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!


#142

Hi @Aesthete,

Perhaps. Or maybe when it’s too slow, they just stop using the trompo and just set aside a portion of the meat. Kinda like how @Ns1 and you mentioned Leo’s is (when they don’t run the trumpo, just skip it).

I’ll definitely go back for the Suadero and try asking when they run the trompo for Al Pastor. Thanks.


#143

I guess so sadly.

Oh well.

I really want to go when the trompo is up and…as singful as this may sound, order a suadero and al pastor burrito from them hahaha


#144

Man, chorreadas at Tacos Al Carbon in Compton, Friday’s only, are fucking incredible. An hour to get them… but damn, between the crisped tortillas with pork lard melted into them, the ultra-smokey, chewy Mazatlan carne asada, fried cheese, and uniquely spicy, tart thin red and citrus-forward green avocado salsas… damn


#145

Following a failed excursion to Jlee’s chicken rice pop-up, ended up doing a little Al Pastor crawl in Ktown. Ended up at

  1. Leo’s @ Glendale Blvd, Echo Park. Finally got the real deal with the trompo out in the open. Loved it! Very flavorful with a nice char. Better than the one at La Guera

  2. Taco El Patio/La Chispita next to La Descarga lounge. I’ve driven past this place so many times over the years. Should have driven on… Not good at all. Trompo did not leave much of a char on the meat; after being sliced it was cooked over the hot plate briefly. Flavor was non descript, terrible deal too at $2/taco. Clearly caters to the post La Descarga scene

  3. Philma’s catering @ Melrose & Western Arco station. Located a few blocks south of La Descarga by the Arco station; looked promising given the decent number of customers milling around the truck. Decided to check it out after the dissapointing La Chispita. Trompo was in full operation with flames constantly licking the Al Pastor. Some of the slices were a bit too charred, flavor of the meat was just OK, not very pronounced seasoning however the heavy charring helped enhanced the flavor. Overall nothing to shout about.

Clockwise from top left Leo’s, La Chispita and Philma’s.


Wrapped up the night with ice cream from Salt and Straw. Very good - American chunky style ice cream. Nice, luscious creamy base. Note to self, double scoop portion is too much for one person…


#146

Nice report @Sgee. Thanks for taking one for the team. :slight_smile: Glad you ended the night on a good note.


#147

I can confirm this place is 11/10 after a night at La Descarga.


#148

Yeah, we were kinda stranded in Chinatown. Excellent re-grouping and a cup of Salt and Straw would remove the bitter taste out of anyone’s mouth… LOL!!

–Dommy!


#149

yeah, i tried that place next to la descarga and was underwhelmed as well.

“the most interesting man in the world” from the dos equis commericals frequents la descarga. it turns out that the most interesting man in the world is about 5’4" - there’s a reason why he’s either sitting down on in a shot where there’s no frame of reference to gauge his height,


#150

Underwhelmed = you weren’t drunk enough. Your taste buds should be fried from the cigars anyway.


#151

while i do enjoy cigars, i prefer milder ones. actually i went because my friend willie macneil leads the latin band that plays there on friday nights.


#152

Update 9:

Tio Flaco’s Tacos

Thanks to @OCSteve mentioning a taco shop in Orange County that did real Mesquite-Grilled Carne Asada Tacos. I couldn’t wait to try it out. :slight_smile:

Carne Asada Taco:

When we arrived, we noticed the mesquite charcoal & grill, however it seemed they finished grilling all their Carne Asada already (we showed up at 1 p.m., so lunch hour should still be in effect). I noticed them chopping our Carne Asada from steaks already grilled and keeping warm in a container.

However, my worries were alleviated when I took the first bite. Tender, lightly smoky Carne Asada. It was juicy and pretty darn good! :slight_smile: I think their fine dicing of the Carne Asada helped combat any chewiness (it was really tender). Their Corn Tortillas were made in-house and tasted fine.

Overall, this was a surprise and a very solid Carne Asada Taco. The only thing I worry about is how their product will hold up if you don’t show up during their lunch / rush hour? Would they continue to grill fresh Carne Asada, or just reheat previously grilled meat? For now, if you show up during high traffic times, it seems like a safe bet. Definitely some of the best Carne Asada I’ve had in the OC. Thanks @OCSteve.

