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Aug 24, 2004 11:00 AM

King Taco On Campus?

  • b

I attend Cal State LA, where there are 2 King Tacos on campus. I've always avoided them, because, well...they're on campus. The Cal State system is known for many things (rate hikes and overcrowded classes, to name two), but let's face it, it ain't known for its chow.
I know from other Hounds that King Taco varies in quality from location to location, so what do you think? Do I continue giving these two a wide berth or is an unjustified bias keeping me from experiencing taco nirvana?

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  1. I have not tried the King Tacos at CSULA, but would probably avoid them as the best KTs are the ones with consistently high turnover throughout the day, e.g., 3rd St, and slower ones like the Pasadena store are not good

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ernie

      I've ate there a few times. It's good if your on campus, have no time to go anywhere else and are hungry.

    2. Here's an idea. Why don't your just try one? Waiting for your report.

      1. i go to csula also - - i think the 2 king tacos on campus are pretty good. certainly beat out anything in the crappy new food court. weren't you thinking that with such a diverse student body we'd get some good food choices? but no... carl's jr and its ilk... bleh.

        20 Replies
        1. re: ll

          In terms of food/education ratio, you get what you pay for.

          1. re: Carol H

            Really? Then how do you explain the nasty food and below-average instruction at USC?

            1. re: Simon R

              Will agree with the food assessment at USC, but the instructional issue is far different from your impression. Now ranked among the best in America - yes, a far cry from 10 or more years ago, I agree. Two years ago was named American college of the year, FWIW!

              1. re: carter

                Really? Try explaining that to a McKinsey recruiter.

            2. re: Carol H

              Meaning what, exactly? Are you using a food quality/education quality ratio, or a food cost/education cost ratio? Or an education quality/education cost ratio, or a food quality/food cost ratio? Maybe you mean a food cost/food quality, education cost/education quality correlation. Could that be it?

              1. re: britwife

                I school, cheap food. They figure many of the students come from "ethnic" blue collar families, and are used to fast food/starches. Not alot of king taco at Dartmouth, trust me.

                1. re: Carol H

                  Yeah, you're right. There seem to be vending machines every two feet on campus and little if any healthful food to be had, aside from Balance Bars. Sorry I got snappy.

                  1. re: Carol H

                    Yeah well, I've had some nasty food at Columbia and Yale so your academics/food ratio doesn't work for me.

                    1. re: Carol H

                      As a Stanford alum (certainly not a cheap school), I can vouch for cheap food service options at pricey schools. In fact, Stanford recently redid the student union and added (with much fanfare) that glorious temple of chowhound-ish grub: Subway. Stanford also seems to have gotten rid of its quirky coffee house in favor of a Peet's.

                      It seems to me that schools are trying to make a buck and chains afford them an easy way to feed students with standard offerings and straightforward-ish business dealings. True at Stanford, true at UC Davis, true at Cal State.

                      1. re: igj

                        Yeah, the food at expensive colleges is just as crappy. Sometimes worse because at least at some vocation-oriented schools they might have a culinary arts department. (Although I can't recall the food being any better at Cornell, despite their great hotel school, when I spent s summer there a couple of decades ago . . .) And I can second Ian's comment about Stanford, I was really amazed at my reunion last fall to see the mediocrity he reports after all that money was spent. The food was and is even worse at the Ivy school where I spent so much of my parents' money during my undergraduate years. We actually had a student mutiny at the place I ate my last 2 years and got the manager fired, but the improvements were only mimimal.

                        So, to keep this laser-beam focused on LA chow, are there any good food options on campus any LA area school? I sure don't know any at UCLA. I have a friend who teachs at Cal Poly Pomona and reports there's an on-campus restaurant of some quality. Anyone been there? Others?

                        And, to agree with ll, is is a shame that at a place as as wonderfully diverse as Northridge they haven't yet taken advantage of the diversity. Maybe some day.

