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Taco Trucks of the Westside

Low End Theory | Aug 26, 200404:43 AM

Dear Chowhounds,

In a perfect chow world we’d all live down the street from El Taurino, or within sniffing distance of King Taco’s al pastor. But what is a resident of the much-maligned Westside to do once Taqueria Sanchez shuts its doors?

Here I report taco trucks I have encountered on my wanderings, most of which cater to the insomniac or late night worker. Not only are these the most literal of street foods, they are also some of the finest I have eaten in the area. In general tacos are $1 but I defy you to eat just one. Unless otherwise noted the core meats are usually asada, pollo, pastor (call it "shepherd-style" for a larf), lengua and the often lovable cabeza.

Please add to the list!

Taco Chato
Venice Blvd east of Sepulveda. Daily 8:30pm-12am
Don’t listen to the dude, his cemita is a very poor cousin to Tacos Junior down the street. Other tacos are excellent, however, with tasty salsas roja and verde plus immaculate radish slices on the counter.

Tacos Junior
Venice Blvd just east of 405, 5pm-12am daily
The cemita poblana de milaneza con todo: Domed sesame seed roll, flat breaded steak, quesillo, chipotle, avocado and papalo (the secret weapon, pugnacious Mexican coriander). After the wondrous Cemitas Poblanas truck at Santa Monica and Bundy vanished into the ether I feared this godly sandwich had gone from my life forever. Here it is again! Other tacos available, but order the cemita and rejoice!

El Paladar Oaxaqueno
Santa Monica Blvd @ Westgate, daily 7pm-12/1am
Technically a taco trailer, this tremendous eatery has an unusual folded version of the hubcap-sized Oaxacan tlayuda. It’s easy to eat and delicious. Also terrific taco meats including barbacoa, and excellent tortas.

Juquila truck
Santa Monica Blvd @ Stoner, outside Goodwill store. Nights.
An adjunct to the worthwhile Oaxacan place of same name across the street. Good tacos with the usual meats.

Mariscos Tatiana
Venice Blvd @ Mountain View. 7pm-1 or 2am
These guys are so slick they have a business card – with no address! Excellent tacos including camaron, plus dude with pile of recent release DVDs outside for atmosphere. Popular.

Nameless truck outside “El Zacatecas”
Venice Blvd @ Mountain View. Weekend nights.
Small operation with no menu, almost like a kitchen for the nightclub. Munch on some nice tacos and listen to booming ranchero coming through the door.

La Isla Bonita truck
Rose at 4th, 10am-5pm, no Thu.
A great truck for a summery weekend lunch or lazy afternoon, selling mariscos in taco, tostada and coctel format. Tostada de ceviche, taco de camaron both good. Non-mariscos meats too.

La Oaxaquena truck
Lincoln south of Rose. 6pm-2am.
Long line outside announces the best Oaxacan truck I’ve found. Amazing tlayuda, tacos, tortas. Oaxacan baked goods. Worth a special trip, and open late.

Nameless truck(s) south of La Oaxaquena
Lincoln south of Rose
A couple of trucks park here, one is a very sorry affair that looks about to disintegrate but has passable tacos. Try them out!

Pinto truck
Sunset Blvd at Monument, 12pm-2pm Mon-Sat
A taco truck in Palisades??? Lunchtime only but good fare and a welcome stop for the disoriented visitor. There is another truck in the ‘hood that parks further west at a gas station. Keep your antenna out for trucks in otherwise expensive neighbourhoods – there is a mariscos truck I’ve yet to try that parks on Beverly Glen at Mapleton weekends.

Happy eating!

Low End Theory who always orders con todo

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