Monrovia is a TINY little town off the 210 Fwy about 20 min. east of Pasadena. The only reason why I even knew about it is because a cool little restaurant called DEVON lured me and some foodies there over 10 years ago on NY Eve.
5 years later my friend and accountant moved to the area. Last year, while living in Eagle Rock I happened on a vet out there that I really really liked. And so, I have been visiting on a semi-regular basis.
Monrovia is one of the oldest cities in the LA Basin and was incorporated in 1887. It's quaint Main St. is filled with historic buildings and like Pasadena, there is a lot of neighborhood pride and cleanliness!
In 1937, the original McDonald's was born here, right next to the airport. It thrived and expanded for 24 years before milkshake machine salesman Ray Kroc bought it in 1961 for $2.7 million dollars and turned it into a bazillion dollar franchise. The headquarters of Original Tommy's, Trader Joe's and Naked Juice are all based in Monrovia, which makes me think it might be the perfect spot for me to launch my taco empire! (mostly kidding)
SO! Where can one eat some good tacos in Monrovia? I have only been to two places thus far, but here they are....
Located on Colorado Blvd. right across from the popular Peach Cafe, it's an old style place. Small but cozy, I had breakfast there which I enjoyed. They had a steady stream of customers, they spoke Spanish if you preferred and the taco plates I saw passing by looked good. They also have crispy tacos, yay. I wouldn't call it a 'must go' exactly but it's reliable if you are passing through.
I was on my way to a Xmas party, driving through a residential neighborhood and on the corner I see this stand. I just knew it would be good so I convinced my friend to stop on the way back. He had the asada and I had a crispy ground beef! Hooray. God I love those. Super nice people. They took over the burger spot that used to be there. They've been open less than a year but they stay open late (12am daily and 2am on weekends) which is also a plus in a sleepy little town.
The carne asada was a little 'odd'. Can't say exactly why... big thick tortilla, lots of meat, but the texture was off. Too chewy? Didn't really taste like meat. The crispy taco was good though and I would stick with that. Crispy ground beef or crispy potato. Maybe even a bean and cheese burrito. They don't get great Yelp but I think it's the kind of thing where you have to know what to get there.
They also have a 'nacho machine'. Which is probably for teenagers under the influence!
There is also a Rigo's, a Rudy's and an Enrique's right near by. Rigo's is a chain and so is El Zarape. Nothing really gets high marks... meaning a solid 4 or above except for Baja Mar Fish Taco. This is the one I will try next time and report back.
***For more info on McDonald's history in LA click HERE.