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Jun 22, 2007 08:44 AM

What is the lure of King Taco?

Had to run up to LA yesterday and stopped at King Taco to pick up lunch for my crew. After spending $60 on five of everything they have, I took it back to the shop and we ate.

The tacos were good but Boca del Rio is ten times better, as is the little taco shop down on Glassell in Orange.

The tamales were mostly masa and very little filling.

The burritos were better, but still nothing to drive miles for.

What gives? Why is King Taco so desired?

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  1. Personally, I like the tacos.

    1. Pretty good tacos and even better salsa roja!

      2 Replies
      1. re: sel

        The best al pastor tacos and burritos (the carne asada ain't too shabby either) at a tremendous price with the absolute best salsa roja in L.A.

        1. re: PaliBruin

          I had heard about King Taco for years from positive posts on this board. I finally got around to heading to the Pasadena location just this past weekend. For a joint that's got a McDonald's fast-food feel to it, they served up same fantastic (and cheap!) tacos. $1.25 per taco is just slightly more than you'd pay at your local roach coach (or taco table) and as PaliBruin says, the al pastor tacos were fantastic.... a serious rival to my favorite shabby little taco table on Vermont and Venice. I never thought it could happen!

          Mr Taster
          Protect Chowhound
          Boycott Avatars!

      2. I ate at the Broadway location for the first time a few weeks ago. I wasn't all that impressed. It was just okay. I saw them pull a bag of pre-cut and bagged carne asada from the freezer. They then just through it on the grill to heat up and fry. I'm guessing that its made somewhere else, frozen and shipped to the different locations.

        1. I don't think it is fair to judge a taco place on long-drive take-out. Burritos travel a bit better. As noted, King Taco has a good roja and if you didn't take enough or your taco loses its heat when doused with the salsa...

          King Taco to me is too much a chain. Meat is good, portions are measured. I think most places down the street will outperform stands with tacos brought in from a distance.

          1. Boca Del Rio is a thousand times better than King Taco. I have tried several King Taco locations about once a year over the last decade and have never been happy. Over priced, small amounts, nothing special about it -- that is King Taco. I think the reason King Taco (a chain) is popular is that many people want something more authentic than Del Taco but are not willing to try the small mom & pop taco stands, or maybe they are just open later. The tacos at Boca Del Rio are reasonably priced with large amounts of meat and cheese and several special kinds of meats to choose from. The salsa is also very special at Boca Del Rio. What made me decide I will not return to King Taco is their poor example of sopes. Those corn patties were not fresh-made and tasted like a mass produced store bought sopes. The price was way out of line. I like sopes to be fresh made and a little crispy. The best sopes I have had were from My Taco in Highland Park – perfect. The masa was fresh and the fresh crispy patty was large and hot – not reheated from the fridge. The second best fresh made sopes I have had were from Antojitos on Peck Rd. in El Monte, just north of another overpriced King Taco.

            Boca Del Rio
            (626) 917-0311
            1163 N Hacienda Blvd
            La Puente, CA

            My Taco
            6300 York Blvd.
            Highland Park, CA 90042
            Mon-Weds: 8am to 9pm
            Thurs.-Sun: 8am to 10pm

            4721 1/2 Peck Rd
            El Monte, CA
            (626) 279-2109

            12 Replies
            1. re: JeetJet

              Boca Del Rio is a different beast, what with the sour cream, the avocado sauce the jack cheese. I do like Boca, but it is different, you can not compare a King Taco or or El Gran Burrito taco to Boca, very different.

              1. re: Burger Boy

                Yes, I can compare a King Taco taco to a Boca Del Rio taco and the Boca Del Rio taco is a thousand times better than the King Taco taco. Also, The My Taco sopes are a thousand times better than the King Taco sopes. Maybe if the sour cream, avocado and cheese are an issue you can get a regular taco at Boca without the extra stuuf. Still, it is a thousand times better.

                1. re: JeetJet

                  Jeet, where do you like in Pasadena for tacos? Do you think Boca del Rio is worth driving for, or is there somewhere local, in Pasadena, that's comparable? Thanks.

                  1. re: katkoupai

                    For a Pasadena location I like the asada at Tops more than the asada at King Taco. However, since I go to several other places for tacos I do not get tacos from Tops when I go there. When I go to Tops I get something they do better with asada than any other place I have been to -- their Asada Tostada. The asada is tender and the marinade is very good and goes well in a salad. I like to use their green salsa as a dressing. IMO to be in Pasadena and planning to eat asada it would be a shame not to order the their Asada Tostada. Likewise, if you really wanted a taco then either drive to El Parian or Boca Del Rio.

                    3838 E Colorado Blvd
                    Pasadena, CA 91107-3940
                    (626) 449-4412

                    El Parian Restaurant (Asada, Tacos).
                    1528 W. Pico Blvd.
                    Los Angeles
                    (213) 386-7361
                    Just West of the Harbor Fry. (They LOOK to be closed from the street but open the door).

                    Boca Del Rio
                    1163 N Hacienda Blvd
                    La Puente, CA
                    (626) 917-0311

                  2. re: JeetJet

                    i don't know about that. boca sounds like a whole different animal to me.

                    1. re: rameniac

                      it is different, but good in its own way, very filling.

                      1. re: rameniac

                        "sounds like..." Sounds like you have not even tried it. I can understand that when one beef taco is a thousand times better than another beef taco it may seem wrong to compare them. But these tacos are the same animal -- beef, the same beast, -- beef. I am not talking shrimp vs. beef here. I thought this is about the use of beef in tacos. Lets agree on this, try them both and --- compare on which you would rather have again.

                        1. re: JeetJet

                          i freely admit i haven't tried it. never said i had. but at the same time, judging by your description, it does "sound like" you're talking about something else altogether.

                          for the record, the al pastor tacos that el taurino / king taco are known for are specifically spit-roasted, sheperd-style pork. the OP was asking what makes king taco special, and that's pretty much it. so perhaps we are talking about two different things?

                          1. re: rameniac

                            El Taurino is so much better than King Taco

                            1. re: Burger Boy

                              I thought the same company owned both???

                              1. re: mc michael

                                They do, but in my opinion El Taurino is better, they also do goat at El Taurino.