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Line up and dig in: Here's where to go

June 04, 2003|Barbara Hansen

On the trail of great tacos? Look for fellow seekers -- you'll see at least a few hungry taco lovers outside the best stands, trucks and counters at all hours, and often a line will form. We've listed all the vital stats available on our six taquerias, plus a dozen others worth visiting.

A Que Tacos. This truck parks during the day at 3rd Place and Indiana Street, L.A. No phone. Open 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Carnitas Michoacan. A no-frills atmosphere, with booths. No. 3, 741 S. Soto St., corner of Whittier Boulevard, L.A. (323) 266-7188. Open 24 hours daily, including major holidays.

El Tacazo. Features include a pretty patio dining area, terrifically tender meat, 89-cent taco options including carnitas, cabeza and chicharrones and sides of pickled veggies. 6915 Santa Fe Ave., Huntington Park. (323) 582-5038, open 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. Also at 4148 E. Florence Ave., Bell, (323) 771-2118; and at 3297 Tweedy Blvd., South Gate, (323) 563-6625.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday June 05, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 33 words Type of Material: Correction
Taco restaurant -- An article in Wednesday's Food section listing where to get authentic tacos around Los Angeles gave the wrong address for Ricos Tacos in Huntington Park. It is 6330 Pacific Blvd.

El Taco Movil al Estilo Jalisco. This truck can be found at night, on the south side of West 3rd Street between Normandie and Mariposa avenues. The scene is sociable as residents wait to place their orders for asada (very finely cut), pollo and other varieties of $1 tacos. No phone.

Hugo's Tacos. The truck comes to 3542 3rd Place, East Los Angeles. Open 4 p.m. to midnight Tuesdays through Thursdays; 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Closed Mondays. No phone.

La Mano Tortilleria & Meat Market. You can watch hot, puffy corn tortillas travel along a conveyor belt while you enjoy tacos ($1) made with the house tortillas. Try the carnitas, tantalizingly crusty from frying. 9237 Whittier Blvd., Pico Rivera, (562) 908-1349. Open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Rincon Taurino. This small chain has two branches in the Valley and one each in La Puente and Lynwood. The beefy carne asada is most popular, and the tacos al pastor are notable for a punchy, peppery sauce; $1.16 each. Open 7 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays; 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Fridays through Sundays. 14551 Nordhoff St., Panorama City, (818) 893-5927; 8708 Van Nuys Blvd., Panorama City, (818) 892-7444; 13744 Amar Road, La Puente, (626) 818-6606; and 11318 Bullis Road, Lynwood, (310) 631-8339.

Sanchez Taqueria. On the westernmost edge of Culver City, about half a mile apart, are the two Sanchez taquerias. One is an outdoor window adjacent to Sanchez Carniceria. The other is a restaurant with a broader menu. Both offer fine fresh $1 tacos in all the traditional varieties; the restaurant also has shrimp and fish at $1.50. The window at the market is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. 4525 Inglewood Blvd., (310) 391-3640. The restaurant is open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. 4541 Centinela Ave., Culver City, (310) 822-8880.

Sam's Tacos. This small white corner stand is known for carne asada tacos, and the elusively flavored spicy sauce mixed with the grilled meat is exceptionally good. Tacos are 99 cents; Wednesdays and Thursdays, two for price of one. Open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. 715 S. Soto St., L.A., (323) 263-7858.

Tacos Tumbras a Tomas. Big helpings of meat go onto two full-sized tortillas with two more on the side: the makings for four tacos and a bargain for $1.75. On the south wall of the Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway, L.A., (213) 620-0477. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Ricos Tacos. Ricos charges only 60 cents for carne asada tacos that, although tiny, are surprisingly good. The meat has a pleasing citrus tang. Or choose buche, cabeza, pollo or tripas. Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. 114 Pacific Ave., Huntington Park, (323) 582-0339.

Sky's Gourmet Tacos. This small cafe is at 5408 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. (323) 932-6253. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Taqueria Dorado. There's norteno on the jukebox at this Gateway Plaza taqueria. 10530 Whittier Blvd. No. 105, Whittier, (562) 908-9777. Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Taqueria El Cihualteco. Tucked into a shed-like space behind a blue fence, this stand has good, classic asada tacos (90 cents) topped with onion, cilantro and a hot dried-chile sauce. Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to midnight Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to midnight Sundays. 2325 1/2 S. San Pedro St., L.A., (213) 748-2519.

Tacos El Gavilan. Situated in a drab industrial area, this stand nevertheless serves a very good, finely cut, savory carne asada taco on nicely steamed tortillas and adds an avocado salsa to the basics. Tacos are 99 cents. Opens at 8 a.m. daily. Closing time depends on the day and can be anywhere from 4 p.m. during the week to midnight on weekends. 6220 S. Main St., L.A., (323) 752-4792.

Taco Taxi. The 75-cent carne asada taco is good, the savory beef combined with onion, cilantro and a very spicy salsa. Shrimp tacos are $1; other choices include tongue and carnitas. This truck parks every day on San Fernando Road, just south of Barranca Street, L.A. No phone.

Taqueria Vista Hermosa. You'll find this stand in the Mercado La Paloma, 3655 S. Grand Ave., L.A., (213) 741-1251. Open 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily.

Yuca's. For 27 years, the Herrera family's stand, with its Yucatan-Mayan culinary roots, has been a favorite with cops and foodies alike. Four kinds of tacos are on offer: asada, cochinita pibil (pork roasted with achiote in a banana leaf), carnitas (roasted, not fried) and machaca (shredded beef). The steak tacos are $1.70, the others $1.50. Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. 2056 N. Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz, (323) 662-1214.

-- Barbara Hansen

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