Vegas: Los Tacos
This will probably only be of interest to locals, as this place is far from the strip in a somewhat rundown area.
First of all, I should have known to stick with Chowhound as my go-to site for restaurant recommendations. I read about this place online in a Vegas food critics blog where he said they had the best tacos in town, and that it was a great place for "authentic" Mexican food. I checked here on Chowhound to see what people had to say about Los Tacos and found nothing. That should have sent up a red flag right then and there.
Los Tacos is located in a rather rundown part of town, on E Charleston near Eastern. No problem, sometimes the best restaurants are not always located in the fanciest areas.
I got there around 11 am and there were 8 or 10 customers inside. On the high recommendation at the food bloggers site I decided to order one of the "best tacos in Vegas". I went with the carnitas taco, $3 according to the menu posted above the counter. The cashier asked if I wanted guacamole, sour cream and tomatoes on it and I said yes please. Later I found out adding those to the taco tacks another $1.50 onto the price, which I didn't see listed nor did the cashier mention it. So now I've got a single taco which cost $4.50. Kind of pricey, especially for an order it yourself at the counter type of place. I then ordered some chips and salsa and a watermelon juice drink. The bill came to almost $9. Not expensive, but for a single taco along with chips and a drink it's a lot more than a number of other places in town where I've ordered similar items.
It took about 15-20 minutes for my number to be called, a bit longer than I was expecting, but figured if this food is as good as it's supposed to be then it's worth the wait.
I went up to the counter to get my food and there was just a small plate with my taco on it. I asked about my chips, salsa and drink and the guy said something in Spanish to another worker and then turned around and never said another word to me. I stood there for a few more minutes before I was handed a small cardboard box with some chips and a glop of salsa covering about half the very small portion of chips. I had to ask once again about my drink, and finally a minute or so later I got it.
Starting with the carnitas taco: It's a medium sized taco, filled with some rather unappealing looking carnitas meat, along with the aforementioned additions. It tasted fair at best. It certainly was nowhere near the best taco in town. Not even close. I've had carnitas tacos at La Mexicana here in Vegas that were almost as big, MUCH better tasting, and cost a whopping 90 cents. So after my first bite I felt disappointed.
Next up, the chips and salsa: Again, a very small portion. This was $2 here, and the chips were ok but not great. The ones at La Mexicana are the best I've ever had, you get 3 times the amount you get at this place, and they only cost $1.50. The salsa was basically nothing but ground up tomatoes. Actually I like that style once in a while, but there was a problem. The tomato juice had soaked through about half the chips and left a deep puddle in which the chips sat in and got completely soggy. So after my second item, I was still disappointed.
Finally the drink: It was basically fresh watermelon juice and was good. You could tell it wasn't one of those drinks made with juice flavored syrup, this was the real deal and it was refreshing. No disappointment in this case.
So my verdict after all this? You can do much better here in Vegas, and for less money. The taco was a big letdown. Not only wasn't it the best, it wouldn't even crack the top dozen tacos I've had here. Perhaps their other tacos here are better, I don't know. The chips and salsa, also average at best. The juice drink, good. Would I go here again, no. From the somewhat aloof service, the higher prices than comparable local Mexican restaurants, and the average at best food, there's nothing here making me want to go back. Oh, and from now on I'm going to stick with the recommendations from the good folks here on Chowhound.