Well, after some pretty lame experiences with the "super hyped" trucks of note and a few uninspired East Los tacos in the wee hours, I found a great taco stand right here in the Valley. My best finds lately have come from taqueros cooking from comales de acero, the metal discs with convex centers surrounded by a well for frying. These are used all over Mexico from fish tacos in Baja to tacos de trompa on the streets of D.F. Tacos y Cemitas "Chave" exists in a little taco tent erected in the no-man's land on the edge of Sun Valley heading to Pacoima. Don't be alarmed by the industrial lonliness that surrounds this tent, as it is a known stop by borrachos after hitting the clubs, couples coming from the dance hall decked out and perfumed, homies lookin' for a snack, and the odd traveler passing through.
The comal de acero with mingled meats dammed by links of longaniza or chorizo keeps moisture and flavors well.The meats are brought to the center to grill before serving and the tortillas are heated with some of the juice to flavor. Onions and nopales are grilled and simmered in the dark liquids of carnes.Here the best bets are suadero, chorizo, buche, and cabez from the well. Ask for a taco de nopal with onion for a rare treat.
Covered under plastic, carnes al vapor like lengua and cueritos(skin) are steamed to order. All the tacos are great here, even the carne asada and al pastor, although they are not of interest to me as they are in the well as opposed to the grill and trompo respectively. I haven't tried the cemitas here yet, but these guys are from Puebla, the home of cemitas poblanas, so give 'em a go.
The suadero at Tacos y Cemitas Chave is the star here, tender, bursting with flavor, and served with some proper condiments and soul. These are not a couple of guys just trying to make a buck doing whatever, they are taqueros for better or worse. At $1.25 per you will taste the difference.
Tacos y Cemitas Chavez
Lankershim on the east side of the street at Neenach
right before Lankersim ends at San Fernando Rd.
Sun Valley, CA
Sun-Thurs. 6PM-10PM(closed Tuesdays)