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Old 12-24-2009, 04:34 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
30 posts, read 47,977 times
Reputation: 35

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Hello,

I recently moved to the LA area (well, San Gabriel Valley) and I'm looking for some locals to tell me where I can find the "real" taco stands/shops with great quality. There's tons of chains here, but obviously, I want to find the real deal. Any help?
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:02 AM
 
3,128 posts, read 4,819,058 times
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What do you mean by "real"?

If you are looking for authentic, try king taco, tacos Mexico, or just about any taco stand in a mostly Latino community. Double tortilla, meat, onion, cilantro, and hot sauce. Not much quality to be had.

Or are you looking for something else?
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:52 AM
 
10,141 posts, read 14,904,073 times
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Where in the SGV do you live? There are so many taco places it's hard to start. Pasadena has tons of them. Burrito Express on Washington Blvd is good. El Taquito Mexicano now has places on both Fair Oaks Avenue and on north Lake Ave in Pasadena (it's a new location and I haven't been there yet, but the food at the original was good and "real"). Senor Fish in South Pasadena has good potato tacos.

And not technically SGV, but very clsoe, Highland Park (next to South Pasadena) is filled with lots of "real" options. You're also not that far from East LA. You should never have to eat at a chain if you don't want to; in addition to the permanent buildings you can usually pretty quickly find a taco truck, and some of those are pretty good, too.

In Hollywood we used to go to Dos Burritos on Hollywood Blvd all the time.

Check out Jonathan Gold's excellent book, "Counter Intelligence." He has lots of reviews of places in the SGV (and beyond). He also has a column in LA Weekly.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:26 AM
 
Location: GLAMA
16,585 posts, read 20,518,608 times
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Unless you like bland ground beef tacos in pre-made hard taco shells (think: school cafeteria tacos) stay away from Henry's Tacos on Moorpark in NoHo.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,867,493 times
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Around 11AM during the week, look for a taco joint with a bunch of old, beat up, pickup trucks with lawn care equipment in the back.

If it is county rated "A", go somewhere else. Don't settle for anything higher than a "B".

That's where the good stuff is.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Northridge, Los Angeles, CA
2,685 posts, read 3,896,928 times
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I've always been partial to Rigo's Tacos in North Hollywood on Vanowen and Klump. I usually go here whenever I'm really drunk with friends and in the area. There's also a taco truck called 'Taco Zone' that's usually along Victory next to the Target between 7 PM- 5 AM that always filled me needs.

Since you are in the SGV, I would suggest King's Taco in East LA. You can't really shy away from the fact that its in East LA, but naturally, the best Mexican food would be there since the area is 99.8% Mexican (there aren't even any other Latin nationalities, JUST MEXICAN!)

Honestly, authentic Mexican tacos aren't really that hard to make. All you need to do is get a cut of steak or beef, and season it with salt and lemon/lime. Then you pan fry it until the juices evaporate and the meat is brown/nearly crisp. At that point, you just cut it up, put it in a taco, and serve it with some freshly cut onions, cilantro, and your favorite salsa (I make my own homemade with boiled tomatoes and jalapeno peppers).

Don't settle for the hard shell, ground beef stuff. It's not even that good.
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:19 PM
 
Location: In them thar hills
8,040 posts, read 10,032,522 times
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I used to visit one near Sepulveda and Olympic, but cannot recall its name. This was like 25 years ago so it might not be there any more.
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:01 PM
 
Location: SoCal
281 posts, read 315,670 times
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Carnitas Michoacan @ 1901 North Broadway in Lincoln Heights, corner of North Broadway and Avenue 19. Open 24 hours and serves the best tacos. Use to be the Key Drive-In burger joint when I was in high school. You'll see cops, firemen and locals there at all hours.
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:03 PM
 
5,004 posts, read 5,271,994 times
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Taco stands Los Angeles
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:05 PM
 
Location: GLAMA
16,585 posts, read 20,518,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnHawk View Post
Carnitas Michoacan @ 1901 North Broadway in Lincoln Heights, corner of North Broadway and Avenue 19. Open 24 hours and serves the best tacos. Use to be the Key Drive-In burger joint when I was in high school. You'll see cops, firemen and locals there at all hours.
Ewwww... firemen.
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