When I set out to get some tacos on a Monday night, El Tauro Taco wasn’t my first choice. It wasn’t my second or third, either. Such is life hunting down taco trucks in Los Angeles. Monday-Wednesday are often slow nights in the LA taco world, with heavy-hitters like El Chato and El Flamin’ closed, and Leo’s Tacos keeping their trompo, responsible for their ridiculously good al pastor, on the sidelines. Not to be deterred, I kept driving the still busy streets until the bright, animated signage of El Tauro Taco caught my eye parked outside of a construction site on Wilshire Blvd. It was evident that the team behind the truck put a lot of time and effort into its aesthetics, but that, of course, doesn’t necessarily attest to how good the food is. I went with a pretty standard order for a first time visit- tacos de carne asada, al pastor, lengua y cabeza- in order to gauge El Tauro’s strengths. The cabeza was unremarkable, lacking the attention to preparation that better versions display, while the lengua was decent enough but nothing to celebrate. The al pastor, however, was quite good, especially considering it hadn’t slowly cooked on a trompo. The pork had a good chew to it, and was well flavored from the marinade that left the meat’s exterior with a vibrant red hue. This left the carne asada, which was the standout of the quartet. It was tasty and tender, but most importantly, it wasn’t overly chopped until unrecognizable. I liked that the tacos were served with grilled onions and peppers which added some extra depth to the two tacos that didn’t quite stand out on their own merit. Three salsas were offered – roja, verde, and an avocado-cilantro -and were all solid in their own right. The garnish section was standard but notedly clean and well-organized.
Even though it wasn’t my original destination, El Tauro Taco managed to satisfy my taco cravings on a slow Monday night. I’d definitely return and order the carne asada and al pastor again, but I might also have to stray from tacos altogether and see what’s good with their fried-to-order empanadas.
*This post was originally written for, and can also be viewed at, Qualmes.com
El Tauro Taco
Wilshire & Vermont (south side of Wilshire just east of Vermont)
Los Angeles, CA
Dine date: Mon 06.03.13, 8:30p