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Best Taco Stands in LA

Can anyone recommend great taco stands in the LA area- no specific location- all over-- the best of the best...??

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  1. Tito's on Washington Place and Sepulveda, best hard-shell tacos without a doubt. Okay, let the flame wars begin.. but seriously I like Tito's.

    9 Replies
    1. re: monkuboy

      No reason to flame... Tito's is quite good for the type of taco it is (crunchy shell and fried). Some of the BEST meat for taco or burrito that I've tasted is a taco truck in Eagle Rock that sits at the side of the road between 8pm and 3am on Colorado Blvd right before Eagle Rock Blvd in front of the Comfort Inn. I've been going there for almost 25 years and it is by far the BEST carne asada I've ever had... on a taco or burrito. I HIGHLY recommend it.

      1. re: mrshankly

        Some of the BEST meat for taco or burrito that I've tasted is a taco truck in Eagle Rock that sits at the side of the road between 8pm and 3am on Colorado Blvd right before Eagle Rock Blvd in front of the Comfort Inn
        Oh, yeah! Now i ahve to get down there(I have since moved to IE. I beleive the trucks name used to be Rambo's . Best carne Asada anywhere. And la fuente restaurant there on colorado is good too-- not to mention King Taco--ah and the pupuseria on Fig... yup thats why I'm 25 lbs thinner now.. haha!

        1. re: AnnieMar

          "I beleive the trucks name used to be Rambo's".

          Passed by it tonight - don't remember if it was EXACTLY on Colorado or Eagle Rock. It's close to me so I'll check it out - maybe after the Eagle Rock Music Fest.

          In any case, another great stand (actually a chain of 4) is Casita Taco. Burbank, Noho, Universal City & Pasadena.

          1. re: Briggs

            Rambo's is usually on Eagle Rock Blvd at York. Along with Leo's and now the Kogi truck.

            1. re: Briggs

              i just had lunch at Casita in Burbank. i got the 3 taco plate and ordered chicken, carnitas and carne asada.

              the chicken was my favorite of the three. it was cooked really well, had a good grill and wasn't dry at all.

              the carnitas were a wee bit on the dry side, but not so much that i wouldn't eat the taco.

              the carne asada was really good. it was tender and well cooked.

              the salsa roja wasn't really that hot/spicy in the moment. but now, 30 min later, i can kind of still feel the burn on my tongue.

              it's a tiny place and was very crowded, but i managed to score a seat at the counter against the wall.

        2. re: monkuboy

          Tito's rocks my world. I always order a taco, an all beef with cheese buritto, and a side of "guacamole" or what ever that addicting green concotion is. Tito's lost out on the coin toss tonight to the Apple Pan.

          1. re: monkuboy

            La Estrella taco trucks always hit the spot. There is one in Eagle Rock and one in Pasadena on Fair Oaks. I think the Eagle Rock location is on York and 45th? For a taco stand El Tapatio in Glendale on S. Glendale Ave. is pretty popular.

            1. re: minnie

              The one on York is at Avenue 54. It's my number one for tacos. Really yummy. There's an actual building on the corner of Figueroa and Meridian (north of York), but I haven't had the tacos there. The truck at ave. 54 is so good I don't have reason to go anywhere else.

              1. re: minnie

                The La Estrella store location on Fig in Highland Park is pretty serious. It is right by Ave. 60, near the train tracks. Get the all meat carne asada burrito. Don't forget the hot sauce.

              1. Taco Llama. I am partial to the location in Northridge, Bandini likes a different location: http://tacohunt.blogspot.com/2005/09/...

                Carnitas Michoacan, Bandini's review here: http://tacohunt.blogspot.com/2006/02/...

                5 Replies
                1. re: jencounter

                  Where is the Northridge one located?

                  1. re: wizardx

                    Corbin and Parthenia. There is also on on Reseda at Vanowen, but I don't like it as much as the one in Northridge.

                    1. re: jencounter

                      Thanks Jencounter, I am so there tomorrow!

                      1. re: wizardx

                        Taco Llama rocks but Tacos La Fonda is better! See Bandini on this too.