Tio Flaco’s Tacos
18959 Magnolia Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Tel: (714) 593-9000

http://www.tioflacos.com/

Unnamed Taco Stand on West Adams & Orange Drive (L.A.)

Thanks to @President_Mochi, this was a conveniently located taco stand just south of the 10 Freeway in midtown. News of a trompo and Al Pastor spinning made it something we had to try. :slight_smile:

When we arrived, the trompo was out, but the meat wasn’t cooking very fast (it was still rather undercooked (as seen in the pic)). After ordering some Al Pastor Tacos, the taquero cut some of the partially cooked meat from the trompo and grilled it to finish cooking.

Al Pastor Tacos:

It was crisped and had some nice char, but it was mainly from the flat top grill. The flavors were OK. We all felt Leo’s and Tacos La Guera were better.

But their condiment bar was nice, as Mochi mentioned, with 3 types of fresh Salsas and crisp Cucumbers, Frijoles (Beans), Onions & Cilantro, Pickled Onions and Limes:

They also had a Beef Cecina Taco:

Which we thought tasted better than their Al Pastor. Slightly fatty, but tender enough.

Unnamed Taco Stand
West Adams Blvd. & Orange Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(Near La Brea & 10 Freeway)

Guerilla Tacos (Revisit)

I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve been to visit Chef Wes Avila & Guerilla Tacos. Maybe the 12th time? LOL. The menu (changes every day) sounded interesting, and PSA, Guerilla Tacos is back at Silverlake Wine on Thursday nights again!

Swordfish Taco with Chile de Arbol, Pickled Onion, Chives:

Moist, tender Swordfish, and the Chile de Arbol Salsa is perfect. :slight_smile:

Aguas Frescas (Strawberry Juice):

Today’s Aguas Frescas was Strawberry. And Wes Avila’s version is only lightly sweetened (a good thing), refreshing and tasting of fresh Strawberries. Outstanding! :slight_smile:

Pancetta and Potato Taco (Burnt Tomato Chile, Sumac Onion, Chives, Cherry Tomatoes, Aged Cheddar):

A crispy Taco Dorado style fried taco shell, the inside was this pleasing mix of Potatoes and slices of Pancetta, crisped up. The Aged Cheddar and Burnt Tomato Chile was interesting and made this taco even better.

Puerto Vallarta-style Crab Tacos (with Chipotle Crema, Raw Tomatillo Chile, Cilantro (3 tacos per order)):

I was hoping they were soft tacos, but they turned out to be deep-fried. The crunchy taco shells actually worked pretty well with the Crab, but I thought the Crab could’ve been a touch more fresh. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t have that super fresh sweetness from fresh cooked, live Dungeness Crab (which wouldn’t really be feasible in a tiny Taco Truck, understandably). It was OK, but I’d probably try something else next time.

Top Sirloin Beef Quesadilla (with Oaxacan Cheese, Roasted Radicchio, Chile Morita, Herbs):

While it looks rather somber and dark, the taste was the complete opposite: Delicious, savory thin seared Top Sirloin and the Roasted Radicchio added a bit of bitterness (very slight), and the gooey Oaxacan Cheese and the Chile Morita really added a nice touch.

Guerilla Tacos

Mondays (10 AM - 2 PM)
Blue Bottle - Arts District
582 Mateo St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Wednesdays (10 AM - 2 PM)
Cognoscenti Coffee
6114 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Thursdays (10 AM - 2 PM)
Blue Bottle - Arts District
582 Mateo St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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

Fridays (10 AM - 2 PM)
Blacktop Coffee
826 E 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Saturday (10 AM - 2 PM)
Blue Bottle - Beverly
8301 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Sunday (10 AM - 2 PM)
Blue Bottle - Venice
1103 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA

http://www.guerrillatacos.com/

Tacos Quetzalcoatl

Thanks to Streetgourmet LA for writing about a taco truck that had some great authentic Vegetarian Tacos. They serve Barbacoa de Borrego (Roasted Lamb) as well as other meats, but it was great to see them feature Vegetables prominently.

