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Where can i get a great taco?

I love em Iam always lookin for a good one.. crispy soft you name i wanna hear about it..

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  1. Folks, the Chowhound Team loves and respects our very own Bandini's Taco Hunt blog as much as everyone here.

    All the same, we removed several posts with nothing but a link to that site, because we want *your* L.A. taco opinions and recommendations here.

    1. Here is a link to a previous "Chowhound" thread which discusses the taco offerings at El Parian. Contained within this thread is a post which has a link to Bandini's "Taco Hunt" blogspot. This should give you more than a few ideas for tacos in the greater LA area.


      1. I think what is also causing us to just give you a blanket overview is you gave us a blanket question. It really helps if you're looking for more than "a good one". Do you like al pastor? Carnitas? Tripitas? Cabeza? This will help spur the discussion along.

        Sabor a Mexico is getting a lot of attention at the moment, but I haven't been yet. I like El Super Taco on Santa Monica Blvd, but my ideal taco place would be Loteria at half the price.

        22 Replies
        1. re: SauceSupreme

          Good point on at least throwing us a bone of some sort... Westside? Eastside? The Valley? OC?

          How about in hopes to start some kind of decent thread, Tacos Por Favor for their super cheesy tacos with chorizo? That will set you back on your cholesterol allotment...

          1. re: bulavinaka

            Second that. Taco flavored kisses to Bandini for turning me onto the chorizo 'n cheese at Por Favor!

            1. re: SauceSupreme

              Another great -- but greasy -- chorizo taco is the one at Chulada Grill on San Vicente and Hauser. The pico de gallo there is fantastic. The chorizo tacos are not on the menu and sometimes are not available, but they will often make them if you ask.

              I also like the chorizo tacos at Tacos La Fonda, but it is hard to pass up the asada there.

              1. re: SauceSupreme

                I sense a new thread forming - "Chorizo Taco Battle Royale - El Super Rica vs. The World."

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  La Super Rica's Chorizo Taco is good but so is the one I had 2 days ago at Sabor A Mexico. It's small and $1.95 but so good that I actually left the salsas (roja & habanero) in the little cups while I ate the taco! No, I didn't chug the salsa right out of the cups after, nah, I wouldn't do that!!!

                  1. re: sel

                    Then who did? ;) My mission this week is to make it to SaM. I feel a need for something really good...

                  2. re: bulavinaka

                    Super Rica is mediocre.... I don't understand why people like it so much. Their salsas are absolutely, unmitigatedly terrible... and all the tacos are poorly executed.

                    With that said.... Huarache Azteca. in South El Monte... has the best Chorizo taco I've had in L.A. They import it from the Toluca.... the world's capital for Mexican style Chorizo.... and serve it up in a number of styles. I like the Chorizo & Nopales with Avocado & Salsa Verde incarnation.

                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                      This place sounds really good-- Huarache Azteca in South El Monte. Is it related to the Highland Park restaurant of the same name?

                      1. re: katkoupai

                        Actually its not.... I do know the place on York? However the place on York is pretty decent.... ask about stuff not on the menu. Also, if you are persistent they will cook Mexico City specialties they otherwise wouldn't it. Like Huazontle fritters... or Romeritos in Mole Sauce etc.,

                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                          Huarache in Highland Park has some great stuff, but I would not recommend the tacos there. They taste good, but are supremely greasy. Puddles of grease, greasy. For the best soft taco in the world, go to the the La Estrella taco truck parked on Figueroa, north of York. The one on York and Ave. 54 is good, too.

                          1. re: hpcat

                            The one on York and Ave 54 is called El Pique and their al pastor tacos are some of the best in the city. Much better than anything on the Estrella truck IMO. The asada and the lengua are good too.

                            Another truck that deserves a big shout out is Taco Zone on Alvarado by the Vons just South of Glendale Blvd. They have awesome suadero, chorizo, and carnitas and they make their own very tasty horchata.

                      2. re: Eat_Nopal

                        Okay, I need to get a taco-- today! :)

                        Please explain "rajas" to me. I've never heard of this.

                        1. re: katkoupai

                          Its roasted poblano strips. In Central Mexico they are often tossed together with carmelized onions, drizzled with a little bit of crema and served as a hearty salad or side dish. In taqueries they are served in a taco of melting, slightly stinky cheese.

