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!


#61

@Aesthete yah it’s weird. The first two times I went, the locally made tortillas were fine (they held the fillings no breakage). The last time I went, 2 of the tacos’ started breaking up before I finished them. I mentioned it to the person behind the counter and they mentioned it might’ve been inconsistent thickness due to the handmade aspect?

Next time I go I hope it’s back to normal. Their tacos are so good! :smile:


#62

Update 4:
Petty Cash Taqueria (Arts District / Downtown L.A.)

I have largely avoided Petty Cash since I read the early reports on our old board from many respected members, talking about the overpriced nature and the so-so taste. But with Petty Cash Taqueria opening up in Downtown L.A. and with a year gone by, I was hoping it might be better than the reports I had read so far.

I should’ve listened.

Located around the corner from Bestia, the new Petty Cash Arts District is this weird mixture of wanna-be street + hipster (see the entrance) flowing into a gastropub / brick / low-lighting feel in the main dining room.

Petty Cash’s claim to fame is partially based on a menu created by consulting Chef Walter Manzke. I enjoy many of the dishes at Manzke’s Republique, so how bad could the tacos be here?

Cook’s Ranch Pork Belly Carnitas Taco (with Salsa Verde, Guacamole):

It sounds great (using Cook’s Ranch natural pork), but the taste is just OK. The pork is crisped, with a tender fattiness, but it tastes old. In addition at $6 for a single taco(WTH?!) the picture I took is a zoomed in shot. It is seriously only slightly bigger than a regular street taco. Villa Morelianas (my fav Carnitas specialist in the city)'s Carnitas Tacos are only $2.50 and it’s easily about 250% LARGER than this, and it tastes far better.

Prime Rib Carne Asada Taco (w/ Refried Beans, Guacamole):

I was so looking forward to this taco, extremely curious what Prime Rib might taste like in taco form… only, what you get is a smallish taco with a mound of WELL-DONE Bland Beef. :frowning: There’s so little taste (no beefy quality), and it was well-done (waste of beef). And it was $6 for this single round of travesty. Avoid.

Wood-Fired Octopus Taco (with Chile de Arbol, Peanuts, Jack Cheese, Avocado):

Finally, a standout. The Octopus is super tender, perfectly cooked! Wow. It was a bit too greasy though. But definitely the best taco we tried at Petty Cash DTLA.

Baja Fish Taco (Mahi-Mahi, Pico de Gallo, Crema Cabbage):

Seriously, $6 for a small fish taco that features overcooked, dryish, tough fish?! :frowning: I’m not being glib when I say that the fish tacos I’ve had at Wahoo’s and Sharky’s taste about the same (and were cheaper). Ugh.

Al Pastor Taco (Adobo Chile-rubbed Pork Leg, Pineapple, Avocado):

This taco was GROSS: A gloopy, soggy mess of a taco, with overly fatty chunks of pork. I couldn’t finish the taco. :weary:

We all felt ripped off and just really disappointed with the tacos here. Especially considering the pedigree. Very disappointed. :frowning:

Petty Cash Taqueria, Arts District (Downtown L.A.)
712 S Santa Fe Ave.
Los Angeles, CA
Tel: (213) 624-0210
http://pettycashtaqueria.com/

One of my friends literally spit out the Al Pastor from Petty Cash, and for my own sanity and to salvage all things great about “Al Pastor,” we made a run to…

Leo’s Tacos #1
The original Leo’s Taco Truck (on the corner of La Brea & Venice), was slammed with people, its popularity growing each year.

After the disappointment of Leo’s Tacos #2 and Petty Cash, I had to see if this original still had it. The lovely Trompo was out in full force:

Al Pastor Taco:

MUCH better! Phew! :smile: Leo’s Taco Truck #1’s Al Pastor is savory, moist, and so much better than Petty Cash’s version, and only $1 a taco compared to $6. Although I feel that Leo’s recipe or execution has taken a step back from its early days, but Truck #1 is still enjoyable.

