- George Jan 10, 2008 06:31 PM
In the taco wasteland that is West Hollywood (let me know if I'm wrong...the closest good tacos that I find are at Cactus in Hollywood, and I like La Loteria a lot, though I know they are not popular with many on this board), a place called Pinches has opened up in the space on Sunset just West of Crescent Heights that used to be Julio's Taqueria. Julio's was terrible, fast food crud and it seemed dedicated to making the same food as over at Baja Fresh across the way, only not even as good as that (which is not good).
So I stopped in at Pinches tonight for take-home dinner.
They just opened Monday. They are obviously still working things out. Like the surroundings. While I was there, they were decorating -- hanging up sombreros and pictures on the walls and such. They are making it look better than Julio's for sure, though it is still a taco place in gringo territory, or better just to say, taco wasteland.
But enough already with the decoration, hey there is a pineapple over there rotating on top of the al pastor spit...
First good sign. So it got my hopes up. I ordered 4 tacos to go--one chorizo, al pastor, asada, and carnitas. I thought it a second good sign that they couldn't serve me the chorizo since they told me they had been supplied with chorizo that morning that they considered too greasy to use in tacos. So I got two al pastors instead.
Some guacamole and some refried beans and some chips.
Third good sign: they started putting some fresh limes in a bag for me. (They don't however have a salsa / toppings bar that you can access yourself, they do it for you.)
I have to say the tacos were pretty good. The thing above all was how fresh everything was. Definitely there was a lot of meat on these tacos--I don't necessarily think this is a good sign, but here, in taco wasteland, I'll take it.
The al pastors were good. Not as good as Cactus, not near as good as places like El Taco Llama in the valley, but good.
The carnitas was terrible. It was tasteless, dry, and the meat was cubed like dry roast pork. It wasn't crusted very much nor dissolving into fatty strings of roast pork. I wouldn't get the carnitas here at all unless things change. Note to Pinches: redo the carnitas!
But the asada....I don't usually love asada tacos. This one was OUTSTANDING. I loved it. The guy who was running the place made sure to say that the green tomatillo salsa was for the asada, which I didn't expect since I normally put red salsa on my asada. He said use the red on the other ones. He was right. This was a really great taco.
In taco wasteland!
Check it out, it is a good taco stand and a great one for the neighborhood.
8200 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046
Open Mon-Wed 11am to Midnight; Thurs-Sat 11am to 4am! Sunday 11am to 10pm.
They told me they will start delivery soon too.
Owners listed on their menu as Javier, Jorge and Miguel Anaya....Cha Cha Cha?
I had lunch there today and thought it was pretty good. One of the better choices in that neighborhood. The Al Pastor was good, but the Chicken en Mole missed the mark. I think they should have taken a little more time to get their act together.
Two main gripes. 1) $7.50 for a burrito seemed like much. 2) It really felt like they took the old taco place and slapped a new sign in a hurry. They even had the dusty old "Orange Bang" dispenser with a Out of Order sign on it.
Kudos for having the cojones to name your restaurant Pinches Tacos. I'll put it this way, I'm never taking my Grandmother there.
It is taco wasteland prices I'm afraid. 2.95 for the asada taco. Ouch. It think it is the most expensive though.
One added detail to the review that I forgot. The guacamole was pretty good, and I thought was a little chunky, or I saw some chunky bits in it, one pretty big. Gobbled it down looking forward to that big piece of avocado, and suddenly realized it was fully half of a very spicy jalapeño pepper. That was fun. But the ingredients are fresh....!
Went to Pinches Tacos Wednesday night with my bf and we ordered 2 tacos al pastor... forced ourselves to finish them as the tortillas barely stayed together. They were dry and flavorless as was the meat.... we walked out wishing we had hit up a taco truck.