                  2. re: jencounter

                    I've never tried the Northridge, but my favorites are the two in NoHo -- Magnolia by Cahuenga and Sherman Way near Lankershim. I think those two are owned by the same owner. The El Taco Llamas on Van Nuys, Vanowen (near Haskell), and Balboa have different owners, and are far inferior. All have their amazing salsa roja (very similar to King Taco's), but the two I like have fantastic carne asada and lamb birria. The one on Sherman Way also has a very good pico de gallo, though they have cracked down on how much salsa you can take with your tacos -- and charge outrageous prices if you want to pay to get extra.

                    Tacos La Fonda is a truck that parks at the car wash Vanowen and Vineland. It has the best tortillas in the valley and excellent carne asada and chorizo tacos. The salsas are good, but not as good as El Taco Llama's.

                    For carnitas, I highly recommend Pico Pico Rico in Sherman Oaks (on Magnolia by Kester). The tortillas are hecho de mano. It can be a bit hit or miss depending on who is doing the cooking, but when they hit, it is among the best carnitas I've ever had. They also do excellent huaraches, including huaraches con nopal.

                  3. I still like Yuca's for their cochinita pibil and for the fact that they are a "true" taco stand.


                    10 Replies
                    1. re: Servorg

                      Look no further for AMERICAN-STYLE ground beef/tomato/lettuce/shredded cheese crunchy shell old-skool childhood tacos:

                      Henry's Tacos
                      11401 Moorpark St.
                      North Hollywood, CA 91602
                      (818) 769-0343

                      A true walk-up, picnic-tables-under-an-aluminum-awning-cool-sign taco stand.

                      Recommended by Mary Kate (aka Barely Ate) and Ashley (aka Ghastly) Olsen:


                      1. re: CucumberBoy

                        Why would I go to a place to eat recommended by people who obviously don't?

                        And seriously, hard shell tacos?

                        That's like recommending the lunch ladies mystery meat sloppy Joes.

                      2. re: Servorg

                        It doesn't get any more "taco stand" than Yucas!

                        Stick to the tacos, though - they're better than the burritos IMHO. Although at least their burritos are small and you can actually eat again after having one.

                        Hmm. just noticed they have hamburgers and hot dogs. I wonder who orders them?

                        1. re: salutlemonde

                          My wife and I drove to Yucas just to try their tacos after seeing the "10 best taco places" on TV . We were disappointed as it tasted like any other taco stand. I am willing to give it another try since there is so much hype. Any specific suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I want to make sure we have their best dish on their menu. By the way, does anyone know a real good Mexican restaurant in LA? I have many fantastic meals in Mexico, but have not been able to find one in LA.

                          1. re: keithlca

                            Best taco is the cochinita pibil, followed by the carne asada.

                            1. re: vinosnob

                              The cochinitia pibil burrito at Yucas is my favorite because of its unique taste.

                              However, I will always hold a place in my heart for Juanita's (in Ontario and Claremont) shredded beef tacos, because, combined with their hot sauce and bean burritos, I go into a food high.

                              1. re: ValleyGal

                                I certainly agree with the first part!

                                Juanita's, eh? Have I linked to the right place?

                                Juanita's III
                                1209 E 4th St, Ontario, CA 91764

                            2. re: keithlca

                              It isn't like any other taco stand if you get the cochinita pibil. This is the thing to get.

                              1. re: keithlca

                                The tacos are the worst thing on the menu at Yuca's (much like ordering the tacos at La Super Rica in SB)...the burritos are the only thing I really like (the beans are GREAT!), and will sometimes drive out of my way for.

                                I'm not sure how anyone can be excited about the Yuca's tacos - commercial tortillas, tiny portions of meat, and paltry condiments.

                                The tacos at any stand at the Grand Central Market BLOW them away.


                                1. re: manku

                                  I agree manku. The tortillas they use for tacos are pretty bad. I get the asada burrito with those juicy beans and the pibil as it is hard to find in that neck of the woods (but there are better ones out there so I dont rave about it). Burritos are the way to go, although my son prefers the burgers of all things.