Leo’s Tacos #1
1515 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

B.S. Taqueria
Ever since Chef Ray Garcia left Santa Monica’s FIG, I’ve been eagerly anticipating what he might be cooking up next and where he might land. BS Taqueria served as “part one” of his new journey post-FIG, with the more formal sit down Broken Spanish as “part two.”

It had been a while since I last hit up BS Taqueria (enjoyed the first few visits), so we popped in for a quick visit.

House-made Horchata:

Chef Garcia’s Horchata reflects the rest of his ideals at this restaurant, taking interesting ingredients and elevating the original notion of the drink or dish in question. B.S. Taqueria’s Horchata is made with Barley, Piloncillo (a type of Cane Sugar) and Almond Milk.

And it’s fantastic! :smile: It’s a little gritty, nutty and sweet, but not too sweet.

Their lunch special adds a nice Mixed Greens Salad (with Lime Vinaigrette):

Shrimp Taco:

Chef Garcia’s Shrimp Taco is awesome. Shrimp sauteed in a Guajillo Chile Sauce, Jalapeno infused Handmade Tortillas. The Shrimp is fresh and perfectly cooked. Legit, yet new.

Cactus & Hibiscus Taco:

The Cactus (Nopales) is tender and the Hibiscus flowers add a slight tangy-ness. Chef Garcia shows off his FIG experience using fresh, fully ripened farmer’s market fresh avocados, which are so creamy and lush.

Mushrooms & Garlic Taco:

I think in many fancier restaurants, seeing “Mushrooms & Garlic Taco” would probably elicit a notion of incredulousness, thinking it’s just an afterthought for Vegetarians or something. But this is a creation from the chef who was so smitten with the freshest produce and delivering what’s in season from the local farmer’s markets that he added a “ticker tape” to the menu at FIG, broadcasting what was in season at the moment and what was coming soon.

The Mushrooms & Garlic Taco is RIDICULOUS. :open_mouth: It’s meaty, savory, bursting with flavors, full of umami. It’s one of the best Tacos I’ve eaten recently and it’s Vegetarian, blowing away many of the meat-based Tacos I’ve had. Chef Ray Garcia uses a mixture of fresh local farmer’s market mushrooms, sauteed with Thyme, Oregano, Chile de Arbol (awesome!) served on top of a White Bean Puree, and the amazing Handmade Tortillas. Serious WIN. :heart:

There were some dishes only served at night, so I had to come back and try more stuff. :wink:

Lengua Taco:

Really soft, long-stewed, tender slivers of Beef Tongue.

Chorizo and Papas Taco:

Just great flavors. Crisped, seared Potato chunks with a lightly spicy, savory Chorizo Sausage.

Clams and Lardo Taco:

If you love seafood, you might wanna check this taco out. It’s briny, savory (from the lardo), and maybe a bit too oily for me, but great in small doses, LOL. :smile:

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

Guerilla Tacos (3rd Visit)

And Chef Wes Avila continues to astound at Guerilla Tacos. His daily menu today features some new twists.

Sweet Potato Taco (with Almond Chile, Feta Cheese, Fried Corn, Scallions):

The Sweet Potatoes are beautiful, sweet and soft, yet crispy because Chef Avila sears the outside, giving it some awesome texture contrast! It sounds “boring” but this Taco is great, sweet, lightly spicy.

Baja-style Shrimp Taco (with Chipotle Crema, Cabbage, Raw Tomatillo Chile, Avocado):

A nice contrast to BS Taqueria’s take on a Shrimp Taco, Chef Avila goes with fried, battered Shrimp. And the Shrimp he uses are massive! These are HUGE Gulf Shrimp, seriously only one step down from large Santa Barbara Spot Prawns.

The Shrimp are tender and cooked just right. It’s a bit on the acidic side, but still solid. I liked BS Taqueria’s Shrimp Taco more in terms of flavor.

