Showing posts with label beef. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beef. Show all posts

Eat Drink Style Hoy Kha Thai Noodles, Monterey Park - Thai Soup Noodles in SGV

Hoy Kha Thai Noodles, Monterey Park

Little China, or as most people know it, San Gabriel Valley, welcomes a new restaurant to an otherwise homogenous land of Chinese restaurants ranging from Hong Kong/Cantonese, the mainland including Yunnan, Hunan, Sichuan and Chiu Chow. Instead of being greeted by someone saying "ni hao" or "how meh-nee peepo!" on an old Aiwa stereo-turned-PA-system, you'll hear "so waat dii", which is Thai for "hello". Thai restaurants are not a new thing in San Gabriel Valley but from many experiences, most seem to offer the usual suspects during lunch special and sport purple tablecloths and Buddha paintings. Over the last two decades, Thai has become the new "Chinese" and offer the same old pad thai, tom yum soup and papaya salad – not many of them feature soup noodles. Although this place is nearly hidden in an ugly grey shopping center, this place actually sticks out like a sore thumb.

You may know of Hoy Kha Thai Noodles, formerly as Ord on Hollywood Blvd. It was at Ord that Lawan Bhanduram established her noodle empire and then branched off to Panorama City to launch Ord 2. She sold Ord on Hollywood to a nice, hardworking family led by Bell Morawong. The food didn't taste exactly the same but it was still a favorite amongst noodle whores of all shapes and sizes. But much to their surprise, Bhanduram made an unexpected return to Thai Town a few months later. As much as I love Bhanduram's Pa Ord, it was a bit too close to the original Ord if you ask me. Now Morawong has expanded her business down into a new territory and I'm hoping they get some decent attention for some otherwise "different" soup noodles in Little China.

If you've been to Dean Sin World, which I believe just changed its name to something else weird, for their dumplings, then you've seen this ugly shopping center. For years I've wondered when exactly tumbleweeds would roll through there. But with the addition of Dean Sin World and Hoy Kha Thai Noodles, this shopping center seems to be slowly regaining a pulse. Since they've only been opened for 2 weeks, they don't have a sign, so look for the homemade sign with Thai writing on it. It looks squigglier than Chinese and drawn with Crayola markers.

Hoy Kha Thai Noodles, Monterey Park

I took a seat and one look at the interior, knew that this was a Chinese restaurant in the previous life. Well I got a hint, the booth seats actually had Chinese embroidery. My dad, Noodle Whore Senior, told me about this place and we weren't sure if this was in fact Morawong's new project or a newcomer also offering the favored Hoy Kha Tom Yum soup noodles. I recognized the condiments and containers used here... especially the tin box containing the chopsticks and metal spoon and knew this was place was opened up by one of the Ord owners. Hoy kha means 'dangling feet noodles'. Don't worry, the cooks weren't soaking their feet in your broth, it's a reference to the bench seating at this particular noodle shop along the rivers in Thailand. The seating along the edges of this outdoor restaurant don't have any flooring so you have to sit on the floor and drop your legs through, and eat off the table that's built into the side railing. Next time you're at Hoy Kha Thai Noodles in Hollywood, look at the photos of the dangling feet and you'll understand.

With the Thai soup noodle places, it's important to know that you can choose between many types of noodles, five to be exact. You can also order this sans soup. In Chinese/Chiu Chow places, you'll also have the option of wide, egg noodles. Like Italian pasta, some shapes hold better than others.

(A) Big, flat rice noodles
(B) Rice noodles used in pho or pad thai
(C) Thin, egg noodles
(D) Vermicelli (common in the pink-colored Yen Ta Fo)
(E) Glass noodles (bean threads)
(F) Square rice noodles/rolled cylinders (used only for Kuay Jup soup noodles)

Hoy Kha Thai Noodles, Monterey Park

Hoy Kha Tom Yum Noodles
I tried the namesake noodle dish first. This is based off a Chinese/Chiu Chow soup noodle dish which is basically a soupy version of chop suey and noodles. Like most peasant food and for people on the go, this was a mix of either leftovers or unwanted animal parts plus your choice of noodles. In this Thai version, you have Chinese BBQ pork (cha shu), ground chicken, pork balls, pork liver, fishcake and dried shrimp. The soup tasted exactly as I remembered from the first location. The soup is light, slightly sweet and just tart enough. It was good. But my only problem with this dish and most of the places that offer the mini/large bowl soup noodles is that they throw in too many raw ingredients like bean sprouts and lettuce, which bring down the soup temperature. Booooooo. So try asking for steamed bean sprouts as some people do with Vietnamese pho.