                          2. The "Taco Zone" truck on Alvarado... north of Sunset. Next to the Von's in Echo Park. Superior tacos after 7pm.

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: blacksab67

                              el taurino

                              olympic/hoover i believe

                              1. re: ns1

                                I second El Taurino on Hoover...best tacos al pastor.

                              2. re: blacksab67

                                I agree with ns1 and laura w, great tacos off at El Taurino. There is also Chanos on Figueroa.

                                1. re: FoodLover92

                                  Boss' on vacation, so taking liberties to adventure out of our usual lunch-hour zone of attack (work in downtown). Gonna try El Taurino next week and hopefully Vista Hermosa in La Paloma or Mi Casita in El Sereno too. Aside from the al pastor, what else to try at El Taurino?

                                  BTW, have picked up on bandini's habit of eating tacos w/ a lime Jarritos. Really is a great combo.

                                  1. re: pharmnerd

                                    I would say the carne asada is the first choice at El T, and the al pastor second choice. I think they will serve it with red salsa unless you specifically request green.

                                  2. re: FoodLover92

                                    is chanos on figueroa the one north of downtown but south of eagle rock? i went to an amazing one around mt washington or highland park. i was really drink that night, so maybe it's the booze talking, but that was some fantastico tacos de carnitas. and once again, it is definitely the booze talking that I can remember nothing about the truck except that it was on Figueroa.

                                    1. re: lotta_cox

                                      Chanos is north of USC south of DTLA on Figueroa near Jefferson (I believe 30th or 32nd)

                                      1. re: ns1

                                        yup, wrong spot. thank you though. further research on this is needed.

                                  3. re: blacksab67

                                    Taco Zone @Alvarado also has the best tacos de tripa!!

                                    Taco Zone (catering truck)
                                    Alvarado and Montana St, Los Angeles, CA

                                  4. Try one of each kind at,

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

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: JeetJet

                                      I am seriously going to make it out to Boca Del Rio one day soon. :)

                                      1. re: katkoupai

                                        Me Too. One of each kind with everything on them. I like them in the morning and then they last me into the night.

                                      2. re: JeetJet

                                        Based on this tip, I stopped by this place last Saturday - very good ! Especially loved the Al Pastor, but all three tacos I tried (Lengue, Al Pastor and Asada) were good.

                                      3. Carnitas Michoacan on Broadway at Ave 20 or maybe 21. Anyway, between the River and the 5.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. I would definitely refer to Bandini's blog, but my favorite taco stand is Cactus Taqueria on Vine in Hollywood.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: SauceSupreme

                                            I second Cactus. I might be partial because it's my local stand, but I've never had a better taco anywhere else.

                                            1. re: dodus

                                              I third Cactus. Again, I am a local so I may be considered biased, but I just moved to my current location. Best Asada i've had in LA and best Cabeza I've had in my entire life - it is so tender, i'd liken it to oxtail or shortribs if they have been cooking for long enough to fall off the bone and melt in your mouth. Also, great service for a stand - always quick and with a smile when you come and go. Cactus can't be beat.

                                              1. re: mahjede

                                                Fourth Cactus. Best lengua I've had in L.A. and the asada and al pastor are pretty good, though not as juicy as my favorite for asada: Mariela's. At Cactus, I usually put the lengua in a burrito (no. 5) and get a taco de asada. I go to the Cactus on Beverly more often, because it's close to me. When Cactus isn't open I go to El Gran Burrito, they're lengua is decent though not the heavenly juicy tender masterpiece it is at Cactus.

                                                1. re: nine.circles

                                                  I used to like Cactus, never that wild for El gran but there is much better to be had. Taco Zone on Alvarado, east of Sunset, El Pique in Highland Park and Mi Teresita at Lexington and Western all come to mind as places to go before Cactus and El Gran.

                                          2. Cheo's taco truck on Mission Rd in El Sereno! It is only there on Wed. thru Sun and it is delicious. The carne asada is nicely marinated, on a table outside there is green and red salsa, guacamole, and limes all available for your use. They serve burritos, tacos and tortas.

