1.27.2012

Taqueria Cuernavaca, Ventura CA


I went searching for my prior post on this place and was SHOCKED to see I hadn't written one. How is that possible? This place is a total revelation. But as it turns out it was during my lazy Facebook period where all I did was post a photo album to the Taco Talk Facebook page.

SIGH.

I will remedy this RIGHT NOW by telling you that this is an awesome unasuming fresh and fabulous authentic taco spot on Ventura Ave. a few blocks N. of Main St. in Ventura. They are owned/run by very nice people and they have the real deal 'Mexico City' style pastor with pina on top. They also have great Micheladas (beer cocktails with either fresh lime juice or Clamato juice).

Mushroom Taco

Pastor Taco w/ Pineapple

I love everything here. EVERYTHING. If I could eat the whole menu at once without going into a food coma, I would.


Here is the YELP link. It has a map and directions as well.

Here is my dorky FACEBOOK link in case you want to see ALL the photos I took that day.

They are closed on TUESDAYS, so don't make the trip up from LA on THAT day!

But any other day. Especially for breakfast. I am salivating as I write this.

FYI Cuernavaca means "cow horn."

1.22.2012

El Sereno



The Serene Place... located between S. Pasadena and Alhambra. A tiny little town with neighborhood pride and excellent tacos.


I did fall madly in love with the Los Lechugas truck. The owner was sweet and funny and takes Mariscos very seriously. His fans are serious too. He donated a delicious Baja style shrimp taco to our cause.


I went looking for Clarita's and eventually found it, but while I was wandering around I found the Lechugas Mariscos truck. The mural alone was worth the visit.


It's quaint, authentic neighborhoods like these that make LA the greatest taco city in the USA.
Quieres Camaron, Cabron?

jajajajajajaja!

Taco Roundup #2


Yee-haw! I luv me some tacos. Lately I have been eating a lot of tacos that are pretty darn good, but nuthin' to really 'Yee-haw' about. But still... as a taco reporter, I must report! And report I shall. These are places that if you find yourself passing by, you definitely should stop but not go out of your way to go there. Except for La Chispita. That one you should go out of your way for. You won't be sorry.

El Taco Nazo Shrimp Taco

Before Xmas I was at the Vet's and we started talking taco. He sent me out to El Taco Nazo in Azusa. I liked it. I really did. It was cheap. They had cripsy potato tacos. They had Ensenada style fish and shrimp, blistered guero chiles and other authentic items. BUT... maybe because it's a chain? Maybe because they had a TV going? I don't know. It wasn't cozy. I would still drive to Tacos Baja Ensenada on Atlantic over and over again for the same type of thing. But they were def. really similar. If you find yourself in the direction of their 5? locations, you can't lose. Their batter and salsas are very tasty.

I have been spending a lot of time in Sherman Oaks and Studio City, rediscovering a neighborhood I used to know. I came upon the newly opened Saint Augustin restaurant right around Xmas. A very nice family making very nice 'fresh to order' food. This place IS cozy and I would be happy to settle down there with a beer and some tacos any time. I was in a fish taco mood so I grabbed some fish and shrimp tacos to go for a friend. They will grill or batter to your preference. They also have some nice pastor and VERY fresh pico de gallo. A great place in the valley for a high quality home-cooked Mexican meal. They are located on Burbank Blvd. right before Whitsett on the S. side of the street.

Saint Augustin Grilled Shrimp Tacos

The first time I went out to Pacoima for tacos and tamales near the Superior market, I saw the EL PATRON taco truck but the line was too darn long. The second time I went there was no line (early evening on a Sunday) but they were already out of their trompo pastor. RATS. I had a few asada tacos and also pastor on the grill and both were good. The boys working there are very cheeky, but the quality is excellent. Super fun. Super cheap. They are so authentic and hip they haven't gotten a ton of YELP love yet. So go try it and give them some.

El Patron taco truck on Laurel Canyon in Pacoima

Taqueria La Chispita. THIS place is worth writing home about and they get a  'Yee-haw' and a 'Cowboy Hat Wave'. The bummer is I forgot my camera and was forced to take crappy pix with my crappy Samsung phone. This place is EFFING GREAT because they have a pastor trompo and plenty of pineapple going all day and night. I think it's better than Leo's. Located in N. Hollywood on Lankersheim right next to the McDonald's, they stay open 'till at least 3am on weekends. Tacos are $1 each and come with complimentary beans on a crispy tostada. Great salsas. Great people. You might want to get them to go because it's just a dive spot with picnic benches. Or you could stand around slighty drunk and eat standing up!


1.09.2012

Xmas in Mexico + Tacos = Luv

Agave cactus flower used as a Xmas tree when dried

I have had a tradition for the last 5 years of spending either Thanksgiving and/or Xmas in Mexico. The first time I went to the small beach town 1 hour N. of Cabo called Pescadero was in 2001. By 2007 I was lucky enough to own a small piece of cactus there. And so, every year I go to enjoy the ocean, the people and the tacos.

The High Desert near Catavania

The world famous surf break 'Cerritos' is located about 1 mile from my house down a dusty dirt road. (I go in by the back entrance along the beach). I also usually drive down to Baja from the USA. It's about 22 hours from Tijuana to Todos Santos. I usually take 2 days stopping in Guerrero Negro which is the halfway point and the border between Baja Sur and the Northern part of Baja.

The salsa at Puro Michoacan in Pescadero, BCS

Of course there are other things to eat there as well! That's the hard part. There is a great gourmet restaurant in Todos Santos called Michael's at the Gallery (art gallery and Asian influenced gourmet). There is an amazing restaurant in a field called Carlito's. There I had won ton soup, sushi and fresh crab. There is the amazing food at my friend Isabel's bed and breakfast www.casablancabb.com and also two great cafes for upscale coffees, salad, quiche, croissant and sandwiches; La Esquina and Baja Beans.

Raja & Queso Vampiro at Asi Asado in Cabo

Most or all of this has been documented on my Baja House blog for all things Cabo, Pescadero, Todos Santos and La Paz. All in the S. of Baja California, Mexico.

On this particular trip, I had 3 great new taco experiences: Asi Asado in Cabo, Puro Michoacan in Pescadero, Taqueria Viva Mexico! in Guererro Negro. Taqueria Viva Mexico is open late and located on the main drag about halfway between the hwy and the beach. It is right near the Ballenas Motel where I also like to stay. These are pitstop tacos and the whole town has a 'passing through' feel. G. Negro is a whale watching hub and lots of tours go out from there.

salsa platter at Taqueria Viva Mexico in Guererro Negro

After being on the road for 12 hours, nothing hits the spot like a good taco. The pastor tacos were really good though they put an onion on top of the spit instead of a pineapple. I even got a few that I ate the next morning on my way South. One nice thing about tacos in Baja is that you can always substitute flour for corn tortillas. It's a nice option. In the US alot of places only have large flour tortillas for burritos.

breakfast fruit plate at www.casablancabb.com

I can't say enough about the experience of driving the Baja Peninsula. Not only are there GREAT tacos to be had, the beautiful landscape takes your breath away at every turn.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
ox The Taco Maven