Hoy Kha Thai Noodles, Monterey Park

Kuay Tiao Luh Thai Boat Noodles
I fell in love with Thai Boat noodles at a place you wouldn't expect. It was sometime in the early 90s, when Noodle Planet/World was the "hot spot" for SGV denizens. A brilliant idea run by a young man of Thai and Caucasian decent, this was a place where you could order soup noodles from "around the globe". And they happened to offer Thai Boat Noodles. One look at my dad, who was sweating bullets while finishing the last spoonful of soup, I could tell this was a good bowl of soup noodles. But like Chinese beef noodle soup, there are so many interpretations. People love Sapp Coffee Shop, which we used to frequent back in the 90s, for their daring, more vulgar broth that gave off salty, bloody, spiceful and sour tones. My recent favorite is Pa Ord's, which has a nice thickness to the soup that isn't as rich as Sapp's, yet has a balance that I prefer. But here at Hoy Kha's, it's a good thing they didn't name the place after this dish because it's definitely not the main event. The soup had the five-spice action, but there was no punch. I added vinegar from the green chili relish to make it work.

Hoy Kha Thai Noodles, Monterey Park

Another thing was there was only braised beef shank, which tastes good, but I was really craving some pork blood cubes and rare beef. I was hoping for more out of this but I'll definitely try it again next time I come. Why not, it's only $3.50.

Hoy Kha Thai Noodles, Monterey Park

Crispy Pork & Holy Basil Rice with Fried Egg
Yes, I know, I always order this with my diminutive noodle bowls, but this dish is for me a way to gauge a Thai restaurant. A pho restaurant that can't do a decent bowl of pho... a taco truck that can't do a carne asada taco right? I never eat pad thai, even if it's offered in gigantic dumpster trays at office meetings... I just have no interest. But this dish, this is what you'll most likely see the employees of a Thai restaurant eating on their lunch break. Crispy pork that is wok-fried again before service, crunchy long beans, basil and a sloppy fried egg. Man.

Hoy Kha Thai Noodles, Monterey Park

Damn.

Hoy Kha Thai Noodles, Monterey Park

Look at that. Magic happens once you crack that egg. Make sure you ask for it over-easy, runny yolk. It's as beautiful as cracking a beautifully poached egg into your bowl of tonkotsu ramen. Pa Ord's is still my favorite, but I have to say that this tasted better than the original location.

For those that can't venture into Thai Town for Pa Ord or Ord, this serves as a great option for your Thai soup noodle needs. Also, it's a nice break from Little China. I recommend the Hoy Kha soup noodles with mild spice and Crispy pork rice with basil (not Chinese broccoli) and runny over-easy egg. The Thai sausages from what I remember are a good appetizer as well. Thanks for reading.

Hoy Kha Thai Noodles
230 N. Garfield Avenue
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 927-9629
Everyday 10 am - 9 pm

Eat Drink Style Chicago, 2008 - The Tasty, Windy City Part One

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Passionate Eater of San Francisco, and for a short while of New Orleans, recently went to Chicago on an exhaustive hunt for Chicago's favorite foods: hot dogs, deep dish pizza and Italian beef dip sandwiches. I recommended a few places to her that I had tried out myself. She reminded me that I was long overdue on my posting as well – one year ago! During that time, I was overwhelmed with work and how I was going to propose to my then-girlfriend-now-wife, Jeni, and just never got around to it. And I also owe the tasty experience to a Chicago-based eating-machine from the future named Erik M. – he runs a site called LTH Forum.

So in May, after scouring the streets of New York for good food within two days, I was on my way to O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. With nothing more than a laptop, duffle bag and a well-endowed list of Chicago's finest eateries, I headed in town with freshly cracked knuckles and an empty stomach. I was in Chicago for a shoot and had a few hours to spare before meeting up with my colleagues. 3 hours... hmm. I think I can do 3 places. I headed out by foot towards some places that Erik had listed near my hotel on the North Side of town.

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As I walked around, the first thing I thought of was how clean and quiet Chicago was. Streets were swept and even the buildings looked like they just had their Brazilian waxings. It was 11 am and the people had to be tucked into their cubicles. I barely saw any taxis go by! I couldn't complain though because just one week before, it was an offspring-terminating 40 something degrees. According to the people at the hotel, it was a blessing to wear cargo shorts and be oot and aboot.

