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!


#81

Thanks @cjoe5! Glad to hear a live report from someone on our board who’s been. :smile: I’ll have to check out their East LA location one of these days.

@Aesthete, I only found out about them in the past year, but when their website was still functioning, it seems they’ve been doing Carnitas for generations? So they’ve been around.

I like their Carnitas, and it’s the best I’ve had on a “Truck / Stand,” but compared to Villa Moreliana and Uruapan, I think it’s not as good, but still legit.


#82

I am curious why it gets more press?

Villa Moreliana is the place at GCM right?


#83

Yea.


#84

Hi @Aesthete,

That is a good question. I don’t know. To be fair it’s very good Carnitas, and better than any of the various taco trucks I’ve tried over the years. I know they’ve been around for many years, so perhaps it’s something that resonated with many customers in this area over time?

Some places gain lots of publicity even though they may or may not represent the best of the best.


#85

Update 6:

Carnitas El Momo

Thanks to @noddles it seemed Carnitas El Momo was still in business, so I decided to check out their East L.A. locale.

So mystery solved: Seems that while their website is given up (maybe to save money?), they are still around. For the missing appearance on the weekends I encountered, the person said that now on Saturdays they no longer bring the taco truck. You have to look for them inside of a parking lot in the corner next to a tire shop on Avalon. On Thursdays and Fridays they’re at their regular East L.A. location.

Carnitas El Momo has 4 types of Carnitas tacos: Cuerito (Skin), Maciza (Lean Pork Shoulder), Buche (Stomach), and “Aporkalypse” (Mix of Skin, Lean Pork and Stomach).

Maciza Carnitas Taco:

Their Lean Pork still tastes pretty fresh (same as my last 3 or 4 times I’ve been). But after recently experience Carnitas Uruapan and especially enjoying Villa Moreliana (GCM), there’s no comparison. Momo’s Maciza is much saltier than the other 2 places and drier.

Aporkalypse (Mixto) Carnitas Taco:

Their Mixed Taco was much better, with the Pork Stomach and Skin adding more interesting textures to the plain Lean Pork Shoulder. It was still much saltier than either of the other 2 specialists.

Overall I’d prefer going to either Villa Moreliana or Uruapan, with Moreliana being my favorite still.

Carnitas El Momo
(Thurs & Fri)
2411 Fairmount
Los Angeles, CA 90033

(Sunday)
6015 S Avalon
Los Angeles, CA 90033


#86

This is very surprising, though in a good way. Moreliana is about a million times easier to get to than the others, especially El Momo haha


#87

I found Leo’s #2 glorious and at a dollar each I actually felt guilty after. 9 tacos and a bottle coke for $11.


#88

By far the most discrete drinking can be done by emptying an opaque Arizona iced tea bottle and refilling. Wide enough mouth to pour into and at 16 oz it can fit a 12 oz beer with room for some head.


#89

@Ns1 Nice! Wow, 9 tacos at 1 truck! :open_mouth: I’m glad to hear Leo’s #2 was great. I probably went on an off night, or as mentioned above, maybe wait until the first batch of the Al Pastor (outer layer) is served / done.


#90

I split it with my wife, although I wanted them all for myself.


#91

Thank you for a wonderful post. You left off some of the best tacos in L.A. in none other than Olvera Street at a place called La Luz Del Dia. They are known for their carnitas, chicharron and nopales. Tortillas are hand made and the best.


#92

God’s work. More taco research please!!!


#93

Update 7:

Colonia Tacos Guisados
Chef Ricardo Diaz has been slowly and steadily building up a mini-empire of well-regarded eateries around LA, from Cook’s Tortas to Guisados, to Bizarra Capital and more. Colonia Taco Lounge actually delivered some interesting tacos when he first opened it up in La Puente, only to have it shut down last year. It turns out he’s resurrected the restaurant with a slight name change and closer to his other restaurant Colonia Publica. Now known as Colonia Tacos Guisados, Chef Diaz is still serving most of his most popular tacos from Colonia Taco Lounge, with some new flavors as well.

This location is much smaller than Colonia Taco Lounge, mainly featuring outdoor patio seating (w/ large patio umbrellas).

