Who has better carne asada: Los Angeles or San Diego? Some Chowhounds, like mexcellentfood and LuluTheMagnificent, think that Los Angeles carne asada can't compare to the carne asada burritos and tacos available farther south. (There are even some hounds who think you can't find great carne asada anywhere in the States.) BrewNChow agrees: "If you're trying to get that San Diego taco shop taste, you'll go through too much disappointment wading through all the places that won't pass muster."
CulverJack, on the other hand, enjoyed San Diego carne asada burritos for years, but now that he's in LA, he doesn't miss them at all. Regarding the San Diego carne asada: "[M]y take was that the meat had little/no char, lots of pepper, was often 'wet' or steamy (maybe from being chopped or sitting for a while). The burritos were good and maintained a beefy flavor since they would have only guac plus a bit of onion/cilantro inside."
In LA, on the other hand, there are probably a thousand taquerias and other restaurants serving carne asada, says CulverJack. "I think it's safe to say LA lacks very, very little when it comes to Mexican food—regional, street, whatever." Some of his favorite carne asada spots are Pinches Tacos for the quality of the meat and for the tangy roasted tomatillo salsa, and El Parian, which serves great carne asada (except maybe once or twice out of 15 visits, says CulverJack, but "this is a place where 80% of folks are eating birria, so what do you expect?").
Servorg recommends Mexicali Taco & Co. for carne asada tacos (no burritos), and Burger Boy agrees. Jwsel thinks the carne asada at Talpa is very flavorful, and Tacos San Pedro in Hawaiian Gardens has wonderful carne asada, says A5 KOBE—definitely the meat to get here. "I especially like the flautas because they put the same carne asada meat in those as well," A5 KOBE says.
Pinches Tacos [West Hollywood]
8200 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood
Pinches Tacos [Westside - Beaches]
395 Santa Monica Place #378, Santa Monica
Pinches Tacos [Mid-City]
8665 Washington Boulevard, Culver City
El Parian [Downtown]
1528 W. Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles
Mexicali Taco & Co. [Downtown]
702 N. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles
Talpa [Westside - Inland]
11751 W. Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles
Tacos San Pedro [South LA]
11962 Carson Street, Hawaiian Gardens