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Jan 6, 2011 02:45 PM

Good Gringo Tacos?

Thanks to recent threads on this board, I've rediscovered the simple joys of gringo tacos. So far I've tried the ones at Taco Lita and Taco Time in Arcadia and at Rick's Drive-In in Pasadena, and have liked all of them. Don't get me wrong, I love the tacos at El Chato, Cacao Mexicatessen, and La Super Rica, but there's a certain charm to gringo tacos using fresh ingredients. Besides Tito's (which I tried when I first moved to LA four years ago), can anyone suggest other places in the LA and OC area with particularly good gringo tacos?

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  1. hard shell tacos @ el taco llama in NoHo, get the al pastor.

    Great al pastor, fresh fried hard shell tacos/chips (usually), great refried beans.

    5 Replies
    1. re: ns1

      Thanks ns1! Taco Llama seems to have a number of locations in the SFV. Are you singling out the NoHo location in particular, or are they all good?

      1. re: Peripatetic

        NoHo one is the only one I can recommend. it's the only place i'll buy a hardshell taco.

        Weekends are the best IMHO cuz it's just the cook working there. The cash register girl sometimes messes up your order, but the cook never.

        Fair warning: I have gotten stale shells there, and the al pastor is occasionally greasy. But when it's on, they are freaking godly.

        Also, good jalapenos too.

        1. re: ns1

          Even greasy Al Pastor is good. I know I've gone by it but exactly where in NoHo? Oxnard and Whitsett?

          1. re: mucho gordo

            I think there are three NoHo El Taco Llamas.

            One is the hut next to a car wash at Magnolia, just east of Cahuenga. Salsa is limited to roja and verde.

            Another is on Sherman Way between Lankershim and Tujunga. (no link, sorry). This is a full restaurant with more salsa options, including pico de gallo.

            For a time, these were owned by the same people, but I recall the hut had a sign about new owners about a year ago. I think both are still great, but I've never tried the hard-shell tacos. I always get the asada and birria soft tacos with the kick-ass salsa roja. Their birria is addictive.

            There is a third NoHo branch linked below on Runnymede St.

            El Taco Llama
            10501 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

            El Taco Llama
            11721 Runnymede St, North Hollywood, CA 91605

            1. re: mucho gordo

              I go to the one on Cahuenga/Magnolia next to the car wash.

      2. In the SGV, I like the hard shell tacos at Mexicatessen in Monterey Park

        830 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

        4 Replies
          1. re: katkoupai

            I do love Mexicatessen; however I don't think they have the ground beef style of taco found at Taco Lita and Taco Treat.

            EDIT: ignore this, I thought you were referring to Cacao Mexicatessen in Eagle Rock. I shouldn't post before drinking coffee.

            1. re: Peripatetic

              The Mexicatessan in Monterey Park does not use ground beef in their tacos, but rather a shredded style (which I prefer)

              1. re: Ernie

                Yup, it's not ground beef, but it is so good. I am hooked. The salsas are great too!

        1. A new place in Lawndale named Nuestra Senora Del Sabor has great crispy chicken tacos. If you want old school (ground beef) Poblanita Express up the street will fill the bill. Ramonas near ECC used to be a good bet but the new owners started using premade shells (ugh).

          Poblanita Express
          14329 Hawthorne Blvd, Lawndale, CA 90260

          Nuestra Senora Del Sabor
          14916 Hawthorne Blvd, Lawndale, CA 90260

          1. Barragan's on Sunset near Echo Park, especially on Mondays when they are $1.00

            1. Sky's Gourmet Tacos is worth a try. They pride themselves on their soul food tacos and they are pretty tasty. Better than Tito's at least.


              5408 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019