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Tacos in SM/Venice??

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jenniferm Jan 21, 2010 11:36 PM

My boyfriend is moving from Hollywood to be with me in Santa Monica and is dreadfully sorry to be giving up his access to amazing taco joints. Anyone have any incredible taco stand suggestions so I might appease? Think tacos mexico in downtown. We've been to Tacos Por Favor- it's okay. Any suggestions??

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  1. Servorg RE: jenniferm Jan 22, 2010 05:29 AM

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/677625

    1. m
      mdpilam RE: jenniferm Jan 22, 2010 09:18 AM

      Yeah, not too much. TPF - as long as you get the Chorizo and Cheese tacos - is the best. Their other meats are average-ish. Tacomiendo is about the only other one I'd recommend. I used to go to Don Felix (Mar Vista) when I lived closer, and they were pretty good, but I've heard they've changed a bit and aren't quite as good. Some might rec. El Super Taco, but I would only recommend their tortas, which are quite good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mdpilam
        a_and_w RE: mdpilam Jan 22, 2010 11:03 AM

        I agree with most of what mdpilam says, though I prefer Tacomiendo over TPF, even considering the chorizo and cheese. Another place worth checking out is the Angelica truck in front of the Smart and Final on Venice, though cemitas are the real star there.

        1. re: mdpilam
          j
          Jase RE: mdpilam Jan 22, 2010 11:27 AM

          I go back and forth on the El Super Taco vs Tacomiendo issue. We live/work close to two branches of both. I love grabbing a taco on the fly as a snack. Some days I do think Tacomiendo is better, with the tortillas, etc. But other days, I think El Super Taco seems to have an overall better taco, despite the individual ingredients not being as good as Tacomiendo.

          It's like Tacomiendo is a team of talented individuals. But El Super Taco works more cohesively together and can win despite having less talent. I guess it all just depends on how the ball bounces that day for me.

        2. j
          jaykayen RE: jenniferm Jan 22, 2010 11:04 AM

          I love El Super Taco.

          1. p
            petermike999 RE: jenniferm Jan 22, 2010 11:19 AM

            Hugely popular is Tito's Tacos on Washington Blvd,. Near Sepulveda. Often a line, the fare is authentic but limited to beef, no chicken. Good salsa, beans, all very very inexpensive.

            5 Replies
            1. re: petermike999
              j
              Jase RE: petermike999 Jan 22, 2010 11:23 AM

              I would have to heartily disagree with the assertion that Tito's is authentic. The flavors will satisfy a certain niche and craving very well. But I don't think they're anywhere near authentic.

              1. re: Jase
                mollyomormon RE: Jase Jan 22, 2010 11:52 AM

                I think it's authentic to angelenos who grew up on Tito's Tacos ;).

                1. re: mollyomormon
                  a
                  AAQjr RE: mollyomormon Jan 22, 2010 02:44 PM

                  Authentic 1960's Mexican American comida!

                  When I was a wee lad, that salsa was hot! I swear ;)

              2. re: petermike999
                q
                QualityMart RE: petermike999 Jan 22, 2010 08:40 PM

                I won't get into the argument about whether Tito's is good or not, but I highly doubt that it's what the o.p. is looking for. It's a specific thing, not what you expect if you are looking for a regular taco.

                1. re: petermike999
                  c
                  Clinton RE: petermike999 Jan 23, 2010 08:03 AM

                  Tito's at one time in the 60s was THE place to eat tacos and burritos. Huge long lines going down the block on Sepulveda Blvd. before they moved to their present location. No electronic cash register back then and you had to make sure to count your change when you left. Math was not their strongest suit but their food and ambience WAS! LIke what was mentioned, either you love Tito's or you hate it. It's just an icon of the past that people just remembered how it was. Kinda like how Krispy Kreme was...

                2. toitoi RE: jenniferm Jan 22, 2010 04:15 PM

                  I only eat an all-carnitas burrito there, but at PANCHO'S on Lincoln Blvd (Ocean Park) it's mighty tasty. I assume they make tacos too - check it out.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: toitoi
                    m
                    mdpilam RE: toitoi Jan 23, 2010 12:58 PM

                    I thought their tacos were solid, but I think in general a bit below the others mentioned. Though I do recall really liking their carnitas, so maybe you are onto something.

                  2. q
                    QualityMart RE: jenniferm Jan 22, 2010 08:37 PM

                    Best taco on the westside is at the daytime taco truck La Isla Bonita on Rose & 4th every day except Thursday.

                    Pancho's (referenced above) isn't bad either, but for pure tacos La Isla Bonita is king.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: QualityMart
                      a_and_w RE: QualityMart Jan 23, 2010 07:19 AM

                      Have you tried the Angelica truck? I prefer it to La Isla Bonita.

                      1. re: a_and_w
                        q
                        QualityMart RE: a_and_w Jan 23, 2010 09:02 AM

                        Haven't, but I'll try to seek it out!

                        1. re: a_and_w
                          j
                          jencounter RE: a_and_w Jan 25, 2010 07:24 AM

                          What about Isla Bonita's ceviche offerings? I keep meaning to head over the hill and check them out - not so good?

