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King Taco

Yeah, it’s a chain, but King Taco is really a Los Angeles gem.  A hispanic friend told me it was the “Mexican In-N-Out”.  With 20 locations in the L.A. area, King Taco’s loyal following is made evident by the long lines expected at all times of the day and night.  You can expect “hole-in-wall” quality food (which is a good thing) and surprisingly fast service (so don’t be too put off by the lines). 

We had a taco fiesta!  The carne asada and al pastor were both very tasty, but I’ve definitely had better.  The carnitas turned out to be the star of the show.  I’ve had terribly dried out or really greasy carnitas at a number of “mom and pop” taco stands.  King Taco’s carnitas are very tender and moist chunks of roasted pork that are seared on the griddle and pretty close to perfect.  They asked if I wanted the tacos “con todo” (with everything: onions, cilantro and red or green salsa) and, as per usual, I happily said, “Yes!”  I noticed, however, that most people were getting the salsa on the side.  That should’ve been a warning.  The Fun Foodie and The Fun Wife are both into spicy foods, but King Taco’s salsas crossed the line!  They both had pretty decent flavor, but the searing pain overpowered the pleasure senses after awhile.  Definitely get the salsa on the side.  I have to say that it was disappointing that King Taco didn’t have a self-serve salsa bar, which usually comes standard in casual Mexican restaurants in SoCal.  Another disappointment was the nachos we ordered for The Fun Kids.  Instead of the freshly fried tortilla chips we usually get from taco stands, they served up the the bright yellow rounds of flavorless mediocrity you buy from Smart and Final.  Lame.

I did make one culinary discovery at King Taco: the Sope!  Growing up in San Diego, I saw these all the time at grocery stores and always thought a sope looked like the offspring of an English muffin and corn tortilla.  They’re pretty much a big, fat corn tortilla fried to a crisp and topped with refried beans, meat, cabbage and cheese.  I had mine with carnitas and it was excellent!  I’ll definitely have a few more of those before I die.

Bottom line, King Taco is really, really good.  Not the absolute best ever, but one of those institutions that an Angeleno must visit, pretty much just to be able to say that you have.

Carne Asada Tacos

Carnitas Tacos

Al Pastor Tacos

Sope with Carnitas, a new fave!

King Taco on Urbanspoon

  1. July 20, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    King Taco’s is pretty good. I’m on a mission to find the best breakfast burrito ever. So far, I’ve discovered Pepe’s Mexican Food in Alhambra.. yeah, Alhambra. Weird, I know. It’s this dinky little spot-cash only. I haven’t tried their other stuff but based on their breakfast burrito I may be tempted to stray from my mission for a bit.

    • Jay
      July 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm

      Yeah, someone on a food mission! I like that! One of my missions is “hole in the wall” Mexican. There’s a new place called Santana’s on Foothill and Garey. It’s quite awesome. You should hit it up for a breakfast burrito before church or something and let me know how it ranks (their meats and salsas are bomb!).

      There’s a Pepe’s in Azusa that we really like. Wonder if it’s a small regional chain.

      • July 20, 2010 at 8:15 pm

        I’ve been to Santana’s we had a california burrito (it has french fries in it) and carne asada fries. The fries were really good the california burrito was alright. The best cali burrito I had was by Knotts-forgot was the place was called. Discovered the cali burrito up in SF in a Hawaiian/Mexi food place.

  1. January 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm

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