Omega-2 Taco (Calabacitas (Zucchini), Elote (Corn), Hongo (Mushroom), Espinacas (Spinach)):

This was a great Taco! :slight_smile: Being all vegetables, it was satisfying and tasty, the Mushrooms and Spinach were great, but the Zucchini and Corn added some nice texture and sweetness). Of course their great Condiments Bar helped:

When we arrived, they were fresh chopping up the vegetables and chilies and making fresh Salsa on the spot! I loved their Chile de Arbol Salsa: It was spicy, but not too much, and it was really fresh.

Their Pico de Gallo Salsa had Nopales (Cactus) mixed in (so good!), and their Guacamole was nice as well. Their Habanero Salsa was lethal, LOL. :slight_smile:

Adobo Taco:

Marinated Pork was heavily charred, but didn’t taste burnt. It was really crisped up, slightly sweet and tart.

Chicharron Prensado con Cuerito Taco (Pressed Pork Skin, Meat, Fat):

Haven’t seen Chicharron Prensado in many places so I couldn’t wait! :slight_smile: Imagine crispy bits of Pork Skin, mixed with softer, fattier bits and some meaty chunks all together… pan seared pork blast! :slight_smile:

Cecina Taco (Salted Dried Beef):

This one was about as tasty as the one from the Unnamed Taco Stand on Adams & Orange, salted, seared Beef. Their Guacamole really went well with the Cecina.

Barbacoa de Borrego Taco (Roasted Lamb) & Consomme:

Unfortunately, their Barbacoa Tacos (both their Maciza and Costilla cuts) were mediocre at best. Skip it in favor of Estilo Taxco Guerrero’s legendary version (or Aqui es Texcoco’s).

(Closed Wednesdays)
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri:
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Sat - Sun:
6 a.m. - 7 p.m.

(CASH ONLY)

Tacos Quetzalcoatl
Mon - Fri (Downtown):
S. Central Avenue & E. 8th Street
Los Angeles, CA

Sat - Sun (East L.A.):
E. Olympic Blvd. & S. Kern Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90022
Tel: (323) 392-4444

Loqui

I was intrigued by the Eater article announcing a new Carne Asada specialist heading to Culver City of all places. First a note to all:

Loqui is located inside of “Platform” an open-air mini-mall / mixed use area that is so ridiculously sleek and hipster-forward that it started to annoy all of us even before we got out of the car, LOL. :stuck_out_tongue: There is no signage from the street, so look for the trendy building with a bunch of tiny logos on a wall facing Washington Blvd.

I was worried about this place given the area (it seriously looked like it was a Hollywood movie set of some fashion designer trying to be hip or something), but once we ordered, things cleared up quickly.

The interior is simple and the menu is just as simple (thankfully). They only have 3 Tacos on the menu.

Mushroom Taco (with Handmade Flour Tortilla, Cheese, Beans, Guacamole, Onion, Cilantro, Salsa):

It looked a bit overdressed at first, but after one bite:

SO GOOD! :smile:

Really beautiful, deep, delicious Mushroom flavor bursting forth! Wow. I could seriously eat these all day! They are the best Vegetarian Tacos I’ve ever had.

Carne Asada Taco (with Handmade Flour Tortilla, Cheese, Beans, Guacamole, Onion, Cilantro, Salsa):

Loqui’s claim to fame is their Mesquite Charcoal Grilled Carne Asada, served with Flour Tortillas. It is a homage to the Baja-style Tacos the owners had in Mexico.

Loqui’s Carne Asada is LEGIT! :open_mouth:

It’s wonderfully smoky from the Mesquite Charcoal, tender, meaty, beefy and just DELICIOUS.

They use Tri-Tip for their Carne Asada, and the Mesquite flavor is prevalent but not overpowering. This is the best Carne Asada I’ve had on the Westside, easily.

Pollo Taco (with Handmade Flour Tortilla, Cheese, Beans, Guacamole, Onion, Cilantro, Salsa):

Their Chicken is grilled on their Mesquite Charcoal as well. It’s not as amazing as their Carne Asada, but it’s pretty good. It has a good smoky flavor, and the Chicken tastes fresh but might be a touch dry.

Disclaimer: We showed up just after they opened so they just finished grilling up the Carne Asada. It was juicy, hot, and very fresh. As we left, we noticed they weren’t grilling any more Carne Asada to order (obviously, they can’t cook each taco’s filling to order, or else it’d take too long).