                                            1. How about King Taco (East Los, Boyle Heights, Pasadena, Pico Rivera? It has good tasting carne asada burritos and tacos. They also serve al pastor, and pollo. This place has the best tasting salsa verde I have ever had, and I have tasted many. If you order your burrito with cotija cheese inside, and salsa verde, you will be in heaven!!!

                                              1. #1) corner of Herbert & Olympic Blvd - ELA Open Everyday SN-Th 3-11 F/S 3-2:30am; homemade tortillas for tacos and more, clean and sits on the curb of a liquor store so many drinks to choose from. Serves Carne Asada, Chicken, Pastor, Lengua, Carnitats, Chorizo....

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: suarezgfam

                                                  isnt that where the el korita truck used to be at? with the homemade torts and the mulas?

                                                2. Like others have said, check bandini's website. My faves are Chema's Tacos in Whittier, El Chato truck (La Brea and Olympic) and El Pecas (Cesar Chavez).

                                                  1. Try Tacos el Gallito....it's a yellow taco truck that's always on the corner of PCH and Vermont in Torrance/Lomita area. The al pastor is awesome! The later you get there the more packed it is!

                                                    1. Taco Bell of course. Also....There's Benitos in Fairfax across from the bargain Regency theatres on Beverly Blvd. and Fairfax. Both places have really good CRUNCHY tacos. A rare find these days of nouvelle health....even showing up in taco stands these days.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: likesweets

                                                        As much as I've always wanted to love Benito's "rolled tacos", I swear, every single time I've indulged myself, I've gotten heartburn that makes me think I'm Dick Cheney.

                                                      2. Carnitas Michaocan on North Broadway at 19th, above Chinatown. Great carne asada, even better al pastor from a rotisserie spit. But the absolute best salsa roja in all of L.A.

                                                        1. There is a little taco stand at the corner of Whittier Blvd and Maple St. in Montebello called El Atacor. The have good tasting carne asads, and salsa.

                                                          1. With all the varied replies, it's true that it somehwat depends what you're looking for . . . but LA has more good tacos than one man can eat, so you shouldn't have to go far.

                                                            I second the reco's for El Taurino (Hoover below Olympic) and King Taco (multiple locations found on their website), and Cactus (one location on Vine below Santa Monica Blvd and another on Beverly near Vermont??). I also like the truck at Venice Blvd and Cattaraugus, between LaCienega and Fairfax, evenings only.

                                                            1. Altacor in Cypress Park next to Footsie's. Best fish tacos I have ever had. Deeply flavored Al Pastor. And I had it at 3am. Incredible place.

                                                              1. my favorite tacos come off the street. and if it's $1/taco, then I've found my place.

                                                                San Fernando Rd. Tacos (taco stand doesn't have a name so I called it by the street it was on). Currently located by the bus depot around San Fernando Rd. and Ave. 26. Hours from 6/7-11pm, weather factors included.
                                                                $1/taco. Al pastor, asada, cabeza, suadero, buche.

                                                                2nd St. & Beaudry taco stand. Located at night from 7pm - whenever (weekends are open later). Located in the southwest corner in parking lot. If you don't see them, then they're not there that night.
                                                                $1/taco. Asada, al pastor, buche, chorizo, lengua and I think chicken(???)

                                                                Vons taco trailer on Alvarado St. in Echo Park (I forgot the name of the truck/trailer but it's right outside the Vons parking lot. *edit:"TACO ZONE" as seen in a few posts above)
                                                                Quality is good. I just wish it was $1/taco instead of $1.25. But they are usually there everynight. Also has burritos and quesadillas. Service can be slow since some people place huge to-go orders.
                                                                $1.25/taco. al pastor, asada, carnitas, suadero, cabeza, lengua.

                                                                As for sit down places, there's Michoacan (mentioned in previous post). However, I think Llamarada, in Lincoln Heights, has some great tacos. $1.25/$1.50 per taco. Huge portions. Small whole in the wall. Open only M-Sat, 8am-6pm. Located near the Jack-in-the-Box on Ave 26 & Pasadena (the 5 roads intersection).