Squash Blossom Taco (with Ricotta Cheese, Hazelnut, Bill’s Bees Honey, Heirloom Tomatoes, Chile Morita):

Besides being drop-dead gorgeous visually, the Squash Blossom Tacos are another flavor bomb! PERFECT Flavor Synergy with the Squash Blossoms and light, creamy Ricotta Cheese. The balance of flavors in this taco make it one of the best tacos yet from Chef Avila! It just ROCKS! (and yes, there’s no meat in it and it’s that good!) :heart:

There are some pretty amazing tacos coming out of the city these days from both Chef Garcia and Chef Avila. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

Guerilla Tacos
Wednesday 10am - 2pm at:
Cognoscenti Coffee
6114 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA

Thursday & Friday 10am - 2pm at:
Blacktop Coffee
826 E 3rd St. (Arts District DTLA)
Los Angeles, CA

Thursday 5 - 9pm at:
Silverlake Wine
2395 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Saturday & Sunday 10am - 2pm at:
Blue Bottle Coffee
582 Mateo St. (Arts District DTLA)
Los Angeles, CA

http://www.guerrillatacos.com/

FB Page with Daily Menu updates:


#63

@Chowseeker1999 Can you please adopt me?


#64

Me too for fucking crying out loud.


#65

how much are the tacos at bs and guerilla? thanks.


#66

@linus Tacos at Guerilla vary (depending on ingredients, etc.). I saw some at $3 before, but recent visits were at $4 and up.

BS Taqueria is $8 and up for the tacos, but you get 2 Tacos per order.


#67

Yeah… about that…

Spiny lobster season ends in March. So either he’s mistaken or he’s got some other reason for taking it off the menu early.


#68

@Eater15 thanks for the heads up.

Yah, I have no idea. Just relaying the message from what Ricky told me. I’d love to get more of the Spiny Lobster Tacos until March.


#69

A friend of mine just told me that Revolutionario sometimes has a Beef Halal Bacon & Egg Taco! Has anyone had it before? If so, how is it? I haven’t seen it on the menu in the times I went.

Thanx!


#70

Nope. But I did have kosher beef bacon on a kosher “cheese” burger ???

And you know what ???

It was pretty fucking decent. Beef bacon was sort of like griddled pastrami.


#71

Nice @kevin. I’m curious to see what Chef Zadi’s take on Halal Beef Bacon is like. :smile:


#72

How petty cash remains in business is one of the great wonders of the world, or at least Los Angeles.

On another note: how is Carnitas El Momo different from Las Morelianas?


#73

Update 5:

Carnitas Uruapan
At the behest of @Porthos, I had to make a trip down to his recommended Carnitas specialist in Orange County, Carnitas Uruapan. It was slammed with people, always a good sign. Then looking at their menu… 18 (EIGHTEEN) different types of Carnitas Tacos. Oh yah, this looks legit. :slight_smile:

You can see them separating out the different cuts of pork and choose what you like on the spot. They were also serving Barbacoa de Borrego (Roasted Lamb) on the weekend as well. How does it stack up against my all-time favorite, Villa Moreliana? Couldn’t wait to dive in!

The tacos are HUGE, running only $2.50 each, they have as much meat as 4 regular street tacos (crazy)!

Oreja Carnitas Taco (Braised Pig Ear):

Soft and luscious with a bit of crunch, these were pretty great. They were a bit more savory and saltier than Villa Moreliana’s version, but pretty much just as good.

Surtida Carnitas Taco (Combination Roasted Pig):

The server said that their Surtida Carnitas Taco was a “mix of everything,” and indeed it was a bit of Cuerito (Braised Pig Skin), Maciza, Cabeza and more. The mix of lean Pork Shoulder, Ribs and other parts made for a great taco! :smile: Pure porky love, LOL.

Cachete Carnitas Taco (Braised Pork Cheeks):

This is the first time I’ve seen a place selling Braised Pork Cheek Carnitas Tacos! LOL. I was imagining it was just the inner meat, but it included some skin as well. It was even more tender and lush than the Pig Ear Tacos.

Costilla Carnitas Taco (Braised Pork Ribs):

Was really looking forward to this. But it was saltier and drier than Villa Moreliana. :frowning: It also lacked the cartilage / soft crunchy bits. Still tender, but definitely a notch below Villa Moreliana.

Barbacoa de Borrego Taco (Roasted Lamb):

The flavor was good, with a nice gaminess, but on the salty side (just a bit). But the unfortunate part was that in their hectic chopping perhaps, our tacos were interspersed with chopped bone bits! :open_mouth: We had to constantly spit out / pick out chunks of Lamb Bone. So that was a turnoff, and it’s not as good as some of the lamb specialists in L.A.