I’m not sure how well their Carne Asada will hold up at odd hours of the day, but if they can keep making it in small batches (so it’s fresh), then I think we have a great place on the Westside for Tacos.

Unfortunately the hipster location means hipster prices: $5.50 per Taco is steep, but they are about twice as big as a regular Taco Truck Taco.

I would definitely return for more Mushroom Tacos and Carne Asada. I think Loqui’s Carne Asada is better than Tire Shop Taqueria’s version, and probably the 2nd best in the city now.

(Update: aaqjr has mentioned that Loqui has switched over to Pork Tacos (instead of Carne Asada).)

(Diagonally across from Surfas. Consider using the Metro Parking Lot across the street if you can’t find street parking.)

Mon - Thurs
11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Fri - Sat
11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. (or earlier if business is slow)

Loqui
8850 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
(no phone installed yet)

(Their website is ridiculously empty.)

Update 1: Loqui (Revisit)

Wanted to see if this place could maintain consistency and if it was as good as my first visit.

Mushroom Taco:

This was still pretty darn tasty. A really nice umami / mushroom aroma with each bite. I had a vegetarian friend try it as well and she loved it.

Carne Asada Taco:

This is the one I was most excited to retry, but I’d have to say, it tasted different from last week’s visit. It was much less smoky and lacked the wonderful mesquite aroma from last time. It was still tender, but without the mesquite infusion, it fell short. The kitchen staff was different from my first visit as well (not making excuses).

So in 2 visits, Loqui is mixed: If they can deliver Carne Asada like our first visit (with that great mesquite flavor), then it’s worth a visit. If it’s like the second visit, then the only thing I’d recommend is their Mushroom Taco (not to say the Carne Asada was “bad” - it was just OK).

Loqui
8850 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
(no phone installed yet)

Tacos Los Guichos

Tacos Los Guichos is supposed to have great Al Pastor, but only after 5:00 p.m. During the day, they have a variety of standard meats.

Tripas Taco:

Their Pork Intestines were extra crispy and crunchy, with some funk (which my offal-loving friends couldn’t get enough of LOL). They were some of the better Tripas Tacos I’ve had recently.

Birria Taco (Goat):

Their Stewed Goat Taco was really salty, and just average. I’ve been spoiled by Barbacoa y Birria Estilo Taxco, Guerrero’s version, which is infinitely better.

Torta Cubana (Cuban Sandwich):

I thought it was OK, but lacking a great seared bread, and the lusciousness.

But after 5 p.m. is when the trompo arrives. Apparently Tacos Los Guichos is so popular that they need two trompos to serve all the customers! Wow.

Al Pastor Taco:

It has a good crisped edge, and juicy marinated Pork. It’s really good, but I’d say I like Leo’s and Tacos La Guera more. If I was in this area, I’d probably stop by for some Al Pastor.

(CASH ONLY)

Tacos Los Guichos
320 W. Slauson Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90003

Tacos La Carreta

A huge thanks to Bill Esparza for talking about this Carne Asada specialist, which curiously is also located inside of a tire shop, but it’s not the famous “Tire Shop Taqueria.” Tacos La Carreta has a nice outdoor (tented) dining area, with fresh condiments on the tables.

They bring authentic Sinaloan style Mesquite Grilled Carne Asada Tacos to L.A. The first thing we noticed was the incredible smell, as they were grilling up more fresh Carne Asada over OG Mesquite Charcoal from Mexico.

I couldn’t wait!

Carne Asada Taco:

Took a bite:

Best thing I ate all weekend! :blush: :heart:

Real, wonderful Mesquite Charcoal flavor. The Carne Asada is juicy, it’s tender, and their Mesquite Charcoal from Mexico really makes it stand out. Their Tortillas are great as well.

Seriously the best Carne Asada I’ve had in L.A.! I like it better than Tire Shop Taqueria, better than Loqui and Tio Flaco’s. And it’s only $1.50 per taco which is ridiculous. :slight_smile: So worth it.

Carne Asada Chorreadas:

The helpful server explains that their Chorreadas are crispy, hard Tortillas topped with Carne Asada, Cheese and Pork Lard.

After the first bite, I thought it was just a crunchy Carne Asada Taco. It’s not that different. And then the 2nd bite was in the center and I got a big burst of Pork Lard melted with the Carne Asada / Tortilla.

