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Lunch at Tacomiendo Review

I had lunch at Tacomiendo today at work. I work at SM Biz park and promised to write back with reviews on the places I tried that were recommended to me.

I'm trying to figure out if it was me or the food. I am very opinionated when it comes to food, and I've got to say, I really don't have much of an opinion on this place. I think it might be that I just don't care for soft tacos all that much. Well, to be honest, I hate to admit this, but I do have a strange fondness for the Jack in the Box variety. I know, I know, but there's a certain nostalgia in them for me. I ate them all the time as a kid when my big sister worked there as a teenager. In the 3 years I've lived in Los Angeles, I have not had a single non-fast food taco until now. For shame!!! I have to qualify all of this by saying that I'm not someone who craves Mexican food. I like it when I do eat it, but I never really get those hankerings for it for some strange reason. I only go Mexican when someone else suggests it.

Anyway, I ordered one adobada and one carne asada. I was hoping to get an al pastor but didn't see it on the menu, and the counter lady told me adobada was similar to al pastor. It was a little salty for me and it wasn't very tender. It just didn't have a whole lot of depth or complexity. The asada meat was better. Very tender but not the most flavorful. I just don't like chopped beef. I don't like the way it feels in my mouth. I prefer sliced meat. I like to feel the delicate tendrils coming apart as I chew. Again, I'm picky about texture.

There was a nice salsa bar and a pot of self-serve frijoles, which was nice, too. The salsa was nice and seemed fresh. The spicy version had a pleasant piquant kick. I liked it better than Gallegos' except I thought the onion to tomato ratio in the salsa and the pico de gallo could use an adjustment. Too many onions for my taste.

The tortillas were fresh and had a nice pillowy feel. I liked how they felt in my hands, too, as well as in my mouth. Although I can't remember much about the taste (if that tells you anything), but their tortillas beat Gallegos' as well. That barbacoa at Gallegos', however, has anything I tried at Tacomiendo beat hands down. At $2.00 a piece for a taco, I doubt I'll go back to Tacomiendo. It wasn't bad by any means. It was just sort of....meh... :-| ....I'd just as soon rather have a banh mi for less than $2.00....

Tell me something. Is it me??? I think I probably have to try more tacos at other places in order to really decide if I like Tacomiendo or not. So, next up is Taqueria Sanchez....I might be more of a burrito person, but the jury is still out....

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  1. I've eaten there now about four times. I've tried the carne asada and fish soft tacos and the chicken and beef hard shell ones (taco dorados). I discovered that I like the taco dorados the best. These be similar to the Jack in the Box tacos you like.

    next time, give those a shot. I'm going to try the sope next.

    1. Try Tito's Tacos for the style of taco that you like?

      1. Phew - you're a tough nut to crack! The minutia to which you take your gastronomic experiences pains me... I guess it's a mixed blessing for you, as you truly know you what you want, yet to be in your shoes, or maybe I should say, to be your senses... all of the esoteric requisites to be met must keep you searching on a mad and endless journey! Maybe at this point you need to nix all Mexican food places off your list with the exception of one - Sabor a Mexico, which has been collecting nothing but accolades from our fellow Chowhounders. If Dommy! gives it a huge thumbs up and it is backed up alot by other Chowhounders whose other recs have served me well, then I don't think you can go wrong here, setting aside one's personal preferences of course. Unfulfilled desires of the appetite are almost as bad as unrequited love. The sorrow I feel when I read of your disappointments is similar to hearing a best friend lamenting about another good date gone bad...

        5 Replies
        1. re: bulavinaka

          LOL. If you're in pain, just think how I feel!!! I had no idea I was inflicting such sorrow with my reviews. It sucks to be me sometimes, and I guess it sucks to read me as well :) What can I say??? I've been told my senses are more sensitive and not just my tastebuds. I have a very good lock on what people like and don't like (including myself, of course!!) and I always give the very best presents....

          The truth is, I take into account more than just the food. Even when I take things to go, I always tell the server I will do it myself. I know how I want it done. One time (a very rare occasion), I let the server pack up my fish at King's Fish House. I had purposely left behind a good proportion of the side dishes to go with the half-piece of fish I had neatly sliced off, and she had the audacity to throw out the side dishes and just pack up the fish. There was still a good deal left, too. I have no clue why she would assume I don't want the whole thing. It was all neatly proportioned. I just about had a conniption, but since my boss was present I contained myself. Never since then....

          I know what I like, but I wouldn't say I'm a traditional finicky eater who will only eat the few dishes that they know and never pushes their boundaries like my sister. She will only eat dishes and brands we grew up with and to this day (she's 40) has trouble eating anything "orange-y". I try just about everything and am always willing to experiment and give a place another chance. Even when I like a place, I can rip apart if I want to. I have read about Sabor a Mexico and plan to give it a whirl.

