It doesn't take much to please the locals out in Venice. They've got sunshine on their side, the beach at their feet, and a closeknit sense of neighborhood that's practically unrivaled anywhere else in Los Angeles. And it is that perfect Venice mix of well-heeled hippie, lanky surfer, aging musician, yoga pants moms and perpetually busy twentysomething that all lines up on weekdays for La Isla Bonita. This is their neighborhood taco truck.
'taco trucks' on Serious Eats
Alebrije's Grill taco truck in Orange County serves up plenty of bold flavors, especially in their Taco Acorazado.
Hipster taco truck Mexico Blvd. doesn't make the best torta in town, but if you're nearby and have a craving, the fresh white roll and pickled vegetables will satisfy in a pinch.
Who the heck woulda thunk that Columbus, Ohio, is home to some of the greatest tacos I've had anywhere? Even most Columbus residents former and current are unaware of the awesome truck scene that's unfolded in the city in recent years. I haven't done the math, but I'd be willing to wager that Columbus has one of the highest levels of taco trucks per capita in the country.
Tacos Arizas is a long-standing member of the Echo Park taco tradition. Their trailer idles nightly just off Sunset Blvd., alongside the Walgreens on otherwise forgettable Logan Street. If you're not already familiar with the location, feel free to let your wandering stomach and a multi-colored neon sign guide you. The chorizo is the best choice on an already satisfying taco line-up.
El Chato is arguably one of the most popular taco spots west of the LA River, nightly churning out hundreds of orders for cheesy quesadillas, meaty burritos and small Jalisco-style tacos with a ton of flavor. They consistently execute on a level that most other guys can't shake a spatula at. It's taco truck nirvana.
There, behind the steamy pane of glass, is a stoic woman with wrists the size of tree trunks making all of the night's tortillas by hand. While not uncommon at many brick-and-mortar taquerias around town, such a sight is a rarity inside the city's trucks.
Since time immemorial, two taco trucks have parked in front of the dimly lit auto body shop at Western and Lexington. Two competing trucks, not 20 feet from one another, with no plenty of other real estate around and no other trucks in sight. Granted, the neighborhood seems more than happy to oblige them both, and flashy bar LA Descarga down the street certainly offers up a nice influx of late night eaters. But... two?!
Taco Zone is one of Los Angeles' most beloved late night taco trucks, having successfully weathered the flood of gourmet fusion trucks that continue to zip around town (although, with the tide receding, some are beginning to look for any brick-and-mortar in a storm). In fact, it almost feels like Taco Zone has been there forever, quietly serving a wide selection of meats while the Echo Park neighborhood around them changes.
I've been past New Haven on I-95 for near-on three decades now, slowly watching the collection of food trucks grow and grow until it finally reached full-on convoy size. While you'll find a Puerto Rican truck serving some pretty decent lechon and a few trucks specializing in tortas and pinchos, most of the trucks here are hardcore Mexican taco trucks. On our recent road trip up to New Haven, we decided to order a couple tacos from every single one so we could lead you, Serious Eaters, along the path of righteousness should you ever find yourself in the area.
Parked not half a block from La Estrella, one of Highland Park's most venerable taco trucks, El Pique has had to scrap and fight for every $1.25 taco sale. Luckily, there are a few options (including the cabeza tacos) on the menu to throw your spare change at, should the line at La Estrella bend past the curve of tolerability.
Though the truck is on the east side of Los Angeles, it has not succumbed to the "into it before it was cool" movement. I've been coming to La Estrella's truck since I first moved to Los Angeles four years ago, and they were parked in the same spot long before that. There was a line to order before I got there; there'll be one when I leave. This is why.
[Photograph: Adam Kuban] Hey, Astorians, did you know El Rey del Taco has rolled out a second truck serving the Ditmars-31st Street area?...
The first Los Angeles Vendy Awards were held at MacArthur Park on Saturday. With the well-noted catering truck trend still going full throttle in Los Angeles, the event, which started in New York City six years ago, migrated west to honor both the new kids on the scene and the old-school vendors alike. The judges—including Evan Klieman (host of Good Food on KCRW) and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of (of Animal)—certainly had a hard task in front of them. How does one decide if a short rib grilled cheese sandwich is better or worse than a bacon wrapped hot-dog? I mean, really! How? Photos and results from the Vendys, after the jump.
A quick web search of "Nashville" and "taco trucks" will get you two types of results. First you'll find a few postings, mostly from late 2005, about the city's purported plans to ban taco trucks due to "health concerns," which apparently never went through (gracias a Dios). But most of what you'll find being written about taco trucks in Nashville today focuses exclusively on Mas Tacos, a gourmet mobile trailer of the type that's got the country all aTwitter these days, but there are plenty of cheaper, more authentic, and in my opinion tastier, taco trucks nearby on two main avenues: Gallatin Pike and Nolensville Pike.
[Photographs: Carey Jones] Grilled turkey sandwich, or beef cheek tacos? Drive along California's Route 29, through the heart of Napa Valley, and you'll pass by any number of superb restaurants—fertile soil, world-class wine, and the people who love said wine create an excellent climate for fine dining. But when you're looking for a quick lunch, not a Michelin adventure, options can seem a bit slim. Here are two of my favorite, under-$10 eats in wine country, after the jump....
posadaphoto.com "What makes taco trucks unique is the people; the people that work in them and the patrons that visit them. They bring life to streets that otherwise might be dead. The flicker of the grill, the fluorescent lights, the smell of carne asada and people gathered around food enriches the urban experience of many people in Los Angeles." —Juan Posada, taco truck photographer, in an interview on California Taco Trucks...
The taco truck at Bedford Avenue and North 6th Street is looking for a full-time employee. From Craigslist: "A valid NYC Vendor’s license is needed for this job. Obtaining a license requires taking a simple unintentionally hilarious 2-day class."...
Remember those paper dolls that you could cut out and play with? Yeah, they were a total letdown. Why would I play in 2-D when 3-D dolls existed? Well, here they are in paper taco truck form from Goopymart! There are seven different models to choose from including Senor Macho Taco (for the macho men), Yum Taco (what else do you need in a name?), and Pirate (because pirates love tacos too). I printed out and made the Kawaii model, mainly because there's a blob saying "FOOD" and "LOVE" on the side. I mean if I had my own truck, this is basically what it would look like, give or take a few unicorns and sparkles. Related Video: Los...
California Taco Trucks has a roundup of links showing how the CalbiBBQ truck has copied the Kogi taco truck from logo and menu right down to its Twitter marketing strategy. Chicanery or just a happy case of "more Korean tacos for everyone"? A very interesting post from the Kogi team gives further insight....