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First on the list was one of three favorite eats of Chicago – pizza. New York pizza vs. Chicago pizza... a constant feud that will go on till the day we die. To be honest with you, the thought of a deep dish pizza PADDED with god knows how many ounces of cheese stops me in my tracks. But it's Chicago, I HAD to try it. Since it was in the area, I went to try Lou Malnati's, a family-owned chain restaurant. I walked in to find quite a few people on their lunch break – most of them at the bar putting down beers. I didn't know what to get so I had the bartender suggest a pizza. Sausage pizza it is! Twenty minutes later, I was still drinking my beer and I didn't have any food. 10 minutes later, I ordered another beer still with no food. Man, this thing better be delicious! I felt like I could run some errands and the pizza would STILL not be ready.

Finally, after 50 minutes, I received my first Chicago-style deep dish pizza. The bartender brought out a steaming black pan with some tongs and set it down. I was taken aback - dough rising on the sides with a chunky, molten-lava tomato sauce. But where was the sausage? Where was the cheese? There seemed to be some hide & seek going on because I didn't see any sausage or cheese. Like a surgeon, I took my knife and started to cut my own slice when I finally saw a piece of sausage. But the weird thing was that it wasn't just a lump, I noticed that it was a LAYER OF SAUSAGE. Whoa. I proceeded with the operation and unveiled cheese underneath the meat. I had no idea that the layers were completely rearranged. I think the best way to describe deep dish pizza is a confused pizza that sort of confused me. I really didn't get it because it was just too much of everything. Too much sauce, too much cheese, too much sausage, too much time. Everything tasted fine and all, but I just couldn't handle more than one slice. Give me chapulines and huitlacoche from Oaxaca, horse sashimi from Japan or snake alcohol from Taiwan instead. I looked over at a man and woman on their third slice and asked for the check. I'm glad I tried it though.

Next, it was time for the second Chicago-favorite, Italian Beef Dip sandwiches. If you're a pedestrian in another city, I suggest reducing the amount of Mapquesting you do because you're bound to attract attention. No one was there to tell me that, as I befriended a young man. Not by choice. I was headed to Mr. Beef for some sandwiches and he decided to join me without an Evite.

Friend: "Hey man, where you going?"
Me: "Mr. Beef."
Friend: "Oh yeah, you should try Portillo's, it's better."
Me: "Okay, I'll do that next."
Friend: "I'll take you there. I'm going that way too."
Me: "Uh okay, sure."
Friend: "Hey, you born here?"
Me: "Yes, why?"
Friend: "Your English is pretty good."
Me: "Thank you."

Normally, I'd be offended, but the ball was in this guy's court. I'm a stranger to the streets of Chicago and walking with my new 6'2" friend. So he goes on and on about how he knows Chicago and pointed out buildings to the left and to the right... blah blah blah. After about 10 minutes of walking, I started to see Mr. Beef at the end of the street. Ok, almost there. Just keep tuning him out. Right when we got to Mr. Beef, his whole demeanor changed. He was no longer the jovial tour guide of Chicago. He told me he had just gotten out of jail not too long ago and was in need of money to get a driver's license. His new threads and jewelry definitely didn't say that though. But I thought I'd help him out anyway.

Friend: "C'mon man. Just a few bucks."
Me: "I have no cash.
Friend: "How you going to eat then?"
Me: "Oh I have enough money to eat. I came here to Chicago just to eat."
Friend: "There's an ATM inside."
Me: "Nope, I can give you half of my Mr. Beef sandwich?"

You should've seen the look on his face – sheer disappointment. He turned around and started walking away. The only thing I could feel was relief but at the same time, concern. Wait a minute... does that mean Mr. Beef sucks???

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According to any Chicagoan, there's only one way you should order an IBDS... with hot & sweet peppers and a dip in the pool of au jus. I watched the cook grab a loaf of bread and pull the beef out of a steaming pan. He then carefully tossed in a few chili peppers and wrapped up my sandwich. I unraveled the hot sandwich... smell of sweet bell peppers and beef. And... it wasn't bad... just a bit dry and sparse on the meat. I asked the cook for a small cup of juice and dumped it on the sandwich liberally. There we go. Now it was tasty.

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One slice of pizza and a somewhat tasty sandwich, still some room in the oven. So I went to try the other IBDS place that was recommended, Al's #1 Italian Beef. From the outside you wouldn't think much of it but the constant in & out of customers is promising. I was greeted by a nice young man and looking at me, he knew I wasn't from here. At least he wasn't so blunt.