Aguas Frescas: Today’s Aguas Frescas was a Cucumber, Pineapple, Mint -

Sweet, but herbaceous and super refreshing! :slightly_smiling:

Lengua Taco (Beans, Guacamole, Sriracha, Mayo):

Super tender Beef Tongue really works well with the Guac, Beans and Sriracha Mayo. It doesn’t taste overdressed at all. Excellent.

Beef & Beer Taco (Cilantro, Onion, Chile Morita):

Another solid entry. There’s a slight hoppiness from the cooked off beer, but otherwise the Chile Morita Salsa (really bright, lightly spicy) brings up the stewed Beef and makes for another great taco.

Cauliflower Taco (Fried Cauliflower, Vinaigrette, Corn, Salsa Veracruz, Flour Tortilla):

This was the taco I was most looking forward to, as it was my favorite Taco from the previous incarnation at Colonia Taco Lounge. It was almost as good as I remembered it: The Fried Cauliflower chunks, Corn, Salsa Veracruz and soft, delicate Flour Tortilla was just perfect. So good! :slightly_smiling:

Doradito (Potato, Cheese, Cabbage, Guacamole, Vinaigrette, Chipotle Sauce):

I wasn’t that much of a fan of this at the original location and it still holds true today. It’s a deep fried, crispy taco shell (which is nice for the crunch), but it’s carb on carb. It just feels heavy, but I can see why some people really like this.

Grilled Shrimp Taco (Coconut Rice, Shrimp, Cabbage, Salsa Aji, Flour Tortilla):

This is really tropical and fragrant. The Coconut Rice gives the Shrimp a nice pairing but also it’s fun, exotic tasting. The Salsa Aji doesn’t overwhelm and overall it works.

Barbacoa Taco (Lamb, Onion, Cilantro):

Really tender, stewed chunks of Lamb Barbacoa. It’s slightly smoky and gamy and just fine. It’s not Aqui es Texcoco or as good as other specialists but fine for a local place.

Duck Carnitas Taco (Guacamole, Pickled Onions, Salsa Morita):

It’s rare to find Duck Tacos, so I’m glad Chef Diaz kept this on the menu. The flavors are pretty well balanced, but the issue was that the Duck Carnitas tasted not so fresh (it’s not super funky, but just tastes like leftovers). Otherwise, the flavors were great and if the Duck was brighter, this would’ve been a favorite.

Huitlacoche Taco (Mushrooms, Cilantro, Salsa Verde):

The “Mexican Truffle” or Corn Smut / Maize Fungus was another solid flavor, matching well with the Mushrooms and Salsa Verde.

Pork and Pumpkin Taco (Kabocha Squash, Pork Carnitas, Pumpkin Seeds, Seed Salsa):

Great concept, undermined by mediocre Carnitas. It’s tough, we’re in an awesome time here in L.A. where we have LEGIT Carnitas specialists (like Villa Morelianas, Carnitas Uruapan, etc.), so eating chunks of this fried Pork Carnitas tastes really pedestrian. The flavors otherwise are great (the Kabocha Squash, Pumpkin Seed Salsa, etc.).

Tesmole Taco (Chicken, Seed Salsa):

It looks very similar to the Pork & Pumpkin, but the flavors are decidedly different. The Tesmole was more savory, piquant and the Chicken is pretty tender.

Vampiro Taco (Steak, Molcajete Salsa, Cilantro, Onion, Mozarella Cheese, Flour Tortilla):

This was a pretty delicious taco. The Carne Asada Steak tasted like beefy chunks of goodness, and the Molcajete Salsa and Cheese and Flour Tortillas all came together for a great combo.

Mahi Mahi Taco (Bacon Aioli, Cabbage, Salsa Molcajete, Fried Fish):

Probably the most disappointing taco we had in all the visits: Besides competing against the legendary Ricky’s Fish Tacos and even places like TBE, the fried Mahi Mahi is soggy, dense, and not very edible. :frowning:

Colonia Tacos Guisados
11114 Whittier Blvd.
Whittier, CA 90606
(562) 699-2424
(Note: The phone number via Google and Yelp are wrong. This is their actual phone number.)

Barbacoa Estilo Taxco Guerrero

Found out about this from an LA Mag article, about a Lamb Barbacoa specialist, and we couldn’t wait! This family makes their Barbacoa de Borrego (a Slow Roasted Lamb dish) in the style from Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico.