                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                            Shoot, this sounds good (not the stinky cheese, but the roasted poblano pepper strips). Maybe this is the precursor to the onions and peppers in fajitas?

                            1. re: katkoupai

                              Probably.... Puntas a la Poblana is similar.... Filet Tips quick fried with Rajas (no cheese), but there are some differences:

                              > Fajitas are seared in a hot plate
                              > Fajitas use skirt steak instead of Filet Tips (and nasty Bell Peppers instead of Poblanos)
                              > The seasoning in Puntas a la Poblana is much more subdued & refined than the typical brash, in your face powdered garlic & cumin combination common in Fajitas.

                        2. re: Eat_Nopal

                          Where do you suggest for good rajas in LA?

                            1. re: Ernie

                              I've asked in posts, but have never gotten a good response. I had them once at Loteria, but they were disappointing. But I always compare rajas to La Super Rica's. I think La Super Rica's rajas tacos are alone worth the drive to Santa Barbara.

                              1. re: Jwsel

                                Thanks, Jwsel. Actually, this is the first time I've ever heard of rajas. They sound yummy. I didn't realize La Super Rica was in Santa Barbara. I wish that I could get rajas today, somewhere in Pasadena or near downtown LA. That would be great!

                                1. re: Jwsel

                                  Uhhh.... the one time I tried them a Loteria Grill they were much, much better than at Super Rica. With that said....

                                  Huarache Azteca in South El Monte

                                  There are several small Poblano eateries in South Central in the vicinity of Adams & Figueroa that offer good renditions.

                                  There are other places that have offered them in various dishes... Border Grill in Santa Monica, Babita & La Huasteca among others.

                                  But truth be told... you have to head south to TJ. The place is called Antojitos Poblanos and its in the Plaza Rio Tijuana near the parking lot hallway adjacent to Comercial Mexicana... the food is incredibly tasty, inexpensive in a clean, folksy environment. Its the nearest place that delivers a rendition about as good as you get in Puebla.

                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                    Eat Nopal, thanks so much. I am so hungry now. This is a bit torturous, though. TJ? Oh, man.

                                    Maybe, I'l go to Loteria. I know...but it's closer.

                                    Thanks, again. South El Monte is also an option for me this week.

                              2. re: sel

                                If I am ever back there I will give those dishes a try.

                        3. ok well gee I am located sorta in the Whittier area kinda between L.A. and O.C. As for my preference i do love a good carne asada burrito with the works cabbage, cilantro, onion, cheese, salsa.. sour cream.. mmmm also I love a good crispy taco haven't found a decent one so i have to make them myself.. so is that better? hope thats more to go on for all you foodies.. thanks

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: taco

                            For a lot of folks in L.A. this will be so familiar but if you haven't been, head over to Taco’s Baja Ensenada and try a Fish Taco and a Shrimp Taco washed down with a big Horchata! Don't forget a handful of Chilis Guerros from the salsa table. Reduced taco prices on Wednesday's (TODAY)!!!

                            Taco’s Baja Ensenada
                            5385 Whittier Blvd.
                            East Los Angeles, CA
                            323 887 1980


                            1. re: sel

                              Or El Taco Nazo... La Habra and La Puente... or Senor Baja in Santa Fe Springs...

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                Agree! TBE is a regular stop for me. I really liked El Taco Nazo the 3 or 4 times that I tried their Fish/Shrimp Tacos and again Chilis Guerros but I haven't been for a while, not since the reported dispute that resulted in the conversion of some stores into Senor Baja.

                              2. re: sel

                                Tacos Baja rocks. I could live on their shrimp tacos. I'd also recommend El Parian for carne asada tacos and El Taurino for al pastor.

                                You may want to consider a full-on "Taco Tour." http://infinitefress.blogspot.com/200...

                                Add King Taco, Carnitas Michoacan, and Tito's to the list, and you'll be one happy taco-eater -- and a prime candidate for bypass surgery. Enjoy! :)

                                1. re: hungrygirl106

                                  Mmmmm... Carnitas Michoacan... *salivate*

                              3. re: taco

                                If you live in Whittier, go to Chema's tacos on Whittier blvd (near Palm I believe). Great Tacos, get the Al Pastor and Asada. (If you're looking for crispy tacos, I can't help ya)

                                1. re: mdpilam

                                  I tried Chema's per your rec. and you're on the money. Good Asada tacos. Thanks for the tip.