                          1. re: jencounter
                            j
                            Jase RE: jencounter Jan 25, 2010 07:31 AM

                            If you're thinking about seafood and ceviche on the Westside, then I'll have to throw in the obligatory Marisco Chente recommendation.

                            I love the aguachile shrimp dish there for a ceviche style item. It's light and delicious. It's the kind of dish that I can eat for just a quick snack when I'm in a hurry.

                            1. re: Jase
                              j
                              jencounter RE: Jase Jan 25, 2010 07:43 AM

                              That is definitely on my list, too!

                              I've read that the bonita truck does a killer ceviche tostada.

                              1. re: jencounter
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                                noahbites RE: jencounter Jan 25, 2010 08:16 AM

                                I like La Isla Bonita. Obviously, Mariscos Chente is better, but if I just want to grab some quick, cheap ceviche, La Isla Bonita is great. I like their ceviche better than the stuff at La Playita, which is your other option in the area for fast, inexpensive ceviche.

                                1. re: jencounter
                                  q
                                  QualityMart RE: jencounter Jan 26, 2010 12:04 AM

                                  "I keep meaning to head over the hill and check them out - not so good?"

                                  Oh god no, the ceviche tostada there is superb and worth a trp, it's my favorite item there. (Do not even think about getting ceviche at nearby La Playita once you've had it at La Isla Bonita, there is no comparison.)

                                  I just didn't want to veer off topic because the original post was about tacos. Call me a stickler. :)

                              2. re: jencounter
                                a_and_w RE: jencounter Jan 25, 2010 07:54 AM

                                I've only had the asada burrito and tacos al pastor from La Isla Bonita . Both were excellent (didn't mean to suggest it was bad!) but the Angelica truck is really special. Be sure to order tacos with sliced avocado.

                                1. re: a_and_w
                                  j
                                  jencounter RE: a_and_w Jan 25, 2010 08:10 AM

                                  Is the Angelica truck the one that does cemitas poblanos?

                                  1. re: jencounter
                                    a_and_w RE: jencounter Jan 25, 2010 08:12 AM

                                    That's the one.

                          2. n
                            noahbites RE: jenniferm Jan 23, 2010 07:43 AM

                            I like the El Paladar Oaxaqeño truck, which is usually parked at night on Barry, just south of Santa Monica.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: noahbites
                              n
                              noahbites RE: noahbites Jan 23, 2010 09:49 AM

                              Of course, I just realized that this isn't in Santa Monica or Venice.

                              1. re: noahbites
                                m
                                mdpilam RE: noahbites Jan 23, 2010 01:02 PM

                                You know, I've tried to like this place (since it's so close), but I just am underwhelmed every time I go. Even with their quesillo taco (which I saw Bandini rave about) I wasn't too impressed with. I find their meats to all be a little subpar. I do love their salsa (roja) though.

                              2. c
                                Clinton RE: jenniferm Jan 23, 2010 07:51 AM

                                They call it a carnitas tacos up on the overhead menu at El Abajeno's (Vic's) on Inglewood and Culver Blvds. but it looks like a small burrito wrapped in foil. Two softened corn tortillas stuffed with tender shredded pork, avocado slices, handful of Mexican cheese, and hot jalapeno salsa. I dare you to finish their El Abajeno burrito!

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Clinton
                                  Foodandwine RE: Clinton Jan 24, 2010 08:41 AM

                                  Clinton, Nice tip.. Here is a photo of a taco from El Abajeno, my son will like this for sure., We normally go to the window at Carnercia Sanchez down the block ( which is pretty good by us, the location on Centinela is good too like the salsa bar there and sit down as well..
                                  http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/SgS2sR...

                                  -----
                                  El Abajeno
                                  4513 Inglewood Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

                                  1. re: Clinton
                                    j
                                    Jase RE: Clinton Jan 25, 2010 07:22 AM

                                    Clinton, are you sure you're not referring to the their taquitos? That sounds a lot like what El Abajeno calls their taquitos, which is different from what most people usually think of as taquitos.

                                    My wife loves that item as a quick snack and it is different from their regular tacos.

                                    1. re: Jase
                                      c
                                      Clinton RE: Jase Jan 26, 2010 12:57 PM

                                      Ah Jase, you're right! It just flashed in front of me and I said it was a taco. I was thinking soft taco since it resembled one but it did say taquito as I recall. Very different from the deep fried ones we all think as taquitos served with quacamole sauce. That's my wife's favorite too!

                                  2. k
                                    kaitoz RE: jenniferm Jan 26, 2010 11:30 AM

                                    Holy Guacamole on Main St Santa Monica
                                    Casa Linda on Abbot Kinney, Venice

                                    1. t
                                      trixie67 RE: jenniferm Jan 26, 2010 11:42 AM

                                      I lived in Venice for 15 years... I agree about Panchos! Loved going there Saturday mornings. What about the cantina on Rose avenue & lincoln? Serve until 3 am and have homemade warm, thick corn tortillas! Yum! Also, I really like Don Antonios on Pico boulevard great burritos and they serve the pickled carrots, onions & jalapenos. Finally, Casablanca on Lincoln Blvd. A little fancier, and a bonus of server wearing a fez! Homemade flour tortillas, tomatillo, avocado & jack cheese salsa... GREAt food!

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