Oh yah! That’s why this is a Chorreadas! LOL. :slight_smile: The melted Pork Lard mixed with the Carne Asada was delicious! :yum:

I think I like the simplicity of the Carne Asada Tacos more, but I’ll get a Chorreadas next time as well. :wink:

I can’t wait to go back!

Saturday & Sunday Only
3:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

(CASH ONLY)

Tacos La Carreta
(Inside HB Tire & Wheels Lot)
413 N. Wilmington Ave.
Compton, CA 90220
Tel: (562) 500-5581
(562) 377-2819

Tacos La Guera (Revisit)

After @Aesthete mentioned La Guera having great Suaderos Tacos, I wanted to revisit this shop. And I wanted to see if the trompo was out.

I can confirm that as we rolled up on a Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. the trompo was indeed out in full effect, with Pina (Pineapple) this time! There was a massive crowd and line as well.

Al Pastor Taco:

Unlike our first visit, this time they didn’t run out of Pineapple, and like Leo’s, they topped each Al Pastor Taco with a Pineapple slice. It was even better than our first visit! Crisped, seared edges, delicious, juicy, slightly sweet, savory Pork, spit-roasted over open flame. Excellent!

Like Leo’s, don’t get the Al Pastor if the trompo isn’t out and spinning. After this visit, I’d say I like both Leo’s and La Guera. Pretty close and different enough, but just as tasty. :slight_smile:

Suadero Taco:

Asking the server, he mentioned their Suadero was indeed quite popular, and it is pretty delicious! :slight_smile: Thanks to @Aesthete for the recommendation, it’s meaty, slightly fatty, soft, tender stewed chunks of Beef.

Carne Asada Taco:

La Guera’s Carne Asada Taco is different than many: They stew their Carne Asada instead of grilling it, and the result is a soft, “Stewed Beef” Taco. It doesn’t have a lot of flavor, but it’s decent, and fresh as they were stewing the Carne Asada non-stop! They sold as much Carne Asada as their Al Pastor.

Tacos La Guera
(Evenings only, 7 days a week, 5 p.m. - Midnight; through 1:00 a.m. on Fri - Sun)
Pico Blvd. & Hobart Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006


Dish of the Month (DoTM) – APRIL 2016 – VEGETABLE(S)
Culver City's New Fantastic Mushroom Tacos & Carne Asada Tacos - Loqui
Culver City's New Fantastic Mushroom Tacos & Carne Asada Tacos - Loqui
#153

This is insanely great. You are truly doing the Taco Lord’s work.

Have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised by your write-up of Loqui. Excited to try it now.


#154

thank you for your great taco reports.

i hope you and everyone who read this learned a lesson about prejudice.


#155

Amazing report!

The carne asada mulitas are also great at Tio Flaco’s. FWIW, most of my visits have been after peak hours close to closing time, and the meat has always tasted fresh and tender.


#156

You sir are a gentleman and scholar.


Taco Recommendations?
#157

Thanks @President_Mochi. :slight_smile:

Yah if you’re in the area definitely give Loqui a try. It’s one of the places I’m craving right now.


#158

@Chowseeker1999​:+1:t2::clap:t2:

There’s an elusive al pastor joint somewhere around around normandie & melrose & Beverly vicinity in Ktown on a smaller secondary alley.

Just a table and al pastor trompo, a bit like La Guera. I’ve failed to note the exact location and have not been able to find it since. Any ideas?


#159

Do you have any idea what Quetzalcoatl hours are??

Everyone else has hours except them. Did you just call to see if they were there/open?


#160

Hi @Sgee,

Darn it. I’ll try and keep my eyes open, but I might need a break from this. :stuck_out_tongue: Let me know if you try it first.

Hi @Aesthete,

Thanks for the catch. Let me update the hours in the post above:

(Closed Wednesdays)
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri:
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Sat - Sun:
6 a.m. - 7 p.m.


#161

Once again, incredible work, @Chowseeker1999! I was so excited about Loqui finally opening that I dragged my husband here this afternoon, but didn’t notice that your review said they’re closed on Sunday. Well, I learned my lesson by going with the hours posted on Yelp… I’m going to try that mushroom taco someday. It looked wonderful in your review.