                              4. I really like the al pastor and lengua tacos at Boca Del Rio in La Puente. Very tender meat, fresh toppings, and great portions. They're "regular" soft taco sized tortillas but with all the meat on it, it's the size of your fist!

                                I always get it with "everything" - onions/cilantro, finely chopped cabbage, guacamole (freshly made daily!), sour cream, with green salsa.

                                Boca Del Rio
                                1163 N Hacienda Blvd
                                La Puente, CA 91744

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: wakko11

                                  I second this rec. It is crazy how much they put on these tacos when you say, "everything." I thought the whole thing would just fall apart but it stays together as you turn your head to get it in your mouth. Every time I go I am unable to make up my mind which one I want. What I do is order three tacos. I get one of each of the asada and one of those very tender lengua and request "everything" on all three. I like the red salsa. It has a great taste. When I go in the morning around 9:00 those three tacos last me all day and I eat very little at dinner. IMO these are among the best tacos in LA. Great rec!

                                2. The best tacos I have had were at the Grand Central Market in downtown. There are a couple of places but the Carne Asada tacos and carnitas tacos at the place against the wall is fab. and the fish tacos at the place near the thai place might be the best I have had! Plus, free parking.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: kek is khmer

                                    i agree wholeheartedly, i love that place. i stopped going to grand central market when they had that awful kitchen fire and had to close down for several months. try the lengua, best i've had.

                                    1. re: kek is khmer

                                      Is there any place in Grand Central that does great FISH TACOS? I went to Ana's, thinking they would have fish... but no luck! (Anyway, I think it was called Ana's. It's connected to an outpost that sells seafood.)

                                      1. re: Liquid Sky

                                        There is a stand there, right BEHIND Ana Maria's... we had the most amazing scallop taco there...


                                        1. re: Normal Garciaparra

                                          Is that the place in Grand Central Market?

                                      2. El Pecas #2 on Olympic and LaBrea after seven or eight at night...dollar tacos and the Al Pastor will make your tongue slap your whole head off!

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: therealbigtasty

                                          I am anywhere that the AP will make my tongue slap my whole head off!! Thanks! ;-)

                                          1. re: WildSwede

                                            Me too except that I'm laughing too hard to drive!

                                            1. re: sel

                                              Your driving? Oh yeah, this is the future.

                                              Another of my favorite phrases like that is, "So good it make you go home and slap your momma!"

                                              I should make a mention of a taco that I like to keep this post up...

                                              Man, those Grand Central Tacos rule, it's just a damn shame they ain't got no brains.

                                              1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                Well, they've got cabeza. Is that close enough?

                                                1. re: mc michael

                                                  Cabeza's good, but it ain't brains. That's just the meat from the outside of the head, not the inside.

                                                  1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                    Sesos(brains) is the ticket. Almost impossible to find now but for those in OC, Taco Boy on Euclid in Anaheim still serves sesos everyday. Worth the trip and load 'em up with the salsa verde!

                                        2. what about good al pastor or carnitas on the westside- santa monica, ect..

                                          1. thanks to all of you who replied! love the info and the food talk

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: taco

                                              Did you try any of the suggestions? If so, how were they?

                                              1. re: tony michaels

                                                well i just figured out how to find my old post's so no didnt try em yet but i have been to Boca del rio.. thats yummo!! Have you been to El Rey in Chino... MMMM so good its on Riverside/Ramona...Great salsa's and beans... The carne asada is just how i like it..Check it out

                                                1. re: taco

                                                  I so rarely am in that area of So. Cal. that it is unlikely that I will get there anytime soon (if ever). If you do try any of the rec'd places I look forward to reading your comments. Until then I will just keep reading all the chow taco (talko?).

                                                  1. re: tony michaels

                                                    Go to any King Taco. Mostly around East La Area but one in pasadena old town.

                                                    If u want a one-of-a-kind...Omanas tacos in El Monte..10300 Rush St, South El Monte up the block from El Tepyac(the best mexican breakfast place by the way) try the pozole..to die for.

                                                    come to think of it...El Monte has some killer eating places..from good Pho to tacos...just need to get there more often.

                                                    1. re: theJag

                                                      Mmmmm... they have a Senor Baja too... and the best damn bun thit nuong in the world is right down the street at My Hanh.

