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Hottest Taco Joint in LA

hungryabbey Jul 8, 2013 10:03 AM

Hello LA hounds!
I am from Toronto and am helping curate a large Canada vs USA taco throwdown in October as part of a Food Network sponsored event. I would like to know what are the top/ hottest taco joints in LA to reach out to for this job. Looking forward to tasting their goods!


  1. b
    budlit Jul 8, 2013 10:07 AM

    Tacos Punta Cabras, for one

    1. PeterCC Jul 8, 2013 10:10 AM

      Some of the board's favorites include Ricky's Fish Tacos, Guisados, Tacos Punta Cabras, Leo's Taco Truck, Mariscos Jalisco, but everyone has their own favorite, so you're liable to get a huge list.

      We just had a really fantastic taco-centric food festival called Tacolandia. You can read about some of our experiences here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/906589. A list of the participating restaurants are here: http://microapp.laweekly.com/tacoland....

      3 Replies
      1. re: PeterCC
        Discokill Jul 8, 2013 01:25 PM

        If you threw in Mexicali, possibly Coni Seafood and maybe Kogi for good measure I'd say this list pretty much sums it up.

        1. re: PeterCC
          Feed_me Jul 10, 2013 03:41 PM

          I would (generally) skip Leo's. The reason being, it's main claim to fame is the trompo (vertical rotisserie) with al pastor. The guy who makes those tacos is not there all the time. He's usually there on weekends, but I've seen him at odd nights when I've drove by. The truck is on the n/w corner of La Brea/Venice is there like clockwork, but many times not the guy making those particular tacos. From my past experience, the other dishes from Leo's are not especially memorable.

          1. re: Feed_me
            ns1 Jul 10, 2013 03:49 PM

            conclusion: only go to Leo's on weekend nights.

        2. wienermobile Jul 8, 2013 10:44 AM

          Ricky's Fish Tacos. Only open weekend lunches. Check his twitter for hours. These are great tacos!

          1. wienermobile Jul 8, 2013 01:27 PM

            I have not been yet but the new Petty Cash on Beverly Blvd is supposed to be very good.

            1. TonyC Jul 8, 2013 01:34 PM

              Guerrila Tacos
              El Coraloense
              Cacao Mexicatessen
              Rocio's Mole

              Some of these folks are more available than others for a north-of-the-border pop-up, since they are pop-up themslves (Guerrila). You can also reach out to the Guelaguetza family who is part of Taste of Mexico: http://thetasteofmexico.org/ , they love doing these type of PR events.

              1. b
                Burger Boy Jul 9, 2013 11:57 AM

                Mexicali should be in everyone's top 3 list. When they make their oyster tacos, look out Ricky and Jalisco! They are constantly trying new stuff! Fish taco coming soon!

                9 Replies
                1. re: Burger Boy
                  ns1 Jul 9, 2013 12:26 PM

                  You know I took some out of towners to Mexicali and it was their least favorite of the 3 taco stops we went to.

                  1. re: ns1
                    Burger Boy Jul 9, 2013 12:35 PM

                    Where else did you go?

                    1. re: Burger Boy
                      ns1 Jul 9, 2013 02:38 PM

                      the run for that night was mexicali/guisados/chiquis, with guisados taking the horchata/tortilla rounds but chiquis being the overall winner (lack of pineapple and all)

                      i love mexicali's nachos but I'm actually no longer a fan of the carne asada tacos.

                      nachos/vampiro only for this 'hound

                    2. re: ns1
                      jgilbert1000 Jul 9, 2013 12:46 PM

                      I am not a fan of Mexicali either. I have had much better tacos elsewhere.

                      1. re: jgilbert1000
                        mc michael Jul 9, 2013 02:03 PM

                        I have had good ahi tacos there.

                        1. re: mc michael
                          kevin Jul 9, 2013 08:43 PM

                          good ahi tacos at Mexicali Taco Co. ?

                          I only thought they had meat tacos.

                          And in that case, I'll have to make a return visit.

                          1. re: kevin
                            mc michael Jul 9, 2013 09:08 PM

                            My bad. Thinking of Mexicali in Studio City.

                        2. re: jgilbert1000
                          Jase Jul 9, 2013 10:05 PM

                          What are some of the other places?