Al's: "You visiting from out of town?"
Me: "Yeah. Here to try what I hear is one of Chicago's best."
Al's: "Well welcome to Chicago. You're in the right place."
Me: "What do I get?"
Al's: "Beef with sweet & hot peppers, dipped."
Me: "There we go."
Al's: "You'll need some fries, too."
Me: "Sounds good."

Contrary to Mr. Beef, there was actually action here. Big sandwich, big fries and big drink – Chicago people going to town without going out of town. I watched the Chicago sandwich routine in action once more. But this time, the guy took it to the next level. After adding the meat and hot & sweet peppers, he grabbed the sandwich with a pair of tongs and baptized my very own sandwich in the holy goodness that is beef juice. It was a beautiful ritual that only a pig like me would appreciate. My sandwich was drenched. I unraveled the parchment paper and grabbed that soggy sandwich. One bite in, and I now understood why Chicagoans stood so proudly behind that juicy sandwich. I don't care much for The Hat or Philipe's and easily put Al's ahead of them all. Next time I go back, I'll definitely do a comparison like Passionate Eater, who passionately gobbled through hot dogs, IBDS and pizza. Finishing the sandwich off, I looked at my wet hands sprinkled with chili seeds and beef crumbs. The guy that took my order looked at me and didn't need to ask whether I enjoyed it or not. He knew.

I walked back and twice I did U-turns back towards Al's but changed my mind because my hotel room didn't have a fridge to store IBDS. Damn. I promised my stomach that I would treat him once more to a tasty IBDS before I left. He said 'you better'.

Thanks for reading. Part Two coming next.

Check out Passionate Eater's posting on Italian Beef Dip Sandwiches, deep dish pizzas and also an old school posting on the first time meeting her and her husband.

Eat Drink Style Taco Stands Standing Tall: Los Angeles Taco Stands & Taco Tables

tacostands


***Update 10/6/10. This posting was written over 1.5 years ago and many of the taqueros no longer set up shop. The ones that do exist are Fletcher/Larga, Verdugo/Ave. 31, a few on York Blvd. and Pasadena Ave./Figueroa. Happy taco hunting.***

I remember working till 1 am one night. I was exhausted and driving back home on the 10 freeway. The last time I had eaten was 5 pm and I was starving. At this point, I was ready to go home and sleep, but my brain made me double-check the hunger department. Yes, you did eat earlier today. But did you have double dinner? Why no i didn't! Something about me when I work late, I feel like I should reward myself for burning the midnight oil. Ok then, let's find something else to eat for all the hard work. When you're looking for late night eats, Los Angeles provides the options. I exited the freeway off the Vermont exit and immediately became happy because I was in food-hawk mode. I put both hands on the steering wheel and ducked my head lower to check out my options on the left and rightside.

Bland-looking burger joint. Probably too greasy.
Jack in the Box. Greasy and probably a long ass line in the drive-thru.
Korean-style pho. No, especially when you have to ask for cilantro.
24-hour diner. I'm not paying $13 for ham & eggs.
Taco trucks. The obvious choice but I'm kinda tired of it.

I was already nearing home and quickly becoming concerned that I had not made a food decision yet. It usually does not take me this long to consider what I'll eat. I stopped at an intersection and watched as cars crossed. Suddenly, as the last car passed and the light turned green, I noticed four blurry white lights. Like a moth in flight, I became drawn to it and hit the gas pedal. As i drew closer to the source, I noticed that the four lights were actually Home Depot clamp lamps on a pole. There was a crowd of people huddling around the light source like a campfire. And then I could see that they were huddling around a man and a woman behind a table. Oh yes. It could only mean one thing: taco stand, or as I refer to them, taco tables because they use folding tables to set up shop. I pulled over to the side and parked. Business time.

As I walked towards the taco vendor, I suddenly time traveled to Oaxaca, when Jeni and I were on a taco hunt. A boombox on medium volume playing Spanish music. A child, bundled in a jacket, sitting on a little chair cupping warm Horchata with both little hands. Patrons talking quietly among their friends. And finally, the sound of metal spatulas clanking the griddle top as the vendors cook up their meaty offerings. I asked what the taqueros had to offer besides the beautiful orange spit of spiced pork. The man smiled and removed the foil from one of his trays, bearing fresh lengua and cabeza. The vapors rose from the pan, giving a nasal teasing. I ordered my tacos and Jarritos, paid the lady and moved on to the 'salad bar' – a smorgasbord of taco accoutrements such as salsa, salt & pepper, curtido (spicy, pickled veggies) and napkins. I walked back towards the curb behind some patrons and quietly enjoyed my little snack, muttering groans of satisfaction. This is all I needed at 1:30 in the morning, and for me, was the true taco experience. All of this set within a auto repair shop backdrop on a busy street in Los Angeles.

