A Taco Journey: Carne Asada, Al Pastor, Pacific Spiny Lobster, and more - Leo's Tacos #2, Tire Shop Tacos, Revolutionario, Ricky's Fish Tacos, Guerilla, BS Taqueria and more!


#222

i must have missed the food section of das kapital.


#223

you have your preferences. i have mine. more significantly, you don’t seem to have any bashfulness about expressing your opinions. so it’s not like you have any moral position to speak from.


#224

tell me more about the morality of tacos,please.


#225

And this brings me full circle to pig ears.


#226

Update 12:

Quick update this time, but the Tacos we had were notable. :slight_smile:

Guerilla Tacos

Ribeye Steak Taco (Chile de Valle, Chives, Pickled Onions):

This had great beefy flavor to the Ribeye Steak. The only downside was with such a thin cut, the Ribeye wasn’t really medium-rare (but, again thin slices of Ribeye, understandable). The Chile de Valle really added a nice punch and elevated the Taco.

Baja Fried Cod Taco (Habanero, Chipotle Crema, Cabbage Slaw, Cilantro, Mint, Chile Japonese):

This is by far Chef Avila’s best version of a Fried Baja-style Fish Taco. Previous versions have been hit or miss (good flavors, but there was something off (batter, or lack of something)). This time, however, crispy Cod pieces, flaky, meaty, yet light. The ingredient list seems long, but the flavors were perfect! Really interesting balance of heat, some creaminess, crunch, refreshing herbal touch. :slight_smile: Delicious!

Mortadella & Fried Egg Torta (Chile Morita, Arugula, Aged Cheddar, Radish, Cherry Tomato):

This doesn’t look like much, but wow! Such a great Breakfast Torta! :slight_smile: Perfect Sunny-Side Up Egg, the runny yolk breaks to coat the seared Mortadella, and the Aged Cheddar doesn’t overpower. It’s like a glorious version of what a good “Breakfast Sandwich” should be, cooked by a top notch Chef with good ingredients, yet it still has that crave-factor. :wink:

Guerilla Tacos
Check Website for Weekly Menu Updates and Locations:
http://www.guerrillatacos.com/

B.S. Taqueria

We had to see how the Heirloom Tortillas were doing these days. :wink:

Agua Fresca: Cebada (Sweet Barley Drink):

This is similar to Horchata, but made from Barley instead of Rice. It’s nuttier, slightly more fragrant and refreshing here at B.S. Taqueria! :slight_smile:

Fish Taco (Basa):

The one failure on this trip, we don’t know why Chef Garcia has decided to use Basa Fish in his Daily Special Fish Taco, but it was awful. :frowning: The Basa Fish (related to Catfish, from Southeast Asia) was simply gross: It was super soft, nearly disintegrating on each bite; a real textural faux pas. :disappointed:

Mushrooms & Garlic Taco:

Thankfully it was redeemed with their amazing Mushroom & Garlic Taco: It was just as ridiculously delicious as before! A blend of local farmers market sourced Mushrooms sauteed until tender and succulent, and the Chile de Arbol really puts it over the top! And of course, their Handmade Tortillas really elevates each bite. :blush:

B.S. Taqueria
514 W. 7th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Tel: (213) 622-3744

http://www.bstaqueria.com/


#227

i’m curious:
how are those tacos (at both places, i’ve never been to either) to eat, physically?
lots of spillage, or can you pick them up and chomp easily?
or, are they a knife and fork kinda thing?

thanks.


#228

Hi @linus,

They are both pick up-able (that’s how we usually eat them). Fork & knife tacos that we have run into… Taco Maria.


#229

Breakfast tacos. I think this counts as a “bang bang?”

Duck heart taco, Guerrilla Tacos

Some pieces were perfectly cooked, nice and pink inside. Others were overcooked. :slightly_frowning_face: And that’s a lot of parsley, it didn’t really work, too pungent. Maybe if they chopped it. Tortillas were better than at Smorgasburg, but still flat and not very flavorful.

Lengua taco and chicken mole taco, Pinches Tacos

Tender tongue, dry chicken, great mole negro. The tortillas were thick and very corny.