                                                                1. The best Shrimp Taco on the planet is at El Taco Nazo. In fact, it might be the best taco ever made! Everything is good there, but fish and shrimp are their specialty....especially the shrimp! It is worth all the hype and write ups! There are several in the San Gabriel Valley area. I go to the one in South El Monte. They also have one in Bellflower and Anaheim Hills.

                                                                  Best Carnitas.....Taqueria De Anza! They are in OC...Santa Ana, Fullerton and Anaheim. Slow roasted rotisseire pork...mmmm!

                                                                  I have no favorite Carne Asada place...the aforementioned are all good.

                                                                  1. Per tacohunt's recommendation, tried La Estrella truck (in front of the restaurant) in Boyle Heights. Tried the Carne Asada and Lengua & it was quite good. Buddy "accidentally" ate my Al Pastor, so can't comment on it (he owes me big time). The tacos are bigger than King Taco and are only $1.25. Crazy good deal.

                                                                    Was impressed by the Al Pastor at the place next to Chichen Itza in the Mercado La Paloma near USC. Sorry, can't remember the name of the place. If you like heat, can get the habanero salsa from Chichen Itza too.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: pharmnerd

                                                                      Taqueria Vista Hermosa is the place next to Chichen Itza in the Mercado La Paloma.

                                                                    2. Again, tried another one of the "greattacohunt" recs. Tried Sergios in City of Commerce, which I believe Bandini rated his favorite overall taco joint. Tried al pastor, carne and carnitas. All were good, but the carne asada was great. Great flavor and texture and chopped right in front of you. Felt like eating/ordering at a taco cart, but it's legit.

                                                                      Also, the salsa roja almost killed me. A good notch or 2 above King Taco. I downed my horchata before finishing the 1st taco.

                                                                      Thanks again Bandini.

                                                                      1. I love the made-to-order shrimp tacos at the Best Fish Taco in Ensenada on hillhurst

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Cinemaverite1

                                                                          Yeah, they were pretty decent. But, for some reason the restaurant had a funky kind of sour smell when I visited. And the fish in the fish tacos reminded me of defrosted tilapia. I guess that's why I still prefer Senor Fish.

                                                                        2. You want the best fish tacos around, you need to go to Tacos Baja Ensenada in East L.A. on Whittier Blvd.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Alx72

                                                                            Since you're talking about fish tacos, recently had Senor Baja (near Bellflower Kaiser). I know there's might be some sorta ownership/family connection between the 2. Athough were quite similar, would give slight nod to Taco Nazo (only tried one in La Habra), which had larger, crispier piece of fish. Could've just been the cook that day though.

                                                                            TBE is definitely on my Chow to-do list.

                                                                            1. re: Alx72

                                                                              Alx72 - I SO agree! TBE is my first choice! Everything is delicious, but their fish taco is the best we have had!

                                                                              1. re: Alx72

                                                                                Having had both, I enjoy the BFTiE ones better. Lighter batter, better proportion. TBE is more authentic though and has a solid crunch.

                                                                              2. Check out Vallarta at any location

                                                                                1. king taco in pasadena. the other king taco locations are larger but serve mass produced food. i like my carne asada tender yet a little toasty, you just can't get that from the larger locations. they're too busy trying to fulfill the hundreds of orders. the pasadena location, however, is consistently good. besides the tacos and burritos, try the sopes.

                                                                                  1. I don't hear about it much on the boards often, but I really think Mariela's has some of the best asada in town, at least this side of downtown. It's on 3rd Street just east of Normandie and it's perfectly spiced and very juicy meat. They also have good al pastor there, really more of a carnitas (I think Bandini talked about this) but they're lengua isn't that great. Their salsa roja is smokily delicious and goes well with the al pastor.

                                                                                    Also, at the northwest corner of Catalina and 3rd there is a woman with a taco cart that sets up in the evening, she grills amazingly tasty strips of asada.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: nine.circles

                                                                                      is this the same as the mariela's on sunset in silver lake? been meaning to try that place for a while...

