It was really a lot of food, and it was tasty and the right price. I will definitely return. :)

      By the way, I find parking on Union is usually easier than trying to find parking elsewhere, or paying the high prices of the parking garages in Old Town. Just be sure to read the parking signs and feed the meter (depending on the time of day). :)

      1. re: katkoupai

        I've walked past the Pasadena location and not gone in because of the negative CH posts that you mention. Next time I'll stop and check it out!

        1. re: sel

          I've been there twice so far. Both times, the food was good, and the service was fast. I would put it above the food at El Portal, La Fiesta Grande and certainly Gerlach's, primarily because of the taste and the price.

          If you want a sit-down Mexican meal in Pasadena, so far I liked El Portal the best-- good chips and salsa, and decent food.. If you just want a quick, tasty, cheap meal, definitely go with King Taco.

          I also have tried Tonny's and Rick's in Pasadena. I thought Tonny's had great service and great fresh pineapple juice. The shrimp tostada was decent-- not great.

          The Rick's bean and cheese burrito was good for the price, and I enjoyed it at the time, but the beans tasted canned and the salsa tasted like La Victoria or Pace Picante-- not homemade.

          This is why King Taco is my number one choice right now in the Old Pasadena area (and vicinity) for Mexican. I will admit, I still have many more places to try. :)

    2. Kat, King Taco is one of my favorites! IMO it's all about when you go, not about one location being better than any other. I've been to most of them. Try hitting it up at about 10:30 pm on a Wednesday, there's usually a little rush around then and everything is freshly cooked.

      Try the sopes! They are awesome!!!! The al pastor and asada can't be beat.

      3 Replies
      1. re: trojanhorse

        Thank you, trojanhorse. :) I will take your advice. I definitely enjoyed it. :) :)

        1. re: trojanhorse

          King Taco's al pastor is good, but their carne asada is average. It tastes boiled rather than grilled. The Pasadena location is more expensive and has slower turnover than the other KT locations and they do not have the rotisserie chicken available

          1. re: Ernie

            Oh, okay. That's why people don't like the Pasadena location as much. I never understood why. I think it was $3 something for the bean and cheese burrito and $2.50 for the taquitos, plus $1 something for the drink I got. Total, after tax was something around $7.50. I guess I thought it was cheap, but if other locations are cheaper, then yes, that is mindblowing. Thanks for the info, Ernie. :)

            By the way, I still want to try your rec. of the asada place in Montebello (Taco Village). I've been too lazy to drive out there.

            I will note, that King Taco in Pasadena has always had a lot of people eating there the two or three times that I've gone in. I imagine the other locations must have super long lines. The line has usually been five people deep at the Pasadena location, but I see a lot of couples and families there, so one person might be ordering for 2, 3 or 4 people.

            Thanks again for the info. I think King Taco in Pasadena is good, considering the other options that I've had here so far. I usually want to stay close to home and off the freeway as much as possible, when not commuting for work.

            I'm pretty sure that there are places in East LA and Montebello that have higher turnover, better taste and cheaper prices. Being lazy in Pasadena, King Taco will have to do for now. I do want to try more places, though. :)

            Thanks again, Ernie. :)

        2. When I first got my place and had no fridge or stove yet, I lived at that King Taco. And I still like it! I ate the chicken taquitos endlessly and still want them. Their sopes are wonderful. I love King Taco because I don't love lard.

          4 Replies
          1. re: slacker

            I'm glad that others on the board like it too. Sometimes, I question my own taste. :)

            1. re: katkoupai

              Ah, but you're the only one who knows what you like! Just because five other people say something is great, it may not be great for you. Your taste will evolve, I'm sure, and you're--we're--here, to learn and discover more, better, and great food. :)

              1. re: katkoupai

                Don't question your own taste, if YOU like it, it's good! My kids tell me that I listen too much to CH recs! Sometimes they are right.

                1. re: sel

                  Thanks, slacker and sel. :) What you both wrote above is basically what I tell myself too, and that's why I posted this. It's nice to have a place to talk about food. :)

            2. Regarding the parking, I'd agree that parking in the meters along Union is a good bet.

              But the city-owned lots all give you 90 minutes free parking before 10pm (after that it's a $5 flat rate). The closest city lot to King Taco is between Fair Oaks and Raymond on Green St. About a 5 minute walk.

              1 Reply
              1. re: socal

                Thanks for posting this info. I know sometimes I go to the city lots, and get hammered with the $5-$6 flat rates (I think you're right-- it depends on what time a person goes), so I've learned to either walk or try to find a parking space with a meter.

                The only problem with the parking meters is the parking ticket people on bikes in Old Pasadena. I had to talk my way out of a ticket for being literally 2 minutes late to my car. They are that fast. Please try to make sure your $5 meal doesn't end up costing $35 ($5 plus the $30 City of Pasadena parking ticket). :)