Guerrilla Tacos
Monday’s at Cognoscenti Coffee
6114 Washington Blvd., Culver City

Pinches Tacos
8665 Washington Blvd., Culver City


#230

Nice breakfast @Bookwich. :slight_smile:


#231

I was driving along Washington on my way to Venice last night and spied these guys. They were here from East L.A., and now I see why people travel over there to eat. This was GOOD food.

They fed me some bites of cabeza, but I got other food instead.

Some nice ladies from the neighborhood helped with translating and ordering. Everything was so flavorful and well-cooked. (No mild salsa, guerita.)


#232

what is that bottom right? potatoes!?


#233

Hi @Bookwich,

Nice! :slight_smile: Thanks for the report back. Where is this stand specifically? :slight_smile:

And what were your favorite meats from this stand? Thanks!


#234

What was the name of the place?


#235

@Chowseeker1999 it was on Washington Blvd., just east of Lincoln, on the corner of the Costco shopping center.

The favorite meats, according to my guys, were the carnitas, with the chicken running a very close second. Carne asada was a very close third. It was all very good.

I ate potatoes, they were cooked in a sort of moat around the pork, soaked in broth. A beautiful thing, @Ns1.

It was a street stand, @Aesthete. I asked the guy what they’re called, and he said it was Luisa’s, then gestured at a saint icon picture behind him. Something may have gotten lost in the translation. :slight_smile:


#236

ditto …we went to Tacos Punta Cabras with our Parisian friends (to make up for the abysmal failure at GCM two weeks ago). I’d sent the link to this thread, and they jumped all over going to TCP as it’s a half-mile from their apartment. Success! We ordered 2 shrimp cocteles, a few shrimp and a few scallop tacos, a tofu taco, and three tostadas- shrimp, cauliflower and scallop. Food was pretty good, and that cauliflower is great!. Full array of salsas, liked the dark chipotle the best. in combo with whatever the sauce is that accompanies the tostadas. I think we might have benefitted from eating there vs. doing takeout (we all wanted beer/wine with our dinner), only because the inhouse servings looked more substantial (we watched a group of 5 guys mow thru at least 15 tacos and other stuff while waiting for our order), easy access to more salsa, etc., and they left out some of the order. No chips or salsa that we’d asked for, and no scallop tostada, tho we did get three tostadas, so no harm, no foul… Next stop will likely be Guerrilla or bstaqueria.


#237

Thanks for the report back @Local. Looking forward to your visit to Guerilla and BS Taqueria. :slight_smile:


#238

there are a lot of other factors beyond freshness of the pasta that have serious impact on the quality of a pasta dish, especially when it comes to getting the sauce to bind. the common consensus seems to be that best results occur when one heats nearly cooked pasta in the sauce with some of the pasta water, but the external texture of a pasta also factors into the equation, so adding oil to the cooking water actually hampers the process though it should be noted that fat can be used as a binder in dishes like tsukemen, etc.but the noodles are already fully cooked, and the fat is flavored.


#239

Update 12:

It’s been a while since our friends wanted to do a Taco journey, so off we went for another adventure. :slight_smile:

Tacos El Karnal / El Chilango

Noted in an Eater article a few months ago, we decided to start our Taco journey here. Tacos El Karnal is located near the Food 4 Less on Olympic. It should be noted that one of the friendly taqueros half-jokingly(?) interrupted the other one when we were asking if this was Tacos El Karnal (“yes,” and the other said “tacos el chilango!!!” with a laugh).

Walking up, we saw them making fresh Tortillas by hand; always a good thing. :slight_smile:

6 Tacos (from upper-left, going clockwise) - Cabeza Taco (Beef Head), Carne Asada Taco (Beef / Flank Steak), Buche Taco (Pork Stomach), Labio Taco (Beef Lips!), Lengua Taco (Beef Tongue), (in center) Chorizo Taco (Sausage):

The Carne Asada Taco was sort of dryish and chewy. Definitely skip this especially considering the great Carne Asada you can get at other places like Tire Shop and La Carreta.

Cabeza Taco (Beef Head Meat Taco) was a bit funky and fatty. More pungent than usual, but tender.