It's not that you couldn't get the same quality tacos from trucks. You definitely can. But for me, there are little things that do it for me. While trucks can operate in rain or shine, they pretty much sell tacos all day long for a living. For the people running the taco stands/tables, they are usually families making extra money every night after their primary jobs. And in some cases, the vendors I've spoken with are even employees that station themselves in front of their own businesses/workplace. It's a lot of work and I am more drawn to them because its a method of business practiced heavily in Mexico, that I want to support. It's real street food.

I hate to mention the 'B' word, but taco tables give you a Mexican Benihana experience. Disclaimer: I do not eat there nor will I ever again. You know Benihana. It's the type of restaurant that seats you around your own 'chef' and grill. The actual quality of the food is usually masked by whatever circus act the 'chef' has to offer. Will it be the blindfolded, juggling of shrimp? The knife stab between the v-shaped space of your spread fingers? Or my favorite, the 'onion volcano' which consists of butter being cooked inside a well created by stacked onions, causing rising vapor like a semi-dormant volcano. Whatever the case, it's pleasing to the senses. Taco trucks have been under fire over the last year or two by the City, and there has been an emergence of taco tables because of the relatively low overhead, compared to a truck that costs upward of $50,000. At a taco table, I'm more hungry than I would be at a taco truck. I can see, smell, hear and ultimately taste the food. And with a truck, I can get good tacos but not quite the same experience.

Here are a few places I've stumbled upon in Los Angeles, mainly in the Koreatown, Echo Park and Highland Park areas. I'd like to do the East LA and Huntington Park area next. You should be the judge though. Some are great, some aren't. Even my favorite places have had bad days and some don't even show up like they say they will. Sometimes when I go too late to a stand, the results aren't as desirable because the meat has been sitting out too long or the vendor isn't willing to make a new batch. And I sort of like the unpredictability of it. It goes back to the the caveman days where we had to forage for food that was available. I've listed the meats each vendor offers and you can see what the abbreviations mean in a few moments.

Few Things to Consider
:
(1) All the taco vendors listed here are $1. Break down your Grants and Franklins prior to.

(2) If it's raining or extremely cold, taqueros probably won't be there.

(3) Al Pastor with pineapple on top is tasty. Ask them for a slice or have them sauté with the meat.

(4) Buche and tripas can be gummy sometimes. Say the magic words "mas dorado(a), por favor" and you'll get them fried longer. Tasty.

(5) I recommend ordering two tacos at a time and eating them right away for maximum enjoyment. Tacos do harden and get cold after like 2 minutes. The vendors aren't going anywhere, so take your time.

(6) They say you can gauge a taco stand/truck by its carne asada or al pastor. But to tell you the truth, I usually stick with the buche, cabeza and lengua and really don't remember how the asada tasted. If it was good, I'd remember it. I RARELY ever come across bad buche, cabeza and lengua since they are cooked with simple techniques that don't require heavy marinating.

(7) Again, the later you go to a taco stand, the better chance of your meat being either (a) dried out or (b) burnt to an unidentifiable state. Take for example, the Taco Zone truck on Alvarado in front of Vons in Echo Park, which receives much praise from the Yelp army, has its on and off days. And I've noticed it's off-days are usually when I get the tacos from 12 am - 2 am.

Cow Chart

Asada (CA) - flap/flank/skirt meat. Usually grilled. Sometimes fried in oil.
Suadero (SU) - brisket. Fried in lard/roasted.
Lengua (LN) - cow tongue. Steamed/braised.
Cabeza (CZ) - head meat and cheek meat (cachete). Steamed.

Pig Chart

Carnitas (CR) - pork shoulder/picnic/butt. Fried in lard/roasted.
Al Pastor (AP) - pork shoulder/butt. Spiced and marinated over a day and roasted on a spit. Originated in Mexico City by Lebanese immigrants. An onion or pineapple is usually placed above the spit for extra flavoring. Try with pineapple!
Buche (BU) - pork belly/pig stomach lining/hog maw. Fried in lard. My favorite taco filling. When fried longer adds a nice texture.
Tripas (TR) - pig intestines/chitterlings. Washed, boiled and fried. People love these for the texture and 'filling'.

