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Tacos al Pastor for the Homestruck guy.

  • x

I have to tell you, I lived for more than 10 years in Mexico city and I know a lot about tacos, from the cheapest to the most toxic, so just to tell you that I know my poisons :P

I'm looking for a good place for tacos in California/LA. I live in Santa Ana and I haven't found a place that makes this kind of tacos at the trompo (spin) and the right way. If someone knows Mexico City, my favorite place was La Lupita Ayuuk, the best place for Tacos al Pastor... IMHO.

So, I expect your answers. Thanks in advance.


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    Professor Salt

    Can you describe the style you're looking for? Because I've never been to your favorite DF place, I don't have any useful information with which to guide you.

    Are you looking for the style that's served sliced to order off the spit while it's charred and crunchy, or the type that's been spit roasted, then soaked in sauce? Or are you looking for the stuff that's called al pastor, but in fact has been stewed instead of spit roasted?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      I have a photo of the trompo here:


      The main idea is that you put several pork steaks previously marinated and on the top of it, there is a piece of pinapple and onion (for that special taste). On one side there is the fire, making the meat juicy and crunchy. They cut the meat straight from the trompo and (in a very artistic way) they cut a piece of pineapple from the top and catch it with the taco. You add sliced onion and cilantro, plus your favorite salsa.

      Any help would be gratly appreciated.

      1. re: X-Iliado
        Professor Salt

        Thanks for the clarification. For this style, my choice is La Taquiza, a block north of the Shrine Auditorium. They also have two other locations I'm aware of, but haven't visited yet. One is in Whitter, and another in South Gate.

        La Taquiza
        3009 S. Figueroa
        Los Angeles

        As far as something in OC, I haven't found one yet that really hits the charry, crunchy, well marinated requirements, let alone have it be sliced fresh to order. There's a litle panaderia in Costa Mesa that does a passable one, but they do the soak-in-sauce after-slicing thing I forget the name, but it's in the same dingy strip mall as El Toro Bravo on 19th Street just west of Pomona.

        If you find one you're happy with, please report back.

        1. re: X-Iliado

          AH!! El Trompo... Memories... memories... to be honest, I haven't found a good place. The ones that have it, don't get charred enough. For that reason, I tend to go for Tacos de Carnitas o Lengua instead of Asada o Al Pastor. Another thing missing here in the U.S. is the tortilla... I SO miss the tiny little yellow thin tortillas of Mexico, I have no idea why they don't make them that way here... :/

          The closest place to L.A. that I've had an AMAZING taco al pastor was Tijuana... :/


      2. There are two taco trucks, La Pique and La Estrella, that serve what they call D.F.-style tacos. I've never been to Mexico City, so I can't vouch for the authenticity of these tacos. But they're delicious. Jonathan Gold recently wrote a review of these two taco trucks, as well as a number of other great places along York Blvd. in the Highland Park area of LA.

        Check out the link to the review below, and scroll down for the addresses: corner of York Blvd. and Avenue 53 and corner of York Blvd. and Avenue 54

        Link: http://www.laweekly.com/ink/05/02/cou...

        1. You might give Tacqueria Vista Hermosa in the Mercado La Paloma (link below) a try. I think they make tacos of the kind you're after.

          Link: http://www.mercadolapaloma.com/restau...

          1. Never having had pastor in DF, it's kind of hard to really testify for anything here. The aforementioned Gold favorite, El Taurino (but get there after 3 pm and get it from the truck if possible) has made me very happy a few times. A recent favorite of mine is in my 'hood in Highland Park, on the NW corner of Meridian and Figueroa. And I MEAN on the NW corner--it's a few guys that set up a trompo in the front of a mechanic's shop after they close at about 6 pm-midnight Friday and Saturday only. The neighborhood lines up for this stuff, so I'm guessing it's authentic...or if not so, good enough that it doesn't matter.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Anna

              i'll second el taurino. is the truck actually better than inside the restaurant?

              1. re: rameniac

                To clarify, does El Taurino have al pastor on a spit?

