Prologue – Closing Time
We were driving down Oxnard, heading onto the southbound 170 ramp, when I saw it:
The taco place. Our taco place: Tacos el Toro, my favorite tacos in a city of amazing tacos. Closed in the middle of the day, on a Saturday.
It was bad news, indeed. I sent Tytron to check it out, and he’s been by a couple times to find it still closed, our only clue a handwritten note on the door:
And all the days to follow, apparently.
To tell the truth, we haven’t attempted any real sleuthing. We’ve mostly spent anxious, taco-less nights discussing our conspiracy theories around its abrupt closing. It’s been mentioned daily since the closure hit its three-week mark. In any case, after more than a month, the lack of tacos proved too much to bear, and we made the painful decision to move on — to at least find a taco that could fill in when we needed our El Toro fix.
You’d think it would be hard to screw up a taco.
You’d think finding a suitable taco in this taco-centric region would be a no-brainer.
You’d be wrong.
The Journey Begins
Finding a new taco is a lot like finding yourself single after being in a monogamous relationship for six years. You don’t remember how to find a new taco joint. You remember seeing others during the years you enjoyed with your favorite, but you didn’t really look, you know? So now you can’t remember where you thought you saw promising tacos, because back then you didn’t need to know. You had your El Toro, and it was all good.
If, from time to time, you had to stop at Del Taco or some random truck because you were too hungry to wait, it was all good. Those other tacos didn’t mean anything to you. They were simply used to meet a biological need. At the end of the day, you knew where your one true tacos were, and that’s where you kept going back.
I mean, anyway, who’s to say you should try to replace those tacos? Maybe you should branch out a little. Take a chance for once in your damned life. Maybe now that you have the opportunity, you should experiment with other kinds of tacos. You’ve been eating that specific taco variety for a few years. Is it really the best, or is it just familiar?
These questions are worth examining. Maybe a new kind of taco is just what you need.
Sometimes it hurts to make a big transition.
I think we’re ready to move forward with our lives.
That doesn’t mean we don’t still love Tacos El Toro. El Toro will always hold a special place in our hearts. Even if they’re not closed forever, it hurts to get burned like this — high, dry, and bereft of our favorite comfort food.
A parting word of advice to you: When you find a good taco, a faithful taco — don’t ever let it go. Be grateful for your time together, because you never know when it could all be taken from you.
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Follow the #tacopalypse journey here, as I co-opt this poor, forgotten booze blog with our ongoing quest to find Los Angeles’ best taco(s).