                                              2. re: taco

                                                From the first bite I fell in love with the heavenly al pastor tacos at the taco table on vermont, between venice and the 10 freeway, I believe (east side of the street.... evenings only)

                                                Mr Taster
                                                Protect Chowhound
                                                Boycott Avatars!

                                              3. i cannot believe that no one has mentioned the La Estrella taco truck in Highland Park at York & Ave 54. it is by far THE BEST tacos i've ever had and their pastor is soooo good. its super cheap too. they have a few trucks plus a standing restaurant with tables outside (Figueroa & 61 I think). I love bring out-of-towners to the truck...they think its so weird!

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: goodnightdean

                                                  Fan of El Taurino here. Actually, DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHERE RODEO MEXICAN GRILL IS!??!/

                                                  Not the one on Sunset, but the one around 7th/Hoover or wherever it moved to. I LOVE that place, but alas cannot find it anymore.

                                                  1. re: ns1

                                                    2323 W Olympic Blvd
                                                    Los Angeles, CA 90015
                                                    (213) 738-5252

                                                    I got this off a web search. I thought it was on Olympic.

                                                  2. re: goodnightdean

                                                    I'll second. This is where I go to get my taco fix. They are fabulous. And around a buck each.

                                                    1. re: goodnightdean

                                                      Speaking of taco trucks...the one (not sure of the name...Oaxacena?) on Lincoln near Rose in Venice rules. The tacos are top notch, but they have some other interesting things on the menu too. Can anybody recommend things they've tried here?

                                                      1. re: reverendalexg

                                                        They have excellent clayudas and memelas. I usually get chorizo or tazajo, but their cabeza is very good too.

                                                        1. re: hrhboo

                                                          I knew this would happen. Of course, now I have to ask...what are clayudas and memelas? I feel like a poor excuse for a Mexican-American, but I grew up on what could be referred as "Chicano" food. Since moving to L.A., the concept of Oaxacan cuisine has blown my mind. I don't even know where to start!

                                                          1. re: reverendalexg

                                                            Clayudas and memelas are both Oaxacan, I believe. The former is a large (like the size on a large pizza) crisp tortilla-like thingy smeared with beans and topped with string cheese and meats. The latter is like a thick corn tortilla smeared with beans and crumbled cheese served as is or topped with meat. Highly recommended! If you ever make it to the truck, or to Guelaguetza, Monte Alban or any other Oaxacan place, they are definitely worth ordering.

                                                            1. re: reverendalexg

                                                              I thought the term was "tlayuda." Is this something different?

                                                              1. re: Cubancoffee

                                                                It is the same. Some places spell it with a "T" and some with a "C".

                                                      2. La Paz in Calabasas. With beef, tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, grilled onions and bell peppers. Enormous and only $2 a la carte!

                                                        1. Not the most authentic taco experience, but if you're looking for a new and quirky take on tacos, try El Toro on Wilshire west of La Brea. They've improved considerably since they opened a few months ago.

                                                          9 Replies
                                                          1. re: comidachameleon

                                                            Both late night taco trucks on Fair Oaks in Pasadena....Titos Tacos on the westside! El Carmen with the crowd and a good tequila, Patty's in Claremont (they make the tortillas a la fresca); or go to the carniceria in El Sereno and bring it to my house and I will cook the best darn tacos in town : )

                                                            1. re: chefthisguy

                                                              This place is the size of a tiki shack (a very spotless one) -- Iguana Ranas for tortas and tacos. In the City of Industry near Valley Blvd./Hacienda Blvd. behind Pizza Hut in the Superior Supermarket parking lot. The owner gets his tortillas and bolillos from across the border. Try the tacos de ranas and Tacos de jalapenos. Excellente!!!

                                                              1. re: Pakkai

                                                                Nice Find! I haven't had frog leg tacos in like 10 years.... next time I am in L.A. I am going to sneak a trip there.

                                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                  Comer_Cactus or Eat_Nopal (BTW I love nopales y huevos).
                                                                  Me lo siento/My bad. No taco de ranas.
                                                                  What I should have said is the "Iguana Ranas" with 2 tacos de jalapeno. The Iguana Ranas is the most delicious Consomme/Caldo in the known world. It is a "soup" that is combined with carne de res (melt in your mouth beef), a dollop melted cheese, frijoles de olla, lime, cilantro, and tortillas. $2.95! Oh yeah, 2 tacos de jalapenos on the side. ENJOY!

