This past summer to fall I've been back and forth between LA and Visalia. The summers in LA are no doubt some of the best times any red-blooded American can experience, with great weather, beaches, mountains and an event list that spills outta LA Weekly. But this year I had a longing to be back in Visalia, closer to family and friends, and mountains and rivers that I've grown to love. Seriously, there's not much better than kickin it at the river on a hot summer day throwin back cans of beer with friends. Only problem, LA has tacos...Visalia has tacos, but not like LA. It's different, the variety and quantity of tacos in LA is vast, almost immeasurable. Visalia, yeah, I can count how many places on my hand that are "worthy" of scoping out for a first time. Point is, when in LA, I ALWAYS check out new spots. This last time was El Chato Taco Truck, a drunken favorite of many bar and club goers on their way home from a night of partying.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
EL CHATO TACO TRUCK
They don't have a salsa bar. Their menu is limited: tacos, burritos and quesadillas only. The meats consist of asada, pastor, cabeza, lengua, buche, pollo and chorizo. I don't know how big their burritos are, but I can say their tacos are super small, like the smallest taco imaginable, about 3 1/2 inch diameter, so $1 for a taco isn't all that amazing.
*5 tacos :) 2 pastor, 2 asada, 1 cabeza
WITH THAT SAID, this place is definitely among some of the best tacos I've tasted in here in LA, and I've been to plenty of spots. The quality was amazing because of their execution and obvious experience in serving up quality food.
Finely chopped and well seasoned. Great execution. Meat was super tender in your mouth because of the thin cut of meat that was finely chopped.
My favorite of the three meats I had, the pastor was juicy, tender and had a nice char from the heat while turning on the spit. Oh yeah, here's the key, this place has REAL pastor served on a spit...with a piece of pineapple on top. I've come to notice that most places don't serve real pastor on a spit, only pastor that's basically a marinated pork. The only way, I believe, pastor can be done is cooked on a rotating spit...and this place does that.
I'm not a huge cabeza fan, (I've only had it 3x in my life) but I ordered it anyways to see if these guys can really blow me away. The flavor was right on, but I'm just not a fan of the gooey soft texture. But this place did have the best cabeza I've had outta the 3x I've had it.
The tortillas are dipped in the cooking oil and heated up on the grill, which made the taco a bit greasy, maybe best kept for those long drunken nights...or for horrible morning hangovers. The salsa was satisfactory, nice heat that didn't destroy your mouth to any of the other great flavors that come with your food.
Like I said, these tacos are SMALL, so I ordered three more pastor :) But this time around they really doused em' with their salsa, which killed it for me. I think the best way to go here is get the tacos with the salsa roja on the side.
4 outta 5 for these bad boys.
Tacos ~ $1.00
El Chato Taco Truck ~ On the corner of La Brea Ave and Olympic Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90019
Posted by Brown Dolphin at 6:07 PM