                  2. re: Carol H

                    wow. really offensive remark.

                    i pay less for my tuition, sure... but i put in a lot and demand a lot of my professors, so hopefully i won't graduate a total dummy. and hopefully, the experience of being around so many people from different cultures and economic situations will make me incapable of obnoxious comments like yours.

                    1. re: ll

                      Sorry, pal, gotta agree with Carol here> If a school was worried about the rich students and their endowment fund, they would care more about quality of food. When you pay cheap, you eat cheap, and pretty much will have King Taco. Good luck "wowing" the faculty. Capitalization will serve you well.

                      1. re: TomHound

                        Would much rather have King Taco on my campus than a terrible Wolfgang Puck pizzeria, rich school or not. Careful typing will serve you well too.

                        1. re: TomHound

                          Hmmm...I thought part of the Hound ethos was seeking good food, regardless of its price. In this particular thread, the word "cheap" seems to have taken on a pejorative note. I could understand if I had been asking about Del Taco, but I was asking about an establishment that has gotten raves on these boards.
                          In this country, and especially in this town, there seems to be the notion that "expensive" equals "high quality". However, if you read the countless postings from the Hounds who've gotten mediocre food and lousy service at high-end LA restaurants, you'll see it ain't so.
                          As far as education...well, one CSULA alumnus I can name is Jaime Escalante ("Stand and Deliver"). The first Yale alumnus who comes to mind is a guy with the middle initial "W".
                          I rest my case.

                    2. re: ll

                      I hear you. However, I have found one good thing to eat in that godforsaken food court...the tofu spring rolls at the sushi place. Fresh and tasty and generously sized. The tofu had a nice texture and wasn't too bland. Quite a lovely surprise.

                      1. re: ll

                        Well, if your punctuation and grammar are any indication of you "great" education, you probably will be employed by a taco establishment VERY soon. I'm sure your professors are REALLY stimulated by the "demands" you put on them.

                        1. re: Carol H

                          Before you critique others, perhaps you should check your own responses...

                          1. re: Carol H

                            ok, i guess i'm taking the bait...

                            there are two issues being discussed in this really silly digression. on one issue, i totally agree with you - - when it comes to food and college, you get what you pay for. lower tuition, fewer options. but, to clarify my expectations: when the new food court was being built, i had (admittedly quite naive) pipedreams about a food court that reflected the cultural diversity of the student body - - i imagined pho, ramen, bahn mi, stuffed grape leaves and hummus, pupusas, dim sum... pretty silly, especially considering that the last thing most kids want to eat outside of the home is what they get for dinner.

                            but, the other point that was being made (or, that i inferred - please correct me if i'm wrong) is that a less expensive education automatically means a crappy education. a sort of 'you get what you pay for' in terms of education suggests we're all getting sub-par instruction and training at my school, and i disagree. of course, at csula i'm not exposed to the profs i would have had if i'd followed the family tradition of attending dartmouth (i would have loved to have taken french from john rassias!!) BUT to a large degree, when it comes to education -- and this goes for the best schools, too -- you don't just get what you pay for, you get what you put into it. and i put in a lot.

                            Now, for the most important point - Dolcini's by King Hall has a decent cucumber, feta, tomato, basil sandwich. It beats anything from the food court, if you ask me. That sandwich, along with an iced tea, is best eaten by the little fountain. This makes for a lovely hour between classes. The banana nut muffins from the same coffee shop are not great, but in a pinch they are ok along with a cup of coffee or espresso.

                            thanks for the encouragement on the taco shop, by the way. hope i get to make a taco for you one day!

                          2. re: ll

                            diverse=fast food, unless you're talking Parisian exchange students, which clearly you're not. Noone is into that except the "diverse" ones. Seriously.

                            1. re: Carol H

                              King Taco at CSULA four years ago ?

                              Sucks there not here anymore, would've saved me many times from being late to class for going to El Gran for my taco fix.