                                                                                      1. re: ronsilverado

                                                                                        there is the one in Silverlake, but there is also one on 3rd about 3 blocks west of Vermont on the south side of the street.

                                                                                    2. El Sauz on the corner of Chevy Chase and San Fernando in Glendale (near Los Feliz) - great tacos, but the lady in the front won't like you much if you don't know any Spanish...
                                                                                      Andd Leo's on Eagle Rock Blvd (and W. Avenue 43) - it's open Tues-Sunday 8pm-2am (3am on weekends).

                                                                                      1. Tacomiendo
                                                                                        4502 Inglewood Blvd
                                                                                        Culver City, CA 90230

                                                                                        Garcia Brothers
                                                                                        NW corner of Venice Blvd and La Cienega

                                                                                        1. agree on tacomiendo, however considered "on parole" for constant price increases ($2 tacos?!?!? WTF? they used to be $1.50). they are totally worth it (giant tacos, handmade corn tortillas, great agua frescas).

                                                                                          la playita on lincoln near rose (the little blue stand near the new venice whole foods). the al pastor is wonderful, just enough spice/salsa, but the real winner here is the shrimp ceviche (huge portions for like $5... i can't eat a whole one in one sitting).

                                                                                          tacos por favor (olympic blvd in sm) for the chorizo and cheese, though this place suffers from the same affliction as tacomiendo (gentrification=high prices).

                                                                                          side note: anyone know what happened to tacos chatos (the truck that used to park on venice/sepulveda in front of howard's bacon and avocado)?

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: alkylyou

                                                                                            I don't know if its the same one but there is a taco truck on SW corner of La Brea and Olympic from 8pm on. IT says Chato Taco on the side and they have great el pastor, some of the best ever. This place is steal.
                                                                                            Tacos - $1.00
                                                                                            Quesadillas - $4 (ask for grilled onions, messy but worth it)

                                                                                          2. Carniceria Sanchez on Inglewood, just south of Culver. The real thing, fried in lard. For healthy style (grilled) and just as tasty, try TacoMiendo across the street. Both are Culver City.

                                                                                            Tito's is definitely worth a try if you on a taco tour. Some of the best tacos I've ever had were at Cactus Taqueria on Vine and Willoughby in Hollywood.

                                                                                            1. At Tito's order a tamale, too. The sauce that comes with it is awesome. Or just ask for a side of the tamale sauce and put it on your tacos.

                                                                                              1. There's a couple places I love...try Mi Teresita on Western and Lexington (near Sunset) for some spicy late-night taco action.

                                                                                                Peace and cebolla,

                                                                                                The Taco Inspector

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Taco Inspector

                                                                                                  EL GRAN!!! Santa Monica and Vermont. Real authentic flavor... $1/taco. what more can you ask for. I also suggest the carne asada burritos & birria! *yummy* =)

                                                                                                  1. re: Taco Inspector

                                                                                                    Oops, did I hear that Teresita had closed for a few months?

                                                                                                    1. re: Cubancoffee

                                                                                                      Maybe, but it has been reliable in the last half of 2009.

                                                                                                  2. The tacos at Tacos y Tomas in the Grand Central Market. The carne asada and al pastor tacos are tops. Have to try to be a believer.

                                                                                                    1. King Taco by far for authentic soft tacos. The stands at Soto/Cesar Chavez and 3rd/just east of the 710 in East La are probably the best.

                                                                                                      1. My favorite stand is located in Highland Park. It's at the corner of Fletcher and Larga. Great cabeza and al pastor. Don't miss this! They are generous with their meat portions and the meat is juicy and properly seasoned. Sometimes when the cooks refry their meat on the griddle it dries out the meat.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: tissue

                                                                                                          That Fletcher/Larga stand is fantastic! Though it's most certainly in Atwater Village, not in Highland Park... It's OK, sometimes these eastside neighborhoods are hard to tell apart.

