Hey all, been out of the loop for a while, finishing a rough draft of a master's thesis.
I want perfectly beautiful al pastor, which I've had many times at one place in L.A., which has now lost its skill (in the form of one particular old lady).
This was Antonijero Denise's. There used to be one little old lady (Denise herself?) who was at the East LA branch. When she was there, the carnitas was fluffy, shredded wonderuflness, the al pastor was mighty, and the lonja was dense, crunchy, and beautiful.
Then that Denise's started to suck out. At the same time, the East Hollywood Denise's - formerly crappy - suddenly became incredible. And, I noted, that little old lady was suddenly there all the time. At that point, that kitchen started putting out the best Mexican pork products I have ever tasted. Their carnitas was soft, lush, unbelivably deeply porky. Their al pastor became dense, gorgeously porky, tremendous harmony of spices - incredible.
Then - she disappeared. And that Denise's became utter greasy crud.
Now - I've been to the King Taco's, which are good, better than most, but nowhere close to what Denise's put out. I've been to El Taurino, which is good in a different way - perhaps a bit better with the pork, a bit less neatly harmonized with the spices. I've been to some neat stands on the weekends at Alameda Swap Meet, I've been to countless little corner operations and lunch wagons. A few have equalled King Taco (unreliably), but none have come close to the intense, glowing harmony of the Denise's of old.
Is this anywhere to be had?