Chorizo (Pork Sausage) Taco:

This was delicious! :slight_smile: Not too salty, lightly spicy and tender.

The Lengua Taco (Beef Tongue Taco) was very tender, but a bit underseasoned; not bad.

Their Buche Taco (Pork Stomach Taco) was a bit chewy, tender, but also a bit funky compared to other Buche we’ve had around the city.

Labio Taco (Beef Lip Taco):

This was the first time we’ve had Tacos de Labio. I’ve never seen these before, so we were excited to try it. Moist, tender, softer than Lengua, lightly fatty with some lean meat, they were pretty tasty! :slight_smile:

Their Handmade Tortillas had a nice density and heft, yet still pliable. Lightly aromatic.

Tacos El Karnal had about 10 - 15 people in line throughout our time there; it’s definitely popular. With their Tacos at $1.25 per Taco they are very affordable, and the standouts for us included their Chorizo and Labio Tacos.

(Cash Only)

Tacos El Karnal
(next to Food 4 Less Market)
E. Olympic Blvd. & Calada St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Tire Shop Taqueria (Revisit)

It had been a while since we last went to Tire Shop Taqueria (named because they were originally inside the parking lot of El Jarocho Tire Shop). It turns out they’ve moved… one driveway over. They’re now on the back lot of El Jarocho Tire Shop, but still just as easy to find.

As the line moved up, we could see them making fresh Tortillas by hand:

The claim to fame for Tire Shop Taqueria is their use of Mesquite on an open grill to cook their variety of meats for the Tacos.

Carne Asada Taco:

The very first bite yields this wonderful deep smoky Mesquite flavor. The Carne Asada Steak is still tender, meaty, and the Tortillas are excellent.

Absolutely delicious! :blush:

I think Tire Shop Taqueria is easily our 2nd favorite Carne Asada in the city, or maybe “1A” to Tacos La Carreta’s wonderful Carne Asada (also cooked over Mesquite). Either way, both places are outstanding. :slight_smile:

Chorizo Taco:

Often overlooked, Tire Shop’s Chorizo Tacos are lightly spicy, and just as delicious! :slight_smile:

(Cash Only)

Tire Shop Taqueria (@ El Jarocho Tire Shop)
4069 S. Avalon Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90011

Huitlacoche Taco Truck

Our next stop was to Huitlacoche Taco Truck. We headed here since there was a recent mention of how great their Huitlacoche Tacos were from an article from Bill Esparza. But as we arrived, I remembered in the back of mind how @Bookwich had been here before and said their Huitlacoche wasn’t that good. :frowning:

We were already here, no biggie. Time to try some Tacos! :slight_smile:

Huitlacoche (Mexican Corn Fungus) Quesadilla:

In ordering, we were greeted by Chef-Owner Edgar Mendez, who recommended we try their Huitlacoche in Quesadilla form, as that was how his grandparents enjoyed it in Mexico.

Taking a bite, and I’d agree with @Bookwich: The Huitlacoche flavors were hidden and overpowered by Corn. Chef Mendez confirmed that he sautes the Huitlacoche with Corn, maybe he thinks that people might be scared off by Huitlacoche’s earthy flavors, but the Corn is a mistake: You get sweetness from the Corn and taste very little else. :frowning:

The actual Tortillas (made fresh by hand in the truck) and gooey, melted Cheese were delicious. :slight_smile:

Huitlacoche Taco (Huitlacoche, Avocado, Organic Tomato, Organic Cilantro):

One interesting note is that the majority of the veggies used in their Tacos (including their Salsas) are Organic. Chef Mendez’ mother was in the truck preparing and cooking as well, and she showed us some of their Organic Vegetables proudly as she continued to prep orders.

The Huitlacoche Taco was even more diluted than the Quesadilla: Basically the sweetness of the Corn, the tart-acidity from the Organic Tomatoes overpowered any flavors of the Huitlacoche. :frowning:

As a Vegan Taco, it’s totally fine, but it’s disappointing that the flavors of Huitlacoche didn’t come through.