                                                                                                        2. Ever in Alhambra...... Try Pepe's.
                                                                                                          Its on Valley and 5th. between atlantic and garfield.
                                                                                                          Great hardshell tacos, and red sauce to match.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: whospizza

                                                                                                            I love Pepe's. It isn't authentic by any stretch, but damn tasty. I always get the nachos with carne asada. Nice.

                                                                                                          2. My personal fave is not a stand, but a small storefront. El Parian. They have excellent goat's meat tacos.

                                                                                                            1. Tito's is an LA tradition. I have not been to Tito's in 30 years and I still crave it! I called and asked if they would ship me some to Florida! they would not. I remember standing in long lines with my Dad, who never stood in lines but, would stand in line for Tito's. And people did not mind the lines! You almost always saw someone you knew. The Talpa is not a "stand" but they have very good food if it is still on Pico near Bundy. Andy was the bartender 30 years ago and may have been the owner.

                                                                                                              1. Tito's is good, but I don't really understand the hype.

                                                                                                                1. Tito's Tacos is possibly the worst taco stand I've ever been to. Long line, and about as good as Taco Bell (but three times the price). Can someone explain the hype?

                                                                                                                  The best is easily El Atacor in Highland Park, just off the Figueroa exit from the 110. They have excellent carne asada, cabeza, al pastor, and carnitas (that's what I've tried so far). They also have a surprizing number of mexican beers, for $2.50. It's right next to Footsie's, a cool bar with cheap PBR. Since Atacor is open 24/7, you can go after a long night of beverage indulgence.

                                                                                                                  On the westside, skip Tito's and try Gallego's on Venice near Centinela. Their meat is great and they have a lot of good, homemade salsas.

                                                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: chem cook

                                                                                                                    The Tito's phenomenon has been discussed at length on this board. As an overall trend, people who grew up in LA and ate Tito's as kids are voraciously pro-Tito's. Those of us who came to LA as adults (particularly those of us who seek out authentic Mexican deliciousness) are baffled by the natives' passion for the place.

                                                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                      Two different tacos. Tito's reminds people of the tacos their mom's made for taco night growing up, if you were not mexican. All the others are authentico to the culture.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                        That's what I call spot on analysis.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                          On the other hand, I grew up eating Tito's and have not been there since I was about 17 - some 40 years ago. Once I discovered truly good, authentic tacos, there was just no going back. Nostalgia isn't worth it.

                                                                                                                          I do want to call to all your attention, once again, the illegal cart that sets up at the corner of Avenue 26 and Humboldt (just east of the 110 - Highland Park) every night around 5pm - midnight. It has the very best al pastor I have tasted outside of Mexico - and would hold its own in Mexico City. It has a fantastic array of salsas and condiments, and truly excellent, smoky free pinto beans and grilled onions to put on your plate. It is simply the al pastor of the gods at a buck a pop.

                                                                                                                          1. re: estone888

                                                                                                                            Whoaza! Thanks for this incredible tip, estone888

                                                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                                                        2. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                          I can tell you that my non-Mexican mother's tacos, which came straight from the "old el paso taco dinner kit" (a flavor packet you mix with ground beef plus a quantity of those supermarket quality hard taco shells) were actually *more* flavorful than the tacos I've eaten at Tito's. (though Tito's freshly fried taco shells would certainly beat out the packaged ones for texture.)

                                                                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                            I was just saying it is a fond memory. My dad used to go to El Taco? on Hollywood at Western, I thought those were great tacos and then I grew up.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                              Of course when you wipe away the nostalgia, some childhood favorites hold up to adult tastes (like for me, Das Ubergeek, Prof Salt, etc. it's those eggrolls from back east) and other things don't (like what my people call "chicken chow mein", a soupy, flavorless plate of suey-inspired glop.)

                                                                                                                              Since I didn't grow up here, I'm not qualified to personally make that nostalgia-clarified distinction about Tito's Tacos, but I can (and do) observe that in my circle of friends, the Tito's love is distinctly weighted towards native Angelenos.

