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Carnitas Tacos in West Valley

TomSwift | May 25, 2004 12:11 PM

Based on the 9/13/02 post by Ethan T. (I don't know how I managed to find that last week) I tried Casa de Tacos (7300 Topanga Cyn Blvd, Canoga Park). Open 24/7, which is a plus. Tacos are .85 with spicy, flavorful salsa. The meats are carnitas, asada, al pastor, pollo, sesos, tripas, milanesa, cabeza, lengua, chorizo and buche. I first tried two tacos: carnitas and asada. Both were good. The asada is cubed, the pork shredded. However, all the meats are served directly from a steam table, not off the grill, so neither was very crispy, which I prefer. The asada had been grilled but the steam did its insidious work and the meat was limp. The carnitas was very flavorful but had no char at all. Next was a lengua burrito ($3.45 with rice & beans and any meat). I would omit the rice next time. The tongue was very tender and quite flavorful in an earthy sort of way. Mrs. Swift's wet veggie burrito (with beans, rice, onions, cilantro, cheese, tomato and lettuce) ($2.55) apparantly was quite good (she raved) but I didn't taste. A completely Hispanic clientele during our 30 minute stay.

I found this place to be just slightly inferior to El Indio Mexicano, on Roscoe by the Van Nuys airport.

My favorite for carnitas still is El Tapitio, on the southwest corner of Victory and Fallbrook. Two tacos, rice and beans and chips and salsa for $3.50. The meat comes right off the grill so it's nicely charred. The salsa is freshly made and stings of jalapenos. The chips are still warm from frying. I highly recommend this place.

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