Braised Lamb Taco (Braised Lamb, Escabeche Onion and Organic Cilantro):

Chef Mendez mentioned that he learned this recipe for Braised Lamb (not Barbacoa) from his stint at a Russian restaurant. It’s sufficiently tender, juicy, and more like a Lamb Stew in some ways. However, we felt it was a bit too tart and acidic (still savory though). It tasted fine, but having had amazing Barbacoa de Borrego Lamb Tacos at Barbacoa Estilo Guerrero and Aqui es Texcoco, this just isn’t as interesting or delicious.

Mole Taco (Marinated Diced Chicken, Mole Poblano, Escabeche Onion and Sour Cream):

This was delicious! :slight_smile: They make their Mole from scratch, based on a recipe from Chef Mendez’ Grandma, and it is wonderful. It’s not the commonly found Chocolate-infused version, being only gently sweet, but balanced by salt, spices, herbs, and their Roasted Peppers. It’s nuanced and distinct from the Moles at the specialists like Chef Rocio Camacho.

Their Chicken is tender, meaty and tastes fresh (not an afterthought like many “Pollo Tacos” around town).

Puebla Style Chorizo Taco (Handmade Chorizo, Red Onion, Avocado & Organic Cilantro):

The Huitlacoche Truck makes their Chorizo from scratch, which is great news. :slight_smile: Their Puebla Style Handmade Chorizo Taco is only lightly salty (good), exuding a light spiciness, and a totally different spice profile than the usual “Chorizo” offerings at many places.

This was delicious, meaty and different. We’d order this and their Mole Tacos again for sure. :slight_smile:

Note: Check their Instagram (or Call) for the latest schedule & hours.

Thursday - Monday, 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. at

Huitlacoche Taco Truck
757 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: (323) 381-0688

Taco Maria (Revisit)

Highly acclaimed Taco Maria has received a lot of praise for its farmers market-driven Prix Fixe menus and creative dishes. Their Tacos have been hit-or-miss for us, but I wanted to try them again and see how consistent they are.

Quesadilla de Camaron (Oaxaca Cheese, Mexican White Shrimp, Squash Blossom, Salsa Cruda):

This was delicious! :slight_smile: The Mexican White Shrimp were plump and meaty, perfectly cooked through. The flavors were bright, oceany and the Oaxacan Cheese paired well with the Shrimp and their famous Handmade, Heirloom Tortillas.

Pescado Frito Taco (Local Black Cod, Charred Scallion Aioli, Cabbage, Grapes):

Last time we were at Taco Maria, their Black Cod Taco was excellent and a standout item. Today, it was awful! :frowning: The Black Cod was mushy(!), and practically disintegrated with each bite. There was so little of the Black Cod as well. Consider the astronomical price ($10 per Taco!), this was even more of a disappointment. :frowning:

Mole de Pollo Taco (Jidori Chicken, Ancho-Almond Mole, Queso Fresco):

This was just overbearingly sweet. :frowning: We’ve had many sublime Mole Sauces from specialists around L.A., but this visit’s Ancho-Almond Mole was way too heavy-handed and sweet, overpowering the rest of the Taco.

In the end, I appreciate them using farmers market ingredients, chef-driven recipes, and an ever-changing menu, but their Tacos have been either disappointing or inconsistent, and at $10 per Taco, it’s just not something we see ourselves ordering again.

Taco Maria
3313 Hyland Ave., Suite C21
Costa Mesa, CA, 92626
Tel: (714) 538-8444

http://www.tacomaria.com/

Guerilla Tacos (Revisit)

One of the joys of Guerilla Tacos is to see what Chef Wes Avila might be offering on an ever-changing weekly basis. New Tacos, surprise Specials (not appearing on the website) are always fun to discover and usually are interesting enough to immediately order regardless of what you were thinking of ordering earlier. :wink:

Mushroom Quesadilla (Chile Morita, Oaxacan Cheese, Market Greens, Charred Serrano Chile):

Absolutely delicious! :slight_smile: The Mushrooms are so full of flavor, meaty, tender, and having that inherent crave-worthy earthiness. The melting Oaxacan Cheese is wonderful, but beware of his Charred Serrano Chile and Chile Morita Salsa: It is hot! :open_mouth: :smile: This was easily like Level 4 “Hot!” at Howlin’ Ray’s in some ways. Our mouths were burning for a good 15 minutes after eating. :sweat_smile:

