Thursday, December 20, 2007
Just arrived in Los Angeles, and made a beeline for my favorite taco source: El Parian, on Pico Boulevard. Once past the slightly forbidding exterior, this place is a treat – people are warm and friendly, the grill is hot, and the beer is cold.
Carne asada is the thing to get here, grilled in thick, copious portions that are barely contained by the freshly handmade tortillas. This is the stuff I dream about in France, where getting real Mexican food is about as likely as finding an authentic baguette in Kansas.
Two fat asada tacos and one equally fat birria taco later, I was driving towards LACMA and realized that today is Wednesday, meaning that it’s closed. Damn! Fortunately, I happened to be passing El Taurino, which sufficiently distracted me from the Japanese calligraphy exhibition that I was missing.
I have a great respect for bulls. As taco reporter Bandini says in his outstanding blog, The Great Taco Hunt, “I’ve never been to a taqueria that had a bull head mounted on the wall that didn’t have great tacos.” The tacos at El Taurino are indeed excellent, with smoky, charry carne asada and a pungent salsa roja. I think if El Parian is having a good day it still can’t be beaten, but the salsa roja at El Taurino is awesome.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll go on an al pastor hunt.
El Parian - 1528 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles
El Taurino - 1104 S. Hoover Street, Los Angeles