Overall Carnitas Uruapan is pretty awesome! :smile: Definitely the best Carnitas I’ve had in Orange County, and a good choice if you’re in the area. It doesn’t dethrone Villa Moreliana, but it’s a great find; I’d be glad to return. Thanks @Porthos!

Carnitas Uruapan
2106 W. 5th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92703
(714) 953-0295

Pollos Asados Al Carbon El Guero
On the way to Carnitas El Momo, we noticed an awesome flame grilled Chicken street stand, and had to stop by. :smile:

The smell was incredible, as they had some flame-grilled chickens ready to serve.

This was more of a build-your-own-taco experience, and we couldn’t wait to dive in:

The Grilled Chicken was generally still moist, and even the Chicken Breast portion was still juicy. Only the Wing was slightly dry.

The Chicken Taco was very good. Nice smokiness from the mesquite charcoal and juicy Chicken made it one of the better Chicken Tacos I’ve had in a while, LOL. :smile:

Pollos Asados Al Carbon El Guero
(Saturdays & Sundays)
Corner of Slauson Ave. & Towne Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90011

Or at their brick and mortar shop 7 days a week:

274 E. Slauson Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90011
(323) 233-2274

Carnitas El Momo
I’ve been to Carnitas El Momo many times, but I fear they might be out of business! :frowning: I’ve driven to their weekend location the last few weeks and they are no longer there. Their website has been shutdown, and no one picks up when dialing their phone #. If anyone knows if they are still around (but a new location?) let me know.

From the last visit I did have (a few months back), I thought their Carnitas Taco was legit and very good, but it lacked the variety and subtlety of Villa Moreliana and Carnitas Uruapan.

El Taco Grande
So on the way back from the missing Carnitas El Momo, we noticed a truck that looked pretty appealing, specializing in Birria (Goat) Tacos! :smile:

Birria Taco (Goat):

Wow! Super tender, juicy, great Birria Tacos! :smile: Not the best I’ve had, but pretty tasty, and a place I’d go back to.

El Taco Grande
762 E. Slauson Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90011
(323) 235-6659

Another fun outing, from Orange County to L.A. :smile:


#74

Carnitas Urapan definitely has chopping issues. Last time I was there I had huge chunks of kidney and liver which was a bit chewy and got a jaw workout. My cueritos taco was fantastic with that great red salsa to cut through the richness. My favorite part is watching them make the carnitas on the tv.


#75

You’re a champ! Thanks for doing the heavy lifting!


#76

You scared me for a second! Someone coincidentally just checked in today, so it looks like they’re still up and running on weekends. :grin:

Sure, they only have 3 cuts, and there’s nothing subtle about them… but it’s pure and bold savory and salty porkiness. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: Looking forward to your take against these other fantastic carnitas specialists!


#77

What is it about carnitas el momo that makes it such a superstar place when so many other full-carnitas masters seem to be up and running?


#78

@A5KOBE lucky I didn’t get any liver or kidney in my Surtida Taco. Phew! :smile: Although, I’m curious what a Kidney or Liver Carnitas Taco would taste like.

@Porthos Nah, thank you for recommending the place. :smile: Now you gotta get up to Villa Moreliana and try it out when you can.


#79

@noddles Thanks for the heads up. I literally went the day before that Yelp post, and they were not at their usual location. I drove up and down the street for many miles, hoping they weren’t gone.

It also doesn’t explain why their Website is shutdown, and why they no longer pick up the phone (I’ve tried calling about 6 - 7 times at various times over the past 2 weeks - and they used to pick up). It also is weird that they were no longer there for 2 different weekends as well. So all that made me fear that they were out of business.

But I’m glad they seem to be back?

Has anyone tried their East L.A. location?


#80

I went there on Thursday evening around 6pm. The location is in a residential area and they had no customers. I had the chicharron, the buche and the pork shoulder. I wasn’t a fan of the chicharron, but the others had that porky goodness I was looking for.