          Thanks for always reading and giving recommendations!! :)

          1. re: hch_nguyen

            Wow, Christine, I was going to ask if you wanted company when you do omakase this week, or if you wanted to meet up next time you're down in OC, but since I'm not really into pain and sorrow I guess I'll just wait for your next review :)

            But I really do appreciate your reports. There are some good tacqueria's down here in Santa Ana/Anaheim that you may want to try next time you are down here. Let me know if you want the full guided tour.

            1. re: kingkong5

              Hehe...I was just kidding about the pain and sorrow thing. The truth is I enjoy myself, but there's always room for improvment. There's inherent pleasure in satiating one's hunger even if it is with an adobada taco that's slightly salty :) I try to be detailed because you never know which details will be important to one chowhound versus another. I just put up another detailed review of my latest lunch foray.

              Looks like I'm going to have to put off my omakase adventure for at least a little while. Turns out I won't have much time tomorrow and will probably end up bringing my lunch to work. Thank you for the guided tour offer. I will take you up on it one day!! Then I'll know TWO people in OC....

            2. re: hch_nguyen

              The sorrow and pain - it's probably just me - you know, I'm a whimpy LA born-and-bred kinda guy through and through. I'm sensitive too - to the disappointment that befalls any of my fellow 'Hounders - especially our new neighbors who are trying to navigate the waters of the Westside... As many veteran posters on this blog have mentioned, overhyping a place ultimately leads to dissapointment...

              I don't feel Tacomiendo has been falsely given praises like a B-movie hyped by unknown critics as an Oscar contender IMHO, it's a good place that makes very acceptable food - not an Oscar contender though. Personal tastes - truly on your part - obviously plays a huge factor in one's ultimate decision whether or not a place gets a personal Thumbs Up. And I would posit that achieving Nirvana should be an occasion as what would we have to compare the rest of life to?

              I admire your willingness to always try new things though, and your disection of the details leaves no questions unanswered. As I may continue to ache and bemoan in reading your neverending quests for that certain food experience that fit you like a well-taylored cocktail dress, I will cheer you on each time I sense you getting a step closer to that summit.

              Pretty cheesy, huh? That's what happens when a cold befalls me and I decide I need a break from work and I have a little more time on my hands. ;>

              1. re: bulavinaka

                I would not be a true chowhound if I didn't quest for culinary perfection :) and the quest is often as fun (or even more fun) than the destination itself. I told kingkong above that even when I enjoy myself there's room for improvement. I mostly dissect meals for the readers here. I've gotten a lot from these boards and want to give a little back. It's not really to bemoan my lack of alimentary fulfillment ;) ... the quest continues....

          2. I agree. I think Tacomiendo is overrated. If I'm going to get tacos near that area (which I do often, b/c I live around there) and not driving far, I go to Don Felix.

            6 Replies
            1. re: mdpilam

              Don Felix is a great destination, but IMHO Tacomiendo is great for what it is... I personally don't think it's received piles of accolades but alot of people like it alot. I consider it as one of my go-to places after work. They're reasonably priced, offer a decent and varied menu for a taqueria, and they do what they do well. When these guys first opened up in the Westside, they along with Taqueria Sanchez were a godsend. I must say though that the bar keeps going up gradually in the Westside, as that is as far as I'm willing to go on an average day for taqueria food. With that said, having a place like Sabor a Mexico around, this does move Tacomiendo into the middle of the pack, along with alot of others that were considered to be in the top third of the Westside.

              1. re: bulavinaka

                Is it the Don Felix on Sunset & Fountain? I have driven by it, and often wondered... what is good? Thanks!

                1. re: WildSwede

                  Nope Don Felix on Sawtell and Washington Place in Culver City Mar Vista. down the street from Tito's Tacos. I like the Birria Tacos and the Habenero Salsa.

                  1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                    Thanks! Do you know if they are the same?

                    1. re: WildSwede

                      I'm not familiar with the one on Sunset and Fountain, but the one on Sawtelle in Mar Vista/Culver City is actually more of a meat market that happens to have a great food counter as well. Don't know if that's the same setup over there... This one in the Westside is definitely worth a try if you're in this neck of the woods. It's right off the Venice/Washington exit of the southbound 405, just north of Washington Place (not Boulevard) on the west side of Sawtelle. I was turned on to this place by a friend of mine who originally hales from Sonora, and this is his favorite local place for now to get tacos and burritos. I say for now because I told him about Sabor a Mexico - he hasn't gotten back to me about them yet - maybe because he is camping out there permanently and has hawked his cell phone to by more food there!

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        Thanks! I definitely have to try Sabor!! ;-)

            2. I prefer tacos dorados as you do. Try Mario's Taco's in Pico Rivera. The tacos are stuffed with shredded beef first and then fried so the shells look like a plump golden clamshells. They somehow pry them open without cracking them to stuff them with cheese, lettuce and a very simple but tasty stewed tomato salsa (not at all spicy). You can only make the taco better by adding their house salsa which is very hot (hiccup hot) but very tasty. I always say that a taco is only as good as the salsa that the restaurant offers to put on the taco.

              I used to live blocks away from Tacomiendo but I would drive to Pico Rivera when I wanted a really good crunchy taco.