                        3. re: ns1
                          namstermonster Jul 9, 2013 01:17 PM

                          ditto. don't care for it.

                      2. b
                        beaubourne Jul 9, 2013 12:33 PM

                        La Otra Escuela Taqueria on Beverly Blvd in mid-city/weho area is awesome. Lots of taco variety, BYOB policy, and their freshly made chips are to die for. Don't miss the short rib taco. I can't wait to go back.

                        1. m
                          mc michael Jul 9, 2013 02:04 PM

                          It gets pretty hot waiting on line at Tito's. :P

                          15 Replies
                          1. re: mc michael
                            AAQjr Jul 9, 2013 02:24 PM

                            The only thing better than a Tito's taco is two! Authentic 1960's era LA-Mexican :D

                            1. re: AAQjr
                              hungryabbey Jul 10, 2013 08:32 AM

                              this looks like a good option, thanks!

                              1. re: hungryabbey
                                mc michael Jul 10, 2013 09:24 AM

                                I was kidding about Tito's.

                                1. re: mc michael
                                  PeterCC Jul 10, 2013 09:32 AM

                                  People like to bag on Tito's, but they must be doing something right. Not my thing for sure, but they're always busy, and it's not just gringos eating there.

                                  1. re: PeterCC
                                    mc michael Jul 10, 2013 09:34 AM

                                    I think they get an appealing flavor mix out of the macerated meat, cheddar cheese and the salsa. It's not like a real taco, but it's tasty.

                                  2. re: mc michael
                                    beaubourne Jul 10, 2013 09:33 AM

                                    i love tito's. i don't care what anyone thinks. they're bomb dot com

                                    1. re: beaubourne
                                      kevin Jul 10, 2013 09:43 AM


                                      bomb dot com ???

                                      am i missing something here ?

                                      1. re: kevin
                                        PeterCC Jul 10, 2013 09:45 AM

                                        It's just what the hep kids say these days...

                                      2. re: beaubourne
                                        PeterCC Jul 10, 2013 09:44 AM

                                        dot tumblr dot com? :-)

                                        Reference: http://xkcd.com/1025/

                                        1. re: PeterCC
                                          kevin Jul 10, 2013 09:49 AM

                                          dang, i'm not even that old, i guess i missed the boat on that one.

                                          i'll wait for the fad to pass hopefully. and catch the next gravy train.

                                          1. re: kevin
                                            mc michael Jul 10, 2013 10:49 AM

                                            Dude, gravy train is dog food.

                                            1. re: mc michael
                                              Servorg Jul 10, 2013 11:18 AM

                                              Well, to a "chow hound" that might not be a bad fit... (g)

                                              1. re: Servorg
                                                mc michael Jul 10, 2013 11:31 AM

                                                rim shot!

                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                  kevin Jul 10, 2013 01:11 PM


                                            2. re: PeterCC
                                              kevin Jul 10, 2013 01:11 PM

                                              sounds great.

                                  3. m
                                    mc michael Jul 9, 2013 02:07 PM

                                    Results of a recent taco plebescite.

                                    1. y
                                      young_chower Jul 9, 2013 06:19 PM

                                      El Chato is incredible, especially for Al Pastor. Guisados is also pretty knockout

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: young_chower
                                        ns1 Jul 9, 2013 06:23 PM

                                        I think my biggest problem with Guisados is you buy the sampler plate and when you're done you have no idea wtf you just ate.

                                        1. re: ns1
                                          kevin Jul 9, 2013 08:44 PM

                                          no idea ?

                                          does it all just taste like the same crap ?

                                          btw, is el chato the one on olympic near la brea ?

                                          1. re: kevin
                                            young_chower Jul 9, 2013 10:03 PM


                                          2. re: ns1
                                            Jase Jul 9, 2013 10:05 PM

                                            ? That's weird, every time I've ordered it the server describes each one. At the very least, they'll name them and you can read the description up on the board.

                                            1. re: ns1
                                              Ogawak Jul 10, 2013 09:33 AM

                                              The sampler plate includes the top five items on the wall menu, but you can ask for specific items. If they don't explain, which they will gladly do, you can extrapolate.

                                              1. re: Ogawak
                                                Jase Jul 10, 2013 02:30 PM

                                                I've also never had them refuse when I ask if I can choose my own sampler plate. They still point out which is which when its ready.

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