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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?

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  1. 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.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bluemonster

      how do rick's hard shell tacos stack up to tito's?

    2. I just go to the nearest taco truck....:D
      Closest for me is the one parked on Alvarado, between Sunset and Glendale Bl, in front of Vons market. Good tacos.

      5 Replies
      1. re: roadfix

        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!!!

        1. re: JeMange

          Funny thing is, I never bothered to pay attention to the signage, and I've been there dozens of times. Now I know. :)

          1. re: JeMange

            That's interesting. Just thinking about all the other male chefs with hairy arms at other eateries. <>Shudder<>. Let's put down a proposition to force hospitality workers to shave their arms!

            1. re: bad nono

              If you bothered to read the rest of my post, it has less to do with the hairy arms and more to do with the fact that one staff member was fondling the hairy arms of the other over the cooking surface. Does your incredulous sarcasm extend to condoning that?

            2. re: JeMange

              It is like she is wearing a cat on her forearms -- really worth checking out. A very memorable and unappetizing sight.

          2. 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.

            1. in reference to my original post, does anyone have an opinion of el charrito? i've never seen it mentioned on this board. i've been told there are other good spots in the same vicinity on virgil...anyone?

              1 Reply
              1. re: ronsilverado

                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.

              2. Drive a little west and go to Mariela's on Sunset in Echo Park. I love their burritos especially.

                1. one more thought...how are the tacos at tacos villa corona? i have never had anything other than their (excellent) egg and tortilla breakfast burrito.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ronsilverado

                    I didn't care for the tacos from Tacos Villa Corona at all, they were greasy. I found Tacos Ariza pretty good, but not as good as Taco Zone, so you might as well go another two blocks and get the best.
                    I too have wondered about some of the spots on Virgil but never manage to try them out. At least I have a mission now.
                    But basically, this thread has confirmed, that other than a few nighttime-only trucks, it's hard to get a great taco in the area.

                  2. I've only been there once, but I was happy with Tacos Arizas which parks just north of Sunset on Logan. Lots of people rave about their suadero. Or how about Kike's at 2nd and Beaudry? A little past Echo Park, but definitely closer than Highland Park. Haven't been there, but have heard good things.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: spencercross

                      I'm a big fan of Kike's. I've hit it dozens of times. I always tell Kike to just give me whatever he needs to get rid of, though my wife prefers the chorizo.

                      1. re: spencercross

                        Kike's is fantastic. You can't go wrong with the carne asada and the chorizo - though I thought the pastor was a bit lacking.

                        1. re: lolabelow

                          is that the spot that sets up on the empty lot?

                          1. re: ronsilverado

                            Correct. He's at the southwest corner of 2nd and Beaudry, just west of the Harbor Freeway, on every evening, except Thursdays.

                      2. Tarascos a new taco place just opened near Lark Cakes. It was pretty good.

                        3315 W Sunset Blvd
                        Los Angeles, CA 90026
                        (323) 669-3300

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Hershey Bomar

                          I was there tonight. Very good. We had steak, al pastor and chicken tacos. All were good. The steak had a really good char on the out side, sliced thin, tender and yummy. The al pastor was well seasoned, good flavor and the chicken was fine. My friend said his burrito was really good. We were served fresh chips and salsa, red and tomatillo as well as an onion and chili condiment. 6 tacos, a burrito and two yummy horchatas were, I think $18 and change. Service was good and they are open until 3am on weekends. I'll be back.

                          1. re: rednyellow

                            went by there today. there was a note on the door saying they are closed for january due to some sort of unforeseen permitting issue, but will reopen on Feb 1.

                          2. re: Hershey Bomar

                            Tarascos just reopened.

                            Weekends only for the first couple of weeks according to the owner. Then all week soon thereafter.

                          3. how about el matador taco truck on western and lexington just west of silver lake. doesnt solve the problem of having to wait until they arrive, but it is another option.

                            in my opinion, one of the best in the city.

                            1. La Esquinita on Sunset between elysian and beaudry has amazing and hearty tacos.

                              1. On Virgil, south of santa monica blvd, in the parking lot of a laundromat, there is a great taco stand! I love their tripe, lengua, and pastor tacos.

                                1. I wouldn't call this a quagmire but a predicament.