Taco Crawl from Eastside to “Eastside”

Ξ February 7th, 2009 | → Comments Off | ∇ 90041, 90042, Beyond Northeast, Food, Highland Park |

Hungry at Tacos El Galuzo

Hungry at Tacos El Galuzo

Do you lock the cars when a Mexican walks the row of traffic trying to sell you oranges?  Refuse to stop for gas on the 5 until you’re past downtown?  Never exited the 10 between Santa Monica and Vegas?  Then we here at Yorkblvd have a treat for you.  We love bragging about all things east of the 5, and last weekend we took a group of Westsiders on a taco odyssey.  Beginning in the Eastside that lights up with delicious taco stands, we ended our evening in the Eastside where you can sip Belgian beers and drink cucumber water with your potato and chipotle tacos.

The map:

View Larger Map

Stops in red were added en route while the one green placemark represents the churros truck in Echo Park that had left before we arrived.

The playlist:

1. Volver Volver – Vicente Fernandez 2. Guadalajara – Mariachi Vargas de Guadalajara 3. La Bruja – Lila Downs 4. Me Vale – Mana 5. Como Te Extrano Mi Amor – Cafe Tacuba 6. El Matador – Los Fabulosos Cadillacs 7. Entre Dos Tierras – Heroes del Silencio 8. Sirena – Sin Bandera 9. Caraluna – Bacilos 10. Eres – Cafe Tacuba 11. Gimme the Power – Molotov 12. Si Senor – Control Machete 13. Machete – Daddy Yankee 14. El Mellao – Voltio 15. The Anthem – Pitbull 16. Frijolero – Molotov.

The rules:

1.  Something must be consumed at each truck on the itinerary.  Vegetarianism/organicism/veganism is not an excuse.  You may be able to eat quesadillas or even find a vegetarianish dish on occasion but if you’re really that picky, you’re on the wrong tour.  A single lime, radish, or even grilled onion count towards meeting this requirement.

2.  Once we arrive at the first truck, only surface streets may be taken until the tour is over.  Freeways are a scar that divide communities and insulate commuters from the neighborhoods they drive through.

3.  Only music in Spanish may be played once the tour commences.

The results:

7.  Elotes on Figueroa - We stopped here around 11:00 as a vegetarian alternative.  My description of esquites to the group somehow translated as “mayonnaise soup”, so everyone settled on the elotes that had been barbecuing for hours.  As a result, they were pretty dry.

6.  Taco El Ariza on Sunset – El Ariza was a victim of being our last stop.  We were full and to be fair, I can only judge the place based on their lengua.  They had some nice lights strung around the truck but that only made it darker when the generator died.

5. Tacos El Galuzo – The fertile grill from which the taco resistance has organized was our first stop and a big hit.  The tripe and Pastor were the highlights, while the vegetarian crowd wasn’t too happy with the quesadillas.

4. La Que Si Llena – “The one who fills you up” lived up to her name as this may have been a tipping point for several of those whose eyes were bigger than their stomachs.  The tacos were big (some complained too big) but my favorite quote here was from an oxtail lover:  “What a taco truck should be, greasy delicious and tasty”.

3.  Leo’s on Eagle Rock Blvd. – Most members of our crowd went to the Oxy staple, but Rambo’s, just down the block, has always taken the award for best mural.  Leo’s edged out the last two trucks mostly based on the votes of the vegetarian community.  They were very pleased with the veggie burrito.

2. La Estrella – Their famous salsa helps them towards the top of the list.  Despite what CNN might have you believe, carnitas and asada are the meats of choice here.  Take it from someone who didn’t just cull their research from the internet.

1. Tacos El Korita - Korita refers to someone from the Mexican state of Nayarit and if this is how tacos are made there, I’ll be spending my summer camping on the beach in Punta de Mita cartel war or no.  Birria, a rarity at trucks, was a favorite, as was the selection of condiments.  However, homemade (this is worth repeating in Spanish) hecho a mano tortillas sealed the deal.  I asked a few sheriff’s deputies in line if they had ticketed El Korita when Gloria Molina’s taco truck ordinance was still in effect.  Their response? “Let’s just say the Los Angeles Sherriff’s Department never ticketed this particular truck”. 

Four hours, close to a dozen tacos, and twenty miles later, we were sweating grease and ready to be rolled into bed.  Still, fifteen Angelenos were introduced to the taco culture that we here at Yorkblvd are so fond of.  If we can spread the word to the Marina del Rey’s and Brentwood’s of the world, there will be no stopping us.  Viva!

Last call at Tacos Arizas

Last call at Tacos Arizas

 

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