These are the bonafide, old school, best tacos in LA. While I love what the new wave of taco trucks has brought us in eclectic flavors, sometimes it's nice to have a traditional carne asada taco without any kimchi. And I'm not talking about the school cafeteria ground meat/hard shell abominations I grew up on, we're looking at the best carne asada, carnitas, chorizo, cabeza, and gambas this town has to offer wrapped up in a tortilla. So get your salsa and limes ready, it's a taqueria round up!
Cactus Mexican Food
950 Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90038
What to order: The Carnitas Tacos
Often lauded as the best Cabeza in town (think tender, melt in your mouth oxtail or shortribs if you haven't had it before), this little stand is the perfect post movie grub spot, just a few blocks down from the Arclight. If the Cabeza, and yes we mean brains, is a little much for you to stomach, try the delicious carneta. Moist, tender, and a little crispy at the edges of the pulled pork, it's simply to die for.
El Chato Taco Truck
We are located on the South/West corner of Olympic & La Brea.
What to order: The Carne Asada
Carne Asada is the bench mark of a decent taqueria, and El Chato passes with flying colors. With just the right amount of spice and great flavor it's perfect topped with some grilled onions, radishes, and limes.
La Estrella Taco Truck
York and Ave 54
Los Angeles, CA 90042
Neighborhood: Highland Park
What to order: Al Pastor Tacos
Located in Highland park, La Estrella is a take no prisoners taqueria. If juicy, succulent pork is your bag, then the al pastor here can't be missed. Spit grilled with a smokey and rich kick, I wish I was eating one right now!
Tacos Por Favor
1406 Olympic Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Neighborhood: Santa Monica
What to Order: The Chorizo or Carne Asada Tacos
The red salsa alone is a reason to come here: rich, dark, chocolatey; almost like a mole in flavor, you'll sneak some in your purse on your way out it's so good. But drizzled over their carne asada or spicy chorizo tacos, it is truly a thing of beauty. The carne aside has some bright citrus notes, elevating the flavor of the taco, while the chorizo comes covered in queso fresca, a soft cheese to mellow out the spice. Both are balanced and absolutely delicious.
Ricky's Fish Tacos
1400 N Virgil
Hollywood, CA 90027
What to order: Shrimp tacos
Hidden in a small parking lot and shrouded by green tarps, this blink and you missed it taco stand serves the lightest, crispiest, freshest Ensenada style fish tacos in the city. Ricky is there, his straw fedora tilted jauntily back on his head, ready to serve you up a plate of delicious tacos. Fried to order in a mysterious batter, drizzled with a little crema and salsa, this perfectly seasoned, golden brown bite of goodness is an absolute must.