YN

CA, CZ, LN, AP, CH, BU, TR.
I found this stand by accident when looking for The York. They are situated in a car body shop and always have people eating here - good sign #1. Good sign #2, everyone there stares at me like I'm from outer space which should tell you the food is authentic. Good sign #3 is explained in the following image.

YN Pot2

YN Pot1

This is exactly what I look for in a taco stand/table. A pot of various meats cooking in oil. Here you can see carne asada, tripas and buche all having a good time in the hot tub. I just shed a tear. It's not a wonder that you're asada might taste like buche. This is the first place I'll stop at during a Highland Park taco hop. I always enjoy their cabeza, lengua and of course, buche fried crispy. They also offer a habanero curtido – onions, oregano and habanero peppers!

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YN TR

FL1

CA, CZ, LN, SU, AP, CH, BU, TR.
This is also my go-to place if I don't feel like venturing into Eagle Rock/Highland Park. A lot of people from Red Lion Tavern, Cha Cha Lounge and Home frequent this place off Fletcher Drive. And with good reasons behind it. I always get welcomed with friendly smiles and before I usually order anything one of the guys there assumes I want my buche fried longer. That is service. This place is one of two stands that offers suadero (brisket) and it's quite moist and tasty (pictured below). I recommend buche, cabeza, al pastor and suadero with an ice cold Jarritos.

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FL CZ

FL AP

AK

CA, CZ, LN, CR, CH, BU, TR.
This taquero offers a different style of curtido. It's more of a cabbage and cucumber salad that balances out a spicy taco. I enjoyed the carnitas, buche and cabeza here.

AK CA

AK CZ

AK CR

VL

CA, CZ, LN, AP, CR, BU, PL.
If you happen to be doing your laundry in the Virgil/Santa Monica Blvd. area, do it where this taco stand sets up. I arrived right on the dot at 6 pm while they were setting up and I knew things would be fresh. The girl working there strongly recommended their chicken and it was really good. I enjoyed the cabeza and chicken.

VL CA

VL CZ

VL AP

VV

These guys do the hot tub thing. First thing I saw when I got there was buche being made. Mmm. I enjoyed the buche and cabeza.

VV Buche

VV CA

VV CZ

VV BU

AG

CA, AP, TR.
Back to Highland Park, this guy is from Guerrero and is one of the the few stands that I have seen offering al pastor con piña, which is one of my favorites. I also refer to him as Disco Ball (pelota de disco) taco man since he had a disco ball tied to his stand. They also offer grilled cactus (nopales) for your tacos as well as a relish or pico de gallo with nopales. If you have not tried grilled cactus, it's kind of like a bell pepper with a slimy texture, similar to Japanese mountain yams and natto. Ask the nice man for his 'hot cookie' drink. It's something 'galletas' in Spanish and it's tasty on a cold night. I enjoyed the al pastor and tripas. He seems to favor tripas because there's always tons of it on the grill. A disco ball, tacos and some house music and you've got yourself a party.

AG Pastor Spit

AG Tacos

Guerreros

CA, AP, BU, PL.
These guys are statione right in front of the Guerrero Meat market and also serve the al pastor con piña. They offer grilled cebollitas (green onions) and nopales with your tacos. Nice guys.

GM Tacos

WB

CA, CZ, LN, AP, BU, TR.
Found these guys when I decided not to take the freeway and I'm glad I didn't. I enjoyed the al pastor and buche. There was a nice guy eating there as well and told me to try tacos another way. Order one soft taco, and one cooked a bit more crisp... put them together and you have a dual textured taco. I didn't know if he was making this up or talking about Taco Bell's latest caloric delight.

WB CA

WB AP

WB BU


V31

CA, CZ, LN, SU, AP, BU, TR, PL
These guys are loved by the Yelp army. Probably because it's the closest taco stand for patrons of my favorite bar, The Verdugo in Glassell Park. I had tried to find them at least five times – either missing them or not being able to find them due to their frequent location changes. And like a moth, I drove down this really dark part of Verdugo Rd. and found the brightest lights along the sidewalk. The stand was covered by big trucks, probably done intentionally. The people running this here are young and very nice people. Tacos are served the way I like them... small tortillas, small portion of meat. $.80 for one taco. They also offer gorditas for $3. I enjoyed the asada, al pastor, buche (already crisped up) – my favorites being the cabeza and suadero. 5 pm - 11 pm, everyday except Thursday.

V31 CA

V31 SU

V31 CZ

V31 AP

V31 BU

Thanks for reading and enjoy it all as much as I do.