                                                                  1. re: Pakkai

                                                                    That sounds intriguing! But I do feel let down about the frog leg tacos =(

                                                                2. re: Pakkai

                                                                  Oh my gosh Ive seen that place! Is it really good I've wondered.. I like carne asada and carnitas myself, do they have those..?

                                                                  1. re: taco

                                                                    If it ain't all that I'll eat my hat. They have carnitas, carne asada, and way more.
                                                                    Many things on the menu that were news to me. I refer to my above post.
                                                                    ENJOY and you will!

                                                                    1. re: Pakkai

                                                                      I had Iguana Ranas today! Man do I want to kick myself for not going sooner. The food is fresh and well cooked. Everything has its own distinct flavor. The guacamole is delicious, seriously wayyyyy better than Boca Del Rio. I loved the tortillas which reminded me of real Mexican tortillas! The wwner/cook is so nice too. What clinched it for me was his variety of salsas, from original tomatillo and chile rojo to mango and tequila. Will definitely go back again since one bite of the carne asada tacos had me sold.

                                                                3. re: chefthisguy

                                                                  Sorry, but I just saw that you listed El Carmen. . . . For tequila, El Carmen is great. But the tacos are awful -- no matter how drunk you are.

                                                              2. Fresh, large hand made corn tortilla, diced carne asada topped with a nice slice of ripe avocado. Chopped onions and cilantro will come mixed into the asada unless you ask otherwise. Fresh sliced lime and red salsa come on the side -- $1.75. This is a nice little sit-down place but they will make take-out orders. If you sit down you will get some very good chips and salsa -- no extra charge. I have eaten here many times and had many diferent meals from the menu including goat soup and many shrimp meals. The only dish I did not like was the shrimp cocktail. Strange that they do not make a good shrimp cocktail sauce because every other sauce they make is very good.

                                                                El Jacal (Asada,,Goat, shrimp)
                                                                13414 Ramona Blvd
                                                                Baldwin Park, CA 91706-3902
                                                                (626) 813-4419
                                                                Open 7 days, 8am to 9pm.
                                                                Several blocks East of the 605

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: JeetJet

                                                                  Fish and shrimp...especially shrimp....El Taco Nazo hands down! Maybe the best taco ever made. They are in S El Monte, La Habra, Bellfower, Anaheim Hills and a couple of more in the San Gabriel Valley.

                                                                  Taqueria de Anza in Anaheim, Fullerton and Santa An has the best Carnitas tacos!

                                                                2. Good post so far. Let me hopefully add by sharing a few:

                                                                  Sergio's Tacos in Commerce on Atlantic just south of Stevens steak house for al pastor sliced off the rotisserie and served with onions sliced that are used to hold up the roasting meat. Served with a fiery red sauce or a very nice herbal (cilantro) green sauce that is milder. My current go to al pastor is here, above and beyond El Taurino on Hoover- that lots ot people dig -and even the place at Mercado La Paloma that Ive yapped about before. The lengua and cabeza tacos are good also.

                                                                  La Taquiza on the west side of Figuera (north of USC) for Mulitas--a corn tortilla quesadilla filled with meat of choice and guacamole (if you choose). Great condiments including pickled carrots, pickled onions, a variety of salsas. Good variety of aguas frescas.

                                                                  El Parian on Pico for Carne Asada tacos stuffed to the gills with great grilled and chopped meat. I dont like the pico de gallo or the doubled up thick corn tortillas, but the flavor of that smoky meat and the quantity is great. This place is known for goat stew-birria-but the asada tacos are great too.

                                                                  The daily specials at Huarache Azteca in Highland Park like Cochinta Pibil which includes a nice piece of pork belly-that can be made into tacos.

                                                                  The special dishes at Loteria--like papas con rajas, chicharron en salsa verde, calabacitas with corn and chipotle albondigas-that they make and are hard to find in this type of diversity elsewhere.

                                                                  The fried to order (crispy, semi-crispy or softly fried) potato tacos at La Casita Mexicana in Bell.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: ickster

                                                                    Hey ickster,

                                                                    Thanks for the info! Do you know how late Sergio's Tacos stays open till?