                                                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                Kind of like Tommy's. Dog food as far as I am concerned. Now Jay's Jayburgers (RIP) that was a chili burger with style and flair! I guess we all agree to disagree yet help find the things we love. Happy Holidays!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                                  Hi Burger Boy,

                                                                                                                                  You suddenly just reminded me:

                                                                                                                                  Did Chef Mori at 26 Beach ever create a Chili Burger? If not, I think you need to convince them to make one. :) That might be quite amazing.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: exilekiss

                                                                                                                                    Isn't that their "Texas" burger?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                      I am sure they have one, not sure of the name. I am still in morning and not eating chili burgers since Jay's closed....RIP J/K Yes they have a chili burger, I have never tried it! LOL

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                                        Hi Burger Boy,

                                                                                                                                        How can you be the ambassador for 26 Beach and have never tried their Chili Burger?! :) I've never tried Jay's, so if you get a chance, let me know how 26 Beach's compares. (^_~) Thanks.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: exilekiss

                                                                                                                                          From their menu:

                                                                                                                                          "Texas Burger – our spicy award winning texas chili – cheese burger with tomato, onion & pickles"

                                                                                                                                          1. re: exilekiss

                                                                                                                                            When did I become an Ambassador? What is the salary? Who do I report to? Jay's and 26 Beach, huh, no comparison, Jay's por Vida! Those were amazing chili burgers. Maybe I will try their chili burger, maybe.

                                                                                                                                            26 Beach
                                                                                                                                            3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                          Hi Servorg,

                                                                                                                                          Ah, if it is, I'll be on the lookout for it next time. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: exilekiss

                                                                                                                                            It's actually a burger I have had at 26 Beach and it was pretty ordinary from what I recall. The one thing I recall clearly was that the bun didn't hold up. Now, that's not unusual with chili burgers so really not that much of a knock.

                                                                                                                                            I've had that burger and a salmon burger there and another time a salad. All 3 times my wife (and I don't recall what she had any of the 3 times) came away underwhelmed. But I know I need to go again and try the California Roll burger.

                                                                                                                                            26 Beach
                                                                                                                                            3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

                                                                                                                        3. suggest the Cardenas Mex markets I go to the one in Pomona on Garey (yeah not the best area) but food is good or the new one off 60 fwy & vineyard is really nice, ck out the freshcas fruit drinks

                                                                                                                          also El Atacador (multi locations) I like the one in Highland park (#2 I think) near the one mentioned above its larger and down the street (on the same street but in a run down shopping mall across from Burger king)

                                                                                                                          1. The salsa makes the food, period. If you don't eat hot salsa, you're missing out on the true taco stand experience. I haven't been to all the stands mentioned in this post, but my 3 all-time favorites (to-date) are King Taco (throughout SoCal) LAX Tacos (Inglewood) and Yuca's (Los Feliz) If you don't eat Yuca's bottled hot sauce, you're missing the proverbial taco boat.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: bandido

                                                                                                                              Try El Taco Llama's salsa roja. It's similar to King Taco's, with the perfect amount of smokiness. As mentioned above, I recommend the North Hollywood locations.

                                                                                                                            2. el indio in the valley is good. also casa de tacos in canoga park

                                                                                                                              1. SAN MARCOS BAR &GRILL!- on hazeltine just sout of oxnard --very fresh made to order....i love this place..good tortillas and very reasonable..asada.carnitas..chicken...give it a shot(van nuys()

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: yummychomp

                                                                                                                                  I like San Marcos a lot, but I put their tacos just below El Taco Llama's. They do get points for salsa and for the free chips and bean dip if you eat there.

                                                                                                                                  FYI, this is the old El Jerezano space.

                                                                                                                                2. It's been over three years since the original post. I don't get to LA very often even though I'm just up north, but we're going in a couple of weeks, so I'd love to find out if the feelings are pretty much the same about the taco places mentioned. Guess I should have done a tally. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                  1. El Gran Burrito on Santa Monica Blvd. just west of Vermont (next to Metro station)
                                                                                                                                    Fantastic carne asada tacos...
                                                                                                                                    a J Gold favorite

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