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Want the best tacos - will travel

  • j

Hey y'all.

I am NYC hound coming this week and will be willing to travel anywhere to get the best of the following:

carne asada
goat (chivo)

I prefer tacos over burritos.

other mexican specialties - i.e. costillas, tamales - would be very welcome as well

I am very familiar with LA and the surroundings, so tough places to find are no problem.

If you have links to old posts that would be fine as well.

Thanks so much for your assistance


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  1. One of my favorite places for tacos, either carne asada, chochinita pibil or just plain carnitas is the tiny "Yuca's" Stand on the east side of Hillhurst btw Los Feliz Blvd and Franklin. Amazing. They are only open until six pm, I think, so don't get there too late!

    2 Replies
    1. re: L

      Let me second the vote for La Taquiza on Figueroa and 30th near USC. Really, what you want to get there is the mulita, a sort of grilled taco. The al pastor is especially good. And try it with the pickled onion and the avocado salsa. It is one of the most amazing experiences.

      1. re: L

        Let me second the vote for La Taquiza on Figueroa and 30th near USC. Really, what you want to get there is the mulita, a sort of grilled taco. The al pastor is especially good. And try it with the pickled onion and the avocado salsa. It is one of the most amazing experiences.

        And of course, there's La Super Rica in Santa Barbara although the last time I went there it wasn't as fabulous as usual.

        And for a chain, Sharky's makes great fish tacos.

      2. For a real LA experience, try El Taurino at the corner of Hoover and 11th. Better yet is their taco truck which is open very late on weekend nites. Try the al pastor, carne asada or birria. It's all good.

        1. While this one post recommends a taco stand in the Grand Central Market in downtown there are many other food stands to try. This should be the Mecca of tacos for you.

          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          1. For starters see the recs for Grand Central Market and Yuca's (altho the rec is for the carne asada tacos, I have to say their burritos are really good--it's the beans, I think). Additionally, try La Bonita at Santa Monica Bl & Hobart for plate specials and all sorts of things Mexican. Another pick, El Gallito Cafe, 210 N. Virgil Ave., LA. Their sopes at $1.75 can't be beat. For a Westside favorite that makes very good Americanized hard shell tacos, a longstanding choice is Tito's Tacos at Sepulveda & Washington Place. Get tacos with the grated cheese and either the red or green (hotter) salsa. Enjoy. Don't let the lines put you off. They move fast.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mc michael

              I've got to say that Tito's should be called Tito's Burritos as i think their meat/bean burrito is the real prize.

              Another recommendation is Tacos de Mexico on Figueroa just south of 9th. The al pastor is the way to go; stay away from the rest. 24 hrs.!

              1. re: Est Nyboer

                Whatever you do, just stay away from Tito's guacamole.

            2. Try
              El Gran Burrito/Midnight Tacos at Vermont & Santa Monica

              El Taurino on Hoover near 9th?

              Big Taco in Van Nuys on Sepulveda a few blocks north of Sherman Way

              La Superica Taqueria in Santa Barbara on Milpas north of Haley 2 blocks

              1 Reply
              1. re: Burger Boy

                el gran burrito on vermont (at the subway stop) is fantastic as far as taco stands go. tito's is suspect (esp. that mystery meat), but nevertheless i go there often. Paco's tacos on centinela s. of washington is great for sit down (the fresh tortillas esp. flour are the best!).

              2. Several years ago Sunset Magazine labelled Taco Mesa in Costa Mesa the best fast food Mexican west of the Mississippi river. They preferred it over Taco Super Rica in Santa Barbara which I love. I drove the 45 miles from LAX to Costa Mesa to try it. (I live in D. C. but spend 30 days or so a year in CA)I should note that I go back at least once a year and feel that it is more than worth the drive. It IS at least as good as Taco Super Rica, perhaps better. In general it is what you will find in one of the best street stands in Tiajuana.
                Perhaps the real reccomendation is that an In 'n Out Burger two blcoks down (A chain that I absolutely love!) does not do as much business as Taco Mesa.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Joe H.

                  I do believe you are correct ... based on my one visit to La Super-Rica and many visits to Taco Mesa. I've heard that La Super-Rica is not what it used to be. Taco Mesa is truly a public service, and is worth long drives also. (Especially the newest location in Ladera Ranch.)

                2. Grand Central Market is the taco mecca for sure. I like Tacos Tomas, but there are several stands there with great, authentic tacos.

                  Link: http://www.grandcentralsquare.com

                  1. Another fave of late, the tacos at Loteria in the (old) Farmer's market (not to be confused with the adjoining The Grove).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mc michael
                      another Loteria fan

                      Last week I had the enchiladas with mole sauce and sampled my friend's enchiladas suizas...they nailed both. Unbelieveably great food, dirt cheap, very friendly...fun, casual and terrific.

                    2. I love the places in many of the posts you've already gotten but wanted to mention a couple of others. La Taquiza at 30th and Figueroa, near USC, has good tacos and great mulitas. The shrimp mulita is a bit greasy but unbelievably addictive. And on a decidedly different note, the Americanized hard shell shredded beef taco at the small chain Pepe's -- original in Alhambra, I believe -- is about as savory as such things come. Have fun!

                      1. 3 in OC:
                        taco mesa: i prefer the blackened fish, blackened fish, or the calamari tacos. you can get them hard shell or soft.
                        el granjenal on the same street 19th in costa mesa further west on 19th on the corner of monrovia. get their fish taco. it's moist and puts wahoo's overrated fish taco to shame. ask for the salsa verde they won't give it to you unless you ask.
                        taco loco in laguna beach. try the blackened tofu or blackened mushroom tacos. dang!

                        enjoy. i could eat tacos at different places in OC for months.


                        ps. the best three dishes at taco mesa are IMHO:
                        the blackened fish burrito
                        the salmon special on fridays. always changing last week it was on a bed of mashed sweet potatoes.
                        the salmon and vegetable soup on wednesdays. light broth soups with big chunks or veggies and salmon.

                        pps. favorite modification at taco mesa. get the bean and cheese burrito and have them add guacomole and fried potatoes. jeez it's good.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: davidt

                          Your burrito variation sounds as decadent as any meat-filled burrito, David. Thanks for the tasty cue.

                        2. If you're in the valley, Casa de Tacos on Topanga one block north of Sherman Way (two doors down from Yoshinoya). I recommend the carnitas tacos. If you don't mind hot go with the red salsa but if you're like me (not much tolerance) then ask for salsa verde (green).