The are plenty of reasons you may find yourself being pulled to Echo Park these days. Tony Yanow's Mohawk Bend drinkery is just the latest revitalization for the neighborhood squarely on the gentrification path. Thankfully, delicious tacos still abound, and with latenight venues marking the first formidable wave of change, they aren't going away anytime soon.
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.
You won't find lines here like the snaking behemoths at Taco Zone, and that's a good thing. Food arrives quickly but with care; tacos are portioned generously with meats over a thin double-stack of warm tortillas. All the basics are covered, including chorizo (more on that later), but they leave out the more "exotic" items like suadero or sesos.
The price-per-taco index shuffles just above $1 for a plentiful and flavorful taco.
Stand around long enough and you'll keep hearing orders for the carne asada. The juicy chunks of well-seasoned beef are even better with a squirt from the bottle labeled "spicy."
Almost as common around this taco town is chorizo. That spicy Mexican sausage is often crumbled and, frankly, can be dry. But here, it's the best choice of an already satisfying line-up. Large chunks of deeply red pork are tossed gently onto a scorching hot plancha, giving the meat just enough time to develop a hearty crust without losing those crucial juices. The smooth and warm flavors from the hot pepper seasonings aren't lost in translation on the truck. Instead, they speak volumes with each bite, giving a complexity that only some diced white onions can help to unravel.
Tacos Arizas is in good company out in Echo Park. One block over, you'll still find the smiling face of the blue corn quesadilla woman, improvising a kitchen right there on the sidewalk. Half a mile in the other direction, Taco Zone pulls in much of the late-night set, desperate to tamper down their stomachs before turning in.
But for you, the discerning taco aficionado, Tacos Arizas should be your latenight Echo Park spot.
Logan Street, just north of Sunset Blvd. Echo Park (map)