10 Best Tacos in Los Angeles
T. Nguyen Tacos al pastor at Tacos Leo
*10 Best Carne Asada Fries in Los Angeles
Los Cincos Puntos, one of our favorite places for a taco, is located right near a cemetery. This is fitting, in a way: After all, in Los Angeles, nothing can be said to be certain except death and tacos. Indeed, we're willing to bet that if you peeked in backyards across town during Memorial Day weekend, you'll find tortillas and carne asada grilling on the Webers as readily as you'll find hot dogs and buns, and kids will be adding salsa to their tacos the way your 10-year-old self topped your hot dog with relish. Summer can't come soon enough.
Beyond the backyard, we're fortunate to have a landscape dotted with great taco trucks and taquerias. And while there are countless ways to connect these dots to come up with a top 10 list, ours is comprised of tacos that are not only stellar in their own right, but so fantastic that we would drive clear across town for them. Turn the page for the full list.
T. Nguyen Tacos Por Favor
10. Tacos Por Favor:
Tacos Por Favor's first and original location is located, somewhat improbably, in Santa Monica, a large space to accommodate the crowd of Westsiders looking for a place to get their taco fix. Don't miss the fantastic salsa bar, though the chorizo and cheese tacos pack so much flavor that you might not need much salsa at all. And while Tito's Tacos is just fine for what is, it's the hard-shell taco at Tacos Por Favor that will fill that gringo taco void in your life. 1406 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 392-5768; 11901 W. Olympic Blvd., L.A., (310) 479-2818.
T. Nguyen Potato tacos at El Atacor
9. El Atacor #11:
El Atacor #11, a well-worn taqueria in Cypress Park, blasts music from its old jukebox whether it's 2 p.m. or 2 a.m.; that it's open so late is a blessing, because the craving for a potato taco doesn't seem to hit until the munchies do, usually after 11 p.m. Indeed, the tacos de papas here are deceptively simple, but maybe that's what makes them so sublime: soft, fluffy potato slathered in a tortilla, deep fried and topped with crema and guacamole. So popular are these tacos that you can order them in multiples of 10; depending on the severity of your munchies and/or the number of people in your group, 10 of these tacos will disappear in no time. If not, they make a pretty great breakfast for the morning after. 2622 N. Figueroa St., L.A.; (323) 441-8477.
T. Nguyen Cochinita pibil tacos at La Flor de Yucatan
8. La Flor de Yucatan:
Not too far from USC is La Flor de Yucatan, a bakery that specializes in all things Yucatecan. The specialty of specialties is its cochinita pibil, which is sold by the pound; inevitably, someone will come in for exactly that while you're there. You, too, will likely go home packing a few extra pounds -- but, first, a cochinita pibil taco. The pork, burnt orange from its marinade of achiote and sour orange juice, is soft, tender and delicious; it's topped with red onions pickled nearly pink, making it not only one of the best tacos in the city but also one of the prettiest. 1800 S. Hoover St., L.A.; (213) 748-6090.
See also: 10 Best Carne Asada Fries in Los Angeles
Turn the page for #7, etc...
2100 E. Cesar Chavez Blvd., Los Angeles, CA