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Jan 8, 2009 11:57 AM

Chorizo Taco & Chorizo Burrito at a true Hole-in-the-Wall

Yesterday I wanted a chorizo burrito for breakfast and recalled that I never tried one at what is IMO the best taco stand in the LA area, Taqueria LA Cabana. I have always ordered the tacos made with lengua, chicken, al pastor, or deep fried shrimp. They are very good and have caused me to ignore the sign, “chorizo taco, $1.” I also never tried the chorizo taco because I thought there would not be much more to it than some grease. Yesterday, since I really wanted that chorizo flavor, I took the $1 chance and ordered a chorizo taco. What I saw was a small mound of what appeared to be quality juicy ground meat on top of two small corn tortillas topped with fresh chopped cilantro, onion and a very good green salsa. Three or four bites of outstanding moist chorizo flavor and that made me order a chorizo burrito. I requested only chorizo, rice, cilantro, onion and the green salsa – no eggs, no beans. It was a two hand burrito and half way through I was full but I ate it all without stoping because it was that good. Simply the best chorizo burrito I have ever had. A must try.

It is so hard to find a single good item at so many places but this little Hole-in-the-Wall place, smaller than Tommy's original burger stand, has so many really good items that it is hard to pick just one. I returned today and ordered another chorizo burrito and added egg, beans and cheese. It was great but the more items you add, the less chorizo you get. Maybe next I will have chorizo, cheese, rice,cilantro, onion and that green salsa -- no egg, no beans. The more chorizo the better.

Taqueria LA Cabana
3402 Cogswell Rd
El Monte, CA 91732
(626) 448-9310

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  1. Manny's El Loco Restaurant is amazing too! they have the biggest burritos and the best chorizo ever!!

    1. Can you give the 2 major cross streets. TYIA

      4 Replies
      1. re: Burger Boy

        This is a small place with only several outside tables. It is somewhat hidden within a small neighborhood (homes & a school and a nice little meat market nextdoor) at the intersection of Cogswell Rd. and Exline St. It is almost under the 10 fry. From Peck Rd. turn East onto Ramona Blvd. and make a quick right onto Ferris Rd heading South/East angel until you get to Cogswell. Turn right (south) on Cogswell until you reach Exline. If you drove past Ferris by mistake just continue going East on Ramona until you reach Cogswell and then make a right heading south. From Durfee head West on Exline. From the “5-Points” intersection (where Valley / Garvey and Cogswell meet with a nice Starbucks) head North on Cogswwell.

        Everyone I have taken there likes the lengua, chicken, al pastor, or deep fried shrimp tacos but everyone has one they like most. The prices are so reasonable that it might be a good idea to order several different tacos for a taste test. The chorizo is a true Mexican meat market quality -- not a factory sausage. I have not asked but I always wonder if the place is related to the meat market nextdoor. I have gone into the meat market to buy diet coke because LA Cabana has only Mexican Coke and sometimes I need to stay away from that. This is one place I wish I had a camera to take pictures because of the ambiance of the LA Cabana taco shack, the market, a small party supply store, the intersection, and all those kids walking to Durfee school -- lots of downhome life!.

        1. re: JeetJet

          reading stuff like this makes me want to move out of the westside ASAP.

          1. re: ceviche

            Try Tacos Por Favor, Taqueria Sanchez or do a search here for westside Mexican, there are some good options out there.

            1. re: ceviche

              La Oaxaquena truck on Lincoln and Flower in Venice. Evenings only.
              Insanely good chorizo quesadilla with a smathering of black bean puree.

        2. Thanks for the rec. When I'm trying a new place, I usually throw-in a chorizo taco. Have yet to find anyplace that stands out above the typical orangy-greasy version. Am willing to try this place if I'm in the area. Will pre-medicate with aspirin & Lipitor.

          What else is good there?

          1. Chorizo was excellent! Shrimp had lots of room for improvement. The shrimp at Cactus on Vine street is the gold standard for me.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Burger Boy

              I like those shrimp but will give Cactus a try in a couple of weeks whren I get out to the Hollywood area (athough for some crazy reason mac & cheese is on my mind). Next time your in the El Monte area maybe try the chicken and pastor at LA Cabana -- moist, moist, moist.

              Catus Mexican Food
              950 Vine St
              Los Angeles, CA 90038-2714


              1. re: JeetJet

                My only complaint with the shrimp was the coating/breading was not crisp yet the shrimp were hot. They also aske d if i want the hot sauce on it and there was none. Again, the chorizo was steller, I might go today and get some from the market, maybe a pound or two. Try Cactus, you will like it overall!

                1. re: Burger Boy

                  I went yesterday myself and also went to that market. I asked if they were related to LA Cabana and they said no. The guy at the counter (the meat cutter) told me LA Cabana buys the chorizo someplase else. However, he did say they make thier own chorizo but were sold out when I was there. I bought a pork butt for my smoker but have not yet started burning logs.

                  1. re: JeetJet

                    No butcher when I stuck my head in, it looked like the same kind of chorizo, the same grind. I guess we should ask them where they get it.

                    1. re: Burger Boy

                      I asked the young guy who does the cooking about the chorizo and he said they do not buy it but rather they make it with a family recipe. He also said the Pastor is a family recipe. I asked if had any chorizo from the market next door and he said yes but it is not the same.

                2. re: JeetJet

                  I had those shrimp tacos today at Catus. Very good deep fried shrimp. The batter is a nice golden brown and has a good flavor. I also tried a veggie taco and lked that also. Both the shrimp and the veggie have the same lettuce and green chili and the flavor of that chili is excellent.

                  Here is another place for a very good shrimp taco. Cost more than many other places ($3.25 ea. taco) but this one has lots of shrimp and actually two tacos results in enough filling for at least three tacos. So do not eat both tortillas but save one from each taco to build a second taco from the "fall-out." Also, you can have either a deep fried shrimp or grilled (griddled) with no batter..

                  Mariscos La Bucana (Taco shack w/ outside tables)
                  11016 Concert St (Accoss from El Monte High School between Peck Rd & Tyler Ave.)
                  El Monte

              2. Any place in the SFV to get such a delight?

                Also, is the chorizo made from pork or beef or ?

                3 Replies
                1. re: GK in SO

                  I asked the cook (son of the owner) and he said this chorizo is pork. I thought it was prok but when you asked I began thinking that it was so meaty that maybe it might be beef. I went back, had two more chorizo tacos and asked but he said no beef is used. If you try thre chiorizo you might also try the Pastor.

                  1. re: JeetJet

                    Thanks, Jeet. I asked b/c I don't eat beef but do eat pork, which in some instances I've tried does have a beefy texture to it, so that may explain your experience described above.

                    Maybe I'll try this somewhere in the future...does anyone know of any SFV places to get such a chorizo taco/burrito (even though I would imagine most places that serve multiple types of meat would have it)?

                    1. re: GK in SO

                      Like you said, should be available in most taco places.