Ξ June 4th, 2009 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Highland Park |
I’ll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up. and this is what ye have shipped for men! to chase that white whale on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till he spouts black blood and rolls fin out. – Captain Ahab, from Melville’s Moby Dick
This week a friend was home from his Spanish and Portuguese graduate school program, and as a fellow Oxy grad, he loves coming home to wander through East LA looking for street food that they don’t get in New Jersey. Previous trips had taken us on various Los Angeles odysseys, but this time, we would be hunting for the elusive and mythical Eastside Tacos Arabes truck. So, my quest wasn’t one of revenge, I didn’t plan on harpooning the truck, and it wasn’t nearly as Biblical in scope as Ahab’s, but this truck was my personal white whale. I had been introduced to Arabes during a recent trip to Mexico, and I was determined to find a suitable facsimile closer to home. Rumors of an Echo Park truck had proved false, and unless Taco Inn expands north (please do), “Somewhere on Olympic east of Soto” was the only chance I had.
Well, it turns out those directions were anticlimactically accurate. I wandered a bit, but Vernon isn’t quite as remote as the Norway Maelstrom. It turns out, Crazy Taco, and its benign Popcatepetl mural, hides its wares on the corner of Olympic and Esperanza. A yellow banner only advertises their Arabes and Cemitas to westbound traffic, which might explain some of the earlier nighttime difficulty in locating it. I’ll save you a drawn out foodie deconstruction of every flavor and ingredient but it was good. The pork was similar to shawarma and was wrapped in a thicker flour tortilla filled with melted cheese. Allegedly, the Arabe derives its name from the Arab immigrants to Mexico who brought their style of seasoning with them and then fused it with Mexican cuisine. That’s a fusion taco I can get with.