You might have seen the thread I started on longing for old school Taco Bell. If you did not read it I can summarize by saying that Taco Bell's formula for their taco meat was way better in the '70s and '80s than it is now. They changed it and it leaves me feeling that Taco Bell isn't very good now. So I do research on Taco Bell and read that the guy who started Taco Bell also started El Taco, a chain of taco joints in So Cal, Los Angeles area. In my quest for classic Taco Bell I was hoping that El Taco would taste like old classic Taco Bell. Did it? Well read the next paragraph.
Answer is no. The taco tasted nothing like old classic Taco Bell. On it's own it's a decent taco but I was not so great, I mean it was good but not great. Either it's not like classic Taco Bell because over the years the formula was changed and it's not like the original or El Taco tacos were never like the original Taco Bell to start even though the founder of El Taco founded Taco Bell too. But wait there is saving grace! Read on to the next paragraph.
The chicken enchilada's are superb. They are to put it bluntly beyond good. They are great and beyond that. It's hard to describe but they are to die for. I kept on thinking about these enchiladas after I finished and was driving home. My wife had to have an ear full about the enchiladas because I would not stop talking. The good thing is she loved them too so she did not mind hearing me rant and rave about them. We tried the beef too and the beef enchilada was also fabulous. It was different though and I don't mean only because of the choice of meat but the sauce. The chicken is in a light red sauce and the beef a heavier red sauce. Both I do recommend to you but for me if I had to pick one it's the chicken all the way. Next time I go there I will try the ground beef enchilada. The one I had was solid beef, you know like chunks of beef but the next one will be the ground beef. I will also once again get the chicken enchilada. I do intend on trying the tacquitos because some people behind out table were raving on about the tacquitos and how great they are. The reason I passed up on them is because I frequent Pepe's mexican food in Alhambra and they make great tacquitos so I figured why not eat something else at El Taco so rather than tacquitos we had the enchiladas. Since the people on the table behind ours raved about the tacquitos I will next time try them.
Bottom line is, don't expect El Taco to be like vintage Taco Bell even though the founder of Taco Bell and El Taco are the same but expect great food. It's not inexpensive but it's not ridiculously expensive either. I will say the food is restaurant quality not fast food quality so the added expense is well justified. If only now I could find a place that has a taco that taste just like classic Taco Bell from the '70s and '80s. I doubt I'll ever find such a joint with such tacos and I can't seem to replicate them in my home kitchen so unless Taco Bell or the parent company Pepsi decides to go back to the old formula for the taco meat or unless I buy a Dolorean and turn it into a time machine and go back to 1985 and get some tacos at Taco Bell I don't think I'll ever taste a good Taco Bell taco again. But this is about El Taco not Taco Bell. One last thing I give it four out of five not five stars because I did not try a lot on the menu but if I try more items and they live up to what I believe they are then I'll edit this and give it five. Also the taco although good is not like classic Taco Bell and classic Taco Bell is the gold standard for fast food tacos. Other than that go to El Taco and enjoy it's superb!!!
7665 Firestone Blvd, Downey, CA 90241