Red Snapper Tostada (Raw Red Snapper, Tomatillo, Furikake, Cashews, Chile de Valle):

Chef Avila continues to impress. We’ve had many variations of his Tostada over the years, but this Red Snapper Tostada was even better: Clean, high-quality Red Snapper (meaty, bright), with an interesting blend of Chile de Valle (just a subtle touch), along with the popular and tasty Japanese seasoning blend of Furikake. It’s at once crunchy, tender, nutty and just delicious. :slight_smile:

Cauliflower Taco (Dates, Pistachios, Olives, Parsley, Arbol Chiles, Gooseberries):

This is a perfect example of what makes Chef Avila and Guerilla Tacos so interesting: His ability to elevate Vegetables into offerings that rival Meat Tacos: His Cauliflower Taco is outstanding: The blend of well-seasoned Cauliflower, Dates, Pistachios and Olives, gives this a bit of sweetness (but it never overpowers), some wonderful nuttiness, a little brininess from the Olives, and the Chile de Arbol Salsa just binds it all together.

Delicious! :blush:

Octopus Chorizo Taco (Macadamia Nuts, Burnt Tomatoes, Chives):

Perfectly cooked Octopus, tender (not rubbery), a bit of smoky-saltiness from the Chorizo and Burnt Tomatoes, and a bit of nutty crunch from the Macadamia Nuts. Excellent. :slight_smile:

Note: Guerilla Tacos has finally upgraded their Tortillas! They are now using a Non-GMO, Heirloom, Freshly-Made Tortillas, which really improves the overall taste. :slight_smile: (Note, he’s not making them in the truck, but it’s made locally fresh).

Cod Milt Tacos (Shirako Poached in Dashi, Okinawa Sweet Potatoes, Chile Morita, Scallions):

And then you get Specials (not listed on the website) like this: Fresh Shirako (Cod Milt) which Chef Avila poaches in a Homemade Dashi blend, and he puts this in a Taco(!). Really? :open_mouth:

Taking a bite: It is tender, creamy, luscious. Outstanding! :heart:

The Okinawa Sweet Potatoes, Scallions and judicious use of his Homemade Chile Morita Salsa perfectly supports the Cod Milt. Wow. Paging @bulavinaka @PorkyBelly @MaladyNelson and anyone else interested: Hopefully he still has it tomorrow, or if you ever see it on the menu, don’t miss out! :slight_smile:

Guerilla Tacos
(Check their Website for Updated Location and Times)
http://www.guerrillatacos.com/

Villa Moreliana (Revisit)

It had been too long. Time for some amazing Carnitas.

Note: Villa Moreliana’s Tacos are so big, that they’re usually nice enough to let you choose 2 different types of Carnitas (they offer 10(!) different types of Carnitas) to put in both “halves” of the Taco.

Espaldilla Carnitas (Stewed Pork Roast) + Costilla Carnitas (Stewed Pork Ribs) Taco:

Wow. Tender, just the right amount of salt, the Espaldilla Pork Roast was meaty and leaner than the Costilla, but still so good. :slight_smile:

Orejas Carnitas (Stewed Pork Ear) + Costilla Carnitas (Stewed Pork Ribs) Taco:

Yes! :blush: This is the magic combination: Their Orejas Carnitas are stunningly luscious, with a subtle crunch from the cartilage, and there’s an almost creamy quality. :slight_smile:

Then their Costilla Carnitas (Stewed Pork Ribs) with the Cartilage stewed down to a tender, slight crunch consistency is amazing! It is just SO GOOD! :heart:

At $2.50 for a huge Taco (easily 3 - 4 times the size of most Taco Truck Tacos), it is a bargain and they continue to make our favorite Carnitas in L.A. :slight_smile:

Villa Moreliana
(Inside Grand Central Market, Downtown L.A.)
317 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Tel: (213) 624-2378


A New Wave - Guerrilla Tacos
#240

Nice update

Also, have you seen uncooked beef lips? :joy: :flushed:


#241

Thanks @A5KOBE. No I haven’t. I’m not sure I want to. :sweat_smile: