Culver City's New Fantastic Mushroom Tacos & Carne Asada Tacos - Loqui

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is that taco seriously $5.50?

2nd best in the city = what’s the best in the city for your taste buds?

Hi @Nemroz,

Yah, LOL. Hence my comment about the prices in the above post. :slight_smile:

But I found it to be delicious, so if I’m in Culver City I’d be glad to stop by once in a while if watching my budget.

Hi @Ns1,

I found it on the same journey as Loqui the same night at Tacos La Carreta. Posted some pics in the other thread here. Thanks! :slight_smile:

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Also wanted to mention Sonoritas on Sawtelle which also grills over mesquite, the rib eye taco was really good and took the smoke well the others I don’t remember being too exciting but it’s an option west of the 405

I forgot to ask in the other thread, how is the salsa at this place?

Hi @Aesthete,

I don’t know. I wanted to try their Tacos “as is”. :slight_smile: What they had on the Tacos were good, matched the flavors well.

There is salsa on the taco in your photo though… So I am guessing that means it was so completely flavorless that you didn’t even notice it, nor remember it despite having photo evidence of having eaten it… very disappointing =/

Hi @Aesthete,

LOL, no no. Not flavorless or else I wouldn’t have thought it was a great taco. :slight_smile: I thought you were talking about the salsa bar at many taquerias (choice of 2 - 4 additional salsas, etc.).

I was more enamored with the Mesquite Carne Asada (and Mushrooms) in the Tacos than focusing on the Salsa. I thought it gave off just enough piquant zest, while not overpowering it (that was the most important thing for me). Thanks.

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I very respectfully disagree with the OP. I tried these today–there are literally dozens of better tacos in LA, maybe even hundreds, at a fraction of the price.

Today was my first visit to the Platform. I almost couldn’t believe it was real. It’s like a real life build out of Entertainment 720 from Parks and Recreation. This place is hell on earth.

Ordered three tacos at Loqui. Came out to 16.50. The chicken was bland, bland, bland. Really, all three tacos lacked any flavor. The best part of them is the handmade flour tortilla. But here’s the deal–this is just an OKAY handmade flour tortilla. It pales in comparison to the beauties you find at Burritos La Palma and Tortilleria Azteca. In the end you’re paying a lot for handmade flour tortilla tacos with filling that is not discernably better than Chipotle. Which is a crime considering the proximity to, say, Anaya or Leo’s. Also–three tacos was fine in terms of a portion, but it was less filling than, say, three Guisados tacos.

It wouldn’t surprise me if this is a financial success given the Soul Cycle crowd at Platform. But I will not be returning.

Hi @Haeldaur,

Thanks for your report back. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, so I’m bummed to hear about your visit.

I would have to say you might want to lay off the hyperbole a bit (really, it’s about the same as Chipotle?), but I’m always looking for recommendations so I decided to check out all of the places Haeldur mentioned as being better:

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. I usually eat vegetarian / vegan / non-meat a few times a week, just because I like vegetables a lot, and to try and balance out all the heavy food as well LOL. :wink: So I don’t know what to say other than my friends and I all thought it was still delicious, but I like food on the less salty side.

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)

Leo’s Tacos #1

There’s a reason no one talks about Leo’s Tacos’ Carne Asada, but since Haeldur mentioned this, I decided to revisit them to try it.

Carne Asada Taco:

It’s salty, full of fat and gristle, and overly chewy. It tastes of salt and pepper and paprika(?) and very generic. They are also tiny, so you’d need about 3 of these tacos (at $1.25 each) to have the same amount of filling at Loqui.

And? No Mushroom Tacos.

I love Leo’s Tacos, but for their Al Pastor on the trompo, not for the mediocre Carne Asada.

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

Taqueria Los Anaya

I like Los Anaya for its family operation and feel, for its Flautas and a few other dishes. But I don’t remember liking their Carne Asada, but since Haeldur recommended this place…

Carne Asada Taco:

The Carne Asada is partially burnt (as you can see from the pic), and rubbery. It was the chewiest Carne Asada from this entire run today. :frowning: It is also very underseasoned. Tasting the Beef by itself it’s even more apparent.

And No Mushroom Tacos.

Taqueria Los Anaya
4651 W Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016
Tel: (323) 731-4070

La Azteca Tortilleria

It’s been about 3 years or so since I last visited La Azteca. I had forgotten about it. I do vaguely remember enjoying their Handmade Flour Tortillas years ago, but not enough to make me want to revisit it.

Carne Asada Taco:

You can see them making their Tortillas and see them grilling Carne Asada (and other meats) on the flat top grill behind the cash register. I was excited and hopeful.

Except the Carne Asada and the Flour Tortilla tasted of rancid oil. :weary: It was off-putting and disappointing. I tore off some of their Handmade Flour Tortilla and while the heft and rustic qualities were appreciated, the oily nature of the coating and the rancid quality ruined it.

The Carne Asada itself was gross. A salt bomb, overly chewy and not even close to Loqui’s version.

But while there, might as well try their famous Chile Relleno Burrito:

It is a true gut bomb; a huge gargantuan mess of a burrito with the oozing Chile Relleno inside. I didn’t notice the rancid oil as much because of the ton of other ingredients inside the burrito. It was also much better than the Carne Asada Taco.

And No Mushroom Taco.

La Azteca Tortilleria
4538 E. Cesar E Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90022
(323) 262-5977

Burritos La Palma

I remember reading the Bill Esparza article on this place, but didn’t get around to visiting it yet. I thought they only served Burritos there, but since Haeldur mentioned this place, I wanted to give it a shot.

Sadly, they don’t serve Carne Asada Tacos here, nor any Tacos. They serve Burritos. I know the article mentioned these are more like “rolled tacos,” but talking with the manager, they laughed and said, no, their menu items are definitely “burritos” and are not “tacos” in any way.

So there’s no way to compare Burritos La Palma to Loqui. If Haeldur is trying to complain about the Flour Tortillas and saying they’re better here, that’s like saying Old Country Cafe’s Pork Chop Rice has a problem with the rice since Com Tam Quy Cap’s Com Tam Bi Cha Thit Nuong’s Broken Rice is better. Uh… Apples and oranges?

But I was glad to visit this place since I had it bookmarked for a while.

Deshebrada Burrito (Stewed Beef with Potatoes):

The manager mentioned that this is a Beef Stew, slowly cooked for over 4 hours every morning. Sounded great.

And it was a fantastic Burrito! The Beef Stew had a nice warming quality, and the Potatoes added a nice lush softness to each bite.

I tore off some of the Flour Tortilla and it was awesome! :slight_smile: These are the best Handmade Flour Tortillas I’ve had in L.A. so far. :heart: Very fresh and not oily nor rancid like the failure at La Azteca.

Birria Burrito:

Their Birria is made with Beef, and is another type of slowly simmered stew. It’s spicier than their Deshebrada and much saltier. I’d skip it and get their Deshebrada for sure.

And No Mushroom Taco.

Burritos La Palma
5120 Peck Rd.
El Monte, CA 91732
Tel: (626) 350-8286

Chipotle

Ah yes, this bastion of Fast Food that gave America E. Coli, Haeldur mentioned it in his post. I hadn’t been to a Chipotle in years (and generally avoid fast food), but maybe there was something here.

Carne Asada Taco:

Generic, mass produced Flour Tortilla. The Carne Asada meat was mealy, having a disturbing textural quality, and a massive salt and spice bomb. It was so coated and infused with salt and whatever Chipotle spices they put into it, you couldn’t taste anything else except spices and salt. It was disgusting. :frowning:

And No Mushroom Taco.

Chipotle (Nationwide)
http://www.chipotle.com/

In the end Haeldur, you have every right to your opinion and I’m glad you reported back. But to claim all of these places are better than Loqui for their Carne Asada Taco and Mushroom Taco, when all of them were far worse (or didn’t even serve Carne Asada) and none of them served Mushroom Tacos, leaves me puzzled.

But I respect your opinion. I’m glad you enjoy all of those other places’ version of Carne Asada and No Mushroom Tacos.

Huge thanks Haeldur for the Burritos La Palma push, I was glad I went out to try it finally. They really do make the best Flour Tortillas I’ve tasted so far! :slight_smile: I would say I wish I was able to revisit many of the places I go to multiple times like our old Hounds used to (and veterans like @Porthos and @ipsedixit and many others still do). The first post was from a Taco walkabout my friends and I did for fun. Visiting 9 places nearly non-stop, we weren’t able to revisit Loqui multiple times before reporting, so that’s unfortunate. If we were able to, I wouldn’t have been as excited about the place (given my 2nd visit today).

But at least we agree that Loqui’s location is nightmare :stuck_out_tongue:, and I think their pricing is ridiculous. Definitely agree. If their future quality is like my 2nd visit, I’d retract my recommendation for the place as nothing more than a neighborhood joint to get some tender, smokeless Carne Asada, and tasty Mushroom Tacos. If it’s like my 1st visit, then I think it’s great. Thanks.

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one of the coolest posts i’ve read in a while.

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If that’s the quality of the competition I def recommend Sonoritas lol.

Very nicely done.

I had no idea it COULD be made with beef. Since I was a bahhhhhhhhhhhby, I thought Birria = Goat.

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Only in Zacatecas man.

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Finally had the chance to try Loqui yesterday, and I have to say, I was really impressed!

First, those flour tortillas they make in-house really are as great as people say. I also really like how they put cheese, beans, guacamole, and salsa on every taco. They’re almost like mini-burritos, which makes them larger and more filling than your average street taco.

In terms of fillings, I ordered the mushroom (of course!) and carne asada. Both were extremely flavorful, with the mushroom packing an umami punch and the asada having a nice smoky flavor from the mesquite. Between the two, however, I think I preferred the asada.

My only complaint was that the fillings were a little on the watery side. I think mine had been sitting in the steam tray for a while stewing in their own juices. The mushrooms released so much liquid my tortilla tore halfway through. The asada tasted almost braised like suadero.

Still, the flavor profiles were on point, and I will definitely be returning, especially with that awesome new Blue Bottle right next door.

PS: If you go on a weekday, don’t count on parking in the CC metro station lot. When I stopped by yesterday, there wasn’t a single space available! Also, be prepared to wait. The word is out and there was a line at lunch.

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Stopped by Sonoritas on Sawtelle the other day for comparison purposes. I ordered two rib-eye tacos, which are $4.95 each (~$1 more than their carne asada) and come with pickled onions and guacamole on flour tortillas.

On the plus side, the meat was very high quality, with firm texture and a pronounced smokey taste from the mesquite. Also, orders come with chips and homemade salsa, which are reasonably tasty.

On the down side, the tacos themselves were small – maybe 2/3 the size of their Loqui counterparts – and without beans or cheese. Also, while the flour tortillas were tasty at Sonoritas (they supposedly import them from Sonora) they lacked the flavor and texture of the freshly made ones at Loqui.

Both are quite good, and I love that I can get rib-eye at Sonoritas, but I think I ultimately prefer Loqui. The tacos are more filling and the flour tortillas are just so good.

I’m glad someone else tried Sonoritas. While I’m not in love with them, they do get the smokey flavor of the rib eye right. The main fault with the tortilla it that they heat it too gently imo they should have a bit of char as well.

I’ll have to try Loqui but beans and cheese seem like filler on a carne asada taco and carne asada should never have a braised texture… I am a bit concerned.