They literally set up a tent and taco stand in a parking lot off of McKinley. I couldn’t wait! Walking up, there is a huge group of people all happily ordering and eating away (there are plenty of temp tables set up). I really enjoyed seeing them making fresh Tortillas and scooping up more of the Lamb Barbacoa and chopping it up for each order.

They allow you to choose any part of the Roasted Lamb (if it’s not sold out yet), so we choose all the sections available:

Lamb Pancita Taco (Lamb Stomach, Organs Blend):

Wow! This would make @theoffalo and all offal fans happy: It’s really intense, but tender, and funky and delicious! Using some of their Salsa Arbol (with Chile de Arbol) and a squeeze of fresh Lime, and it balances out the offal funk and makes a really compelling Taco.

There’s also an Avocado Salsa (less spicy, but still delicious).

Lamb Cabeza Taco (Roasted Lamb Head meat blend):

They already sold out of the entire Lamb Heads (for order), but still had some Cabeza pulled off the bone, bits of Lamb Cheek meat, Tongue, and other bits. It’s really soft, fatty, delicious!

Consomme (Lamb Soup):

WOW. Seriously, this is some of the best Lamb Consomme I’ve had around here! Tastes like a delicate Lamb Soup, with bits of Garbanzo Beans and Rice. Add in some Onions & Cilantro and Lime and you’re set!

Lamb Maciza Taco (Lamb Shoulder / Leg Meat):

This was the leanest cut of meat. But still tender, fresh and fantastic with their Avocado Salsa!

Lamb Costilla Taco (Lamb Rib Meat):

The star of the Barbacoa de Borrego: Seriously tender, slightly fatty, but with lean chunks. Just the perfect blend! Lamb Rib meat, cooked fresh that morning, and just MAGIC! :heart:

Their fresh-made tortillas weren’t too thick, but had enough to hold plenty of lamb meat and not detract from each bite (so thinner than Broken Spanish, etc.). Really nice.

This was better than Aqui es Texcoco here in L.A.! Lovely. :slightly_smiling:

You can order their Roasted Lamb by the Pound, or for parties, you can order a whole roasted Lamb (or Half a Lamb) or a Whole Roasted Goat (or Half a Goat).

Saturday & Sundays Only
7:00 a.m. - Lamb is sold out

(CASH ONLY)

Barbacoa y Birria Estilo Taxco Guerrero
5609 McKinley Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90011
(323) 359-9571


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#94

wow - awesome pics and reporting


#95

Thanks @CiaoBob! I think you’d dig it (Barbacoa y Birria Estilo Taxco). :slightly_smiling:

Seriously the best Lamb Tacos I’ve had so far.

Oh I forgot to talk about their fresh made Tortillas (I’ll update my post): They weren’t too thick, but had enough to hold plenty of lamb meat and not detract from each bite (so thinner than Broken Spanish, etc.). Really nice.


#96

This is incredible. Thank you.


#97

That pancita looks great! I was just reading about this place in LA Mag: http://www.lamag.com/digestblog/essential-t-guerrero-style-lamb-barbacoa-in-south-park/


#98

Why all the great tacos have to be Weekend-Only? People ain’t like awesome shit on the weekdays??

=(


#99

@theoffalo it really is. Their Pancita has a nice lamb-y flavor, but more delicate than Aqui es Texcoco. Their fresh salsas really pair well with it. I normally don’t eat much offal, but with their salsa and seasonings for the actual Barbacoa, it was great. :slightly_smiling:


#100

great post.

finally made it there yesterday. beyond the cooking of the tacos, what makes the place extremely chow worthy are the sauces and various homemade pickles. i fully subscribe to the joe beef big mac theory of equilibrium: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex-SA_5Q_AI)

you balance sweet, salty, fat, sour and bite in a such a way as the big mac does that your taste buds compel you to keep eating thinking that you’re eating something good for you. and the sauces and pickles allow you to do that though it does take some experimentation. they’ll give you hints if you ask.

use the pineapple kimchi (upper right) & pineapple salsas (i forgot to take pics) sparingly, but do try them.

with the gentrification of GCM, this place is now my only reason to go there. on my first visit, i paid no attention to all the brawny construction workers in front of me in line who only ordered 2 tacos and ordered either 3-4 and discovered that i’d gotten enough meat to make 8-12 tacos with the extra tortillas they give you.