The tacos here are so incredibly rich and delicious (lots of different braised meats), which is fine because they are also small. The tortillas are made there and are super special.
There are a few locations of this taco truck, but I think the greatest one is parked inside a car wash parking lot on the corner of Glendale and Temple. They are some of the best al pastor tacos you can find, maybe anywhere, and definitely some of the best tacos in Los Angeles, period.
3. Carne Asada or Al Pastor at La Reyna
This cart is in front of the restaurant, which has wonky hours, so this isn’t always the best place for a pilgrimage. That said, if you’re lucky enough to catch them open, you’ll be rewarded greatly with tortillas smeared in carne asada juices which they use to make their excellent tacos.
So, these aren’t fried shrimp tacos in the way you’re probably thinking: They’re not filled with fried shrimp. Instead, the tortillas are filled with a shrimp paste and then the whole thing is deep fried. Then they get topped with avocado and salsa. Despite how truly unique they are, I kinda think that these tacos are the standard to which all seafood tacos should be held.
5. Hard-Shell Potato Tacos at El Atacor #11
It’s basically like eating deep fried mashed potatoes smothered in salsa, shredded cheese and sour cream. It’s a baked potato taco, is what I’m saying. AND IT’S INCREDIBLE.
I grew up on Tito’s, so I have an especially tender spot in my heart for these tacos. But beyond that, they are so unique and unlike any taco in L.A. They are filled with shredded beef, DEEP FRIED, and topped with shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and lots of shredded cheddar cheese. They are skinny enough that you could fuck up at least three at a time, but they *are* fried, so don’t be a hero.
PRO TIP: If you’re traveling out of LAX, this is a great spot to hit up right before you get on or right after you get off the plane.
It’s called TACOS AL PASTOR so obviously they do it right. Also, they have really great HORCHATA.
This is a cart outside a grocery store parking lot where the only seats are milk crates, and it’s perfect that way.
*Actually in L.A., not Ensenada, and the best thing about this fish taco spot is the shrimp taco. Is down up? Is up down? I don’t even know what’s real anymore.
They have a salsa bar that will blow your mind, a crazy amount of cabbage to apply with reckless abandon, and some really awesome pickled onions and radishes that are not optional here.
If you want to take things to a whole other level, get a side of the queso fundido and dip the taco into it.
11. Carne Asada (or literally anything) at El Chato Taco Truck
These are the tacos that every taco in Los Angeles wants to be. They truly are perfectly small, just greasy enough, almost-too-spicy-but-just-right little miracles.
They fit into the palm of your hand and come with the most incredible tomatillo-chile salsa– which is to say you could totally eat at least four before you’d start asking yourself “do I need another one?” (You do.)
Jackfruit tacos are ALL THE RAGE rn because they are vegan tacos that taste like pork (or, kinda like pork). This teeny blue taco truck in Highland Park slings “plant-based” tacos, but they are just as good as animal-based ones.
Ricky, I love you and your fish tacos. I love them because when I eat there it’s like going to your house and sitting in your sunny backyard and eating all the tacos and drinking a watermelon agua fresca and it’s like I moved in but I don’t pay rent and it’s great.
I get mine without crema because I feel like it makes the crispy fried part all soggy, but if you must have crema, go ahead and live your life.
15. Chorizo and Octopus Taco at Guerilla Tacos
OK, definitely unconventional, but nevertheless important. Also, their fish tostadas are some of the best things you can put in your mouth.