Silver Lake Taco Quagmire
i love the taco zone, so very much. but it has spoiled me.
they have set the bar so high, and often times i do not have the patience or the time to wait until they arrive. so what, in the neighborhood, is comparable for lunch?
first some thoughts:
i can no longer eat el gran burrito. has been going downhill for a while, last time i went it was simply bad. so that's out.
i like yuca's burgers, but really don't find the tacos to be all that great, honestly.
tacos delta, fabulous chilaquiles. not so much tacos.
siete mares made me ill once. the memories linger.
obviously burrito king is out.
all of this having been said, i think the closest i have found is el charrito on virgil, notable primarily for their homemade tortillas.
otherwise, is there something i am missing a bit closer to home than el taurino, el parian, highland park, etc?
I'm in Silver Lake, and I agree with your taco assessment! Great tacos are sadly few and far between. I haven't found anything comparable to Taco Zone, but here are two alternates for lunch:
The fish or shrimp tacos at The Best Fish Taco in Ensenada on Hillhurst.
The old-fashioned hard shell beef tacos at Rick's on Fletcher.
You're referring to Taco Zone, which was the first place mentioned by the OP.
As far as Best Fish Taco goes, I do like their food, but the sanitary conditions leave a heck of a lot to be desired. I was in there a few weeks back when I noticed that the WOMAN frying my fish had extremely hairy arms. No biggie, I guess, but not exactly appetizing. Things took a trip to the gag-inducing, however, when the other woman in the shop came up behind the fry cook and began PLAYING WITH THE HAIR ON HER ARMS right above the bubbling oil. Yuck!!!
At night on the corner of Larga and Fletcher - across from the U-Haul - there is a very good taco stand with more than passable al pastor and good carnitas tacos, as well as some very nice salsas.
I agree with your El Charrito assessment -- the tortillas seem to be the most notable part of the experience. I think that might be your best bet in the area (although I do really like Best Fish Taco, arm hair be damned). The only other place I've tried along that stretch of Virgil is the cart that appears at night in the parking lot of a laundromat a few blocks north of El Charrito. Sadly, it's not that great.
Drive a little west and go to Mariela's on Sunset in Echo Park. I love their burritos especially.