Review: Taco Loco + Tacos El Toro News

Edit: 2/5/16

Alas! What, at first bite, appeared to have promise turned out to be false hope for this taco-seeking denizen. After four visits and two experiences in which I was served food that didn’t taste very fresh and tasting of old fry-oil, I have to put this down as a “If I was super hungry I might stop here, but I don’t give it much hope for becoming the go-to.

Their hot, fresh salsas and friendly service has been consistent throughout, but I’m afraid that’s the only thing that has.

* * * * * *

People, we have a contender. I’m not going to go so far as to say I like these better than El Toro, but damn, I might like them better than El Toro. It hurts me to say that, but honesty is the best policy in both life and tacos.

TACO LOCO – 5954 Lankershim Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91601

(Tucked behind the Taco Bell in the strip center at the Southwest corner of Oxnard & Lankershim in North Hollywood. Across the street from the CVS.)

We got the cabeza, buche, al pastor, carnitas traditional tacos and two chicken “King Tacos”, which are Taco Loco’s deep fried tacos.

I don’t know if they make them in-house, but they use the smaller, thicker corn tortilla for their traditional tacos. I don’t dislike them, per se, but it’s maybe the one thing I like less. They taste fine, they just don’t have the fold and hold power of the thinner, store-bought corn tortilla, and they tend to crack and make it a little harder to eat the taco, which, frankly, isn’t really a huge problem. I’ll eat it straight off the plate with my mouth, if you want me to.

Quality and quantity was fine. The tacos were filled full, and even though they look smaller, I think it’s the overall same quantity of filler and wrap that you get with the slightly larger tortilla.

The cabeza was basically perfect in every way. A little heat to the pastor, which I liked. The carnitas and buche were good. The deep fried tacos were delicious, and slopped with some kind of tasty jalapeño sour cream sauce.

I’ve only ever tried the pineapple juice at El Toro, so I’m not sure what the norm is. It’s very sweet and syrupy with little chunks of pineapple at Taco Loco. I prefer the much more watered down version with less sugar we used to get. An interesting thing about Taco Loco is that they also have a smoothie bar type thing where you can get what seem to be a pretty fair selection of blended drinks. The lady and guy behind the counter was smiling and friendly, both times I went (I snuck back two days later under the pretense of feeding a hung-over friend). Both times, the person on the register was also cooking, so it took 20 minutes or so to get the food, but I went twice during off hours (late afternoon on Halloween, and pre-lunchtime on a weekday). We will definitely be hitting up this taco joint again.


4/5 stars

El Toro News: We drove by El Toro a few days back and there are workers fixing something on the roof. There’s a huge sign out front that says “UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP.” Will update as we know more.


The True Spirit of Christmas

It’s as if these magnificent sons-of-bitches reached into my heart and looked upon my most desperate wish…then made it a reality. Bless you, for you do the Lord’s work.


Buy it for me here:

My birthday’s in a couple of weeks, so you won’t even need expedited shipping.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Review: Cilantro Grill

Cilantro Grill has a tiny little storefront attached to the Chevron gas station at the northwest corner of Sherman Way and entrances to the 170. Blink, and you’ll miss it.

Cilantro Grill – 7214 Whitsett Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91605  

Ordered: pork, chicken, beef tacos

Order Time: 35 minutes

Food quality, flavor, and quantity: great, great, on the large side. 2 tacos are a full meal.

Service: Tytron also waited for about 40 minutes at this place, but said it was packed, and the orders were moving out fairly quickly. He claims the employees were friendly and on point.

Pick Up/Dine in: Picked up

Cost: $2/taco

Verdict: Surprisingly great. They served a nice dry rub Mexican-style grilled chicken that I was particularly happy with. The beef was good. The pork was a little dry. Cilantro Grill serves good, fresh, nicely prepared, flavorful, and substantial tacos. It’s not the style of taco I’m looking to fill the El Toro void, but I wouldn’t hesitate to eat here again if I was in the area.

3/5 stars

* * * * * * *

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). 

Alcohol for Academia

GYDO fan and grad student says:

i would like some alcohol advice for someone who’s stopped drinking for the most part but is wrestling with racial imaginaries and the reductionist views of binary/hybridity discourse.”

I don’t know what that means, but while she professes to hardly drink, she surely wants and, yes, even needs to drink more. This is a cry for help.

Sounds like someone needs the drink of a scholar.

Continue reading “Alcohol for Academia”

Review: Los Burritos

Los Burritos5568 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

Tytron is angered by the disappointment of these terrible tacos.
Tytron is angered by the disappointment of these terrible tacos.

Ordered: carnitas and chicken tacos

Order Time: 40 minutes

Food quality, flavor, and quantity: Terrible, terrible, suitably sized.

Service: After waiting forty minutes, the employee informed Tytron they’d lost his order. He reordered, and the food was given to him several minutes later. There were four people in the restaurant.

Pick Up/Dine in: Picked up

Cost: $2/taco

Verdict: Literally the worst tacos we’ve ever had in LA. The meat was hard on the outside and dry inside. Poor first taco tasting. NO STARS.

1. Tacopalypse: A Journey of Grief, Redemption, and Tacos

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:

Closed today. Continue reading “1. Tacopalypse: A Journey of Grief, Redemption, and Tacos”

Tequila You Softly

Before I begin, I’d like to sing the praises of my lovely friend, Arielle, who is a huge contributor to my writing motivation and daily inspiration for spreading love, light, and delicious vegan recipes across the land.  If you have not checked out my suggested links, I highly recommend you visit Love Them Apples, her vegan recipe/story blog to see the gorgeous and mouthwatering photos of her creations.  *sigh*  I lust after her pies.

This particular article was inspired by Arielle’s impending birthday.  She asked what a mindful, healthful person should consider as a special  birthday drink.  My answer:  A “real” margarita made with pure ingredients and fine tequila. Happy birthday, dear Arielle.  I hope your day is as magical as you. Continue reading “Tequila You Softly”