Ξ November 26th, 2007 | → 6 Comments | ∇ 90065, Food |
I was enjoying the downtown renaissance a few weekends ago when some friends and I stopped by the Redwood Bar and Grill for a few drinks. A member of our group is friends with a waitress named Carrie there who was pretty excited to find out a few of us lived in Highland Park. We chatted about the nightlife and couldn’t avoid the defining eastside question of what Mexican places do you like. We swapped a few recommendations when she dropped El Atacor #11 on me. She was astounded that I hadn’t eaten there yet and swore to me that the potato would “change your life” (I assume for the better). After playing the “Where exactly on Figueroa in Highland Park is this place” game for a while, she finally broke it down to “It’s right across the street from the Home Depot”. I said, “You mean the one in Cypress Park?” To which she responded “No the one in Highland Park.” Well to keep a short and pointless story at least short, she insisted that my referring to that neighborhood as Cypress Park clearly branded me an outsider as anyone from LA called it Highland Park. Now I’m not too concerned with appearing to be from LA (The Chargers jersey and Padres hat usually give me away) but she was so insistent that it’s bugged me ever since. I couldn’t fathom that Highland Park was quite at the point where adjacent neighborhoods would appropriate its name (a la any business called Beverly Hills _______ that isn’t in Beverly Hills.) Is this a positive reflection on Highland Park or just a really negative one on Cypress Park?
At the very least, it gave me food for thought when I stopped in the other day, prepared to have my life changed. Now I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting from a potato taco, but I was relatively nonplussed (possibly as a result of Carrie’s hyperbole?) The type of potato taco served here is, according to my girlfriend, common in Guadalajara. It consists of mashed potatoes stuffed inside a small tortilla, deep fried, and then served with veggies, salsa, and guacamole on top. All in all, they were decent, but I found myself enjoying the al pastor and asada more. To El Atacor’s credit, they are open late and located next to Footsie’s (a neighborhood dive bar) so I can see how that kind of fried comfort food can seem life-altering at 2am. Still, the highlight of the excursion was the authentic Mexican soda. I don’t mean Fanta or Vita, but Squirt, Coke, Pepsi, etc all bottled in Guadalajara, Mexico with the unmistakable higher concentration of syrup to water proportion than what we get in the states. Even the bottles had that grimy, recycled since 1975 look about them. One more plus for El Atacor is that they serve bottled beer until 10pm and they offer 10 tacos for $9.99, making it the hypothetical home of the “100 tacos for $100? of Simpsons fame (providing adequate sustenance for the Dr. Who marathon). So grab a soda, try the tacos de papas for yourself, throw a song you’ve never heard of on their jukebox, and pretend your in Guadalajara for a few minutes.
El Atacor #11
2622 N. Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90065