                1. re: a_and_w

                  it most definitely does! i think even with the pineapple on top.

                2. re: rameniac

                  No, the truck is not necessarily better than the restaurant ... that's not a knock on either, just that they are equal in my opinion, and I have had carne asada several times from each al pastor a few times from each.

              2. My husband always talks about Tacos de Trompo he used to eat in Mexico........can't find them here ANYWHERE. Do you know of a place in L.A. or ORange Co. that I can get him some?

                1. As I am unable to personally answer your question allow me to direct you to this website, http://www.tacohunt.blogspot.com/, a priceless resource from which I have derived much pleasure.

                  1. There are (2) outlaw carts in Highland Park that have the spit w/pineapple and onion........

                    (1) is on York 1/2 block West of Figueroa on the South side of the street.

                    (2) is on York between Ave. 57 & 56 on the North side of the street in front of a tire shop.

                    Both are usually there nightly after 6.

                    Both are very good.

                    1. I agree with Dommy.LA is not the place at all for great carne asada or al pastor tacos.TJ is the closest thing to the LA area.Stick with the lengua,or other exotics.

                      I enjoy the tacos al vapor de lengua on Breed St. at cesar Chavez, east side of the street on the weekends after 7PM.On the west side of the street is a place that has a tasty cochinita taco, along with many interesting fillings.

                      1. El Taurino on Hoover & 11th, downtown Pico Union area, has the best al pastor in LA. since the early 80's .
                        El Parian on Pico has the best carne asada and birria Jalisco style. The tortillas are hand made per each order and the asada is thick and cooked to order.

                        1. Latino Market in Thousand Oaks is my choice. It's half grocery store, half taqueria with killer tacos de pastor, lengua, cabeza etc. They also have daily specials like posole. It's tasty, cheap and authentic.

                          1. Two places I know of in OC that do it the right way (with the trompo, like Lebanese shwarma but with pineapple on top. The problem is that neither does it every day (it's a special) so you should call first:

                            1. Pepito's, corner of Garden Grove Blvd. and The City Dr. S., City of Orange This is actually a very good place run by Oaxacans -- their enchiladas with Anaheim chile and queso Oaxaca are addicting -- but now and again they have real al pastor (it's always on the menu but it's not always on the trompo), with the pineapple on top.

                            2. El Farolito Jr., corner of East St. and the 91 Fwy., Anaheim. This is not the same place as El Farolito in Placentia!! At night they have tacos set up. Most of the time -- MOST of the time -- they have a trompo for tacos al pastor, with pineapple on top, but they also have some pineapple that they roast on the trompo previously, and they put it out on the condiment bar.

                            That business about the trompo being unfit by Health Department regulation is, as our amigos chinos say, "gou shi" -- nonsense. Every Lebanese restaurant worth its sumac has the same oven.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                              whoa buddy, more details on pepito's? What day?!

                              1. re: ns1

                                I don't know!! It's been totally hit or miss. I work in that plaza of buildings but half the time I go to Juan Pollo because I can be back in my seat in 10 minutes and Pepito's is slow. The heater for the trompo is right behind the cash register. It's often lit. I just haven't seen a trompo actually in it in a while now, but I haven't been at "normal" times since I work with a lot of East Coast types who are bad at time zones.

                                Call them, ask them.

                                Pepitos Restaurant
                                840 The City Dr S, Orange, CA 92868

                                1. re: Das Ubergeek


                                  Wow you work in that plaza? I bet you're missing thai nakorn REAL bad.

                                  1. re: ns1

                                    Oh, you can't believe it. Every time I go to King Harbour I sigh. HURRY UP AND REBUILD argh.

                              2. re: Das Ubergeek

                                Thanks for the 411 Das! :)

                                Do you know what time El Farolito Jr. sets up? Is it a Taco Truck?

                                1. re: exilekiss

                                  It's a restaurant, and I believe at 1800 hours.

                              3. Try this link, X-Iliado:


                                I will be in LA in April so please let me know where you found the best al pastor (al trompo) con pina.

                                Thank you!