January 1, 2007

El Taurino- Los Angeles Taco Resturaunt

Taurino Head

El Taurino, the bull, is a legendary taco hot spot in Los Angeles. Located on Hoover at 11th street in a very crowded part of town- it is constantly bustling.

The restaurant is laid out cafeteria style- with many small plastic tables with attached chairs stationed all around. Everything is served on paper plates- so the mind set is definitely food on the go.
However, its decor is top notch! It’s decorated with fine Matador paraphernalia and even a few mounted taurino heads (which I’m intent on nabbing for my apartment now).

El Taurino offers a fine number of Mexican dishes from enchiladas to tamales- but the tacos are what lead me to their halls. The usual suspects are available: carne asada, al pastor, carnitas, lingua, buche and cabeza. Pollo makes an appearance, which is a definite plus for my non-carne eating friend Mike Brazil. Also- the chef’s handle everything here- so you’d best specify what type of salsa you’d like at the get go.

Taco Handling

I sampled pastor, carnitas and asada with both salsa verde and salsa roja.

The pastor tacos were succulent. The marinade combined with a soft chopped onion melted in the mouth- and the proceeded to burn. The carnitas had a nice consistency- neither being too wet or dry. The asada was lean and flavorful- although I recommend taking it with the salsa verde if you want to enjoy the sabor after one or two bites. The salsa roja- while delicious- is extremely hot for the non-fireman. Use with caution. The salsa verde complemented each type quite well- being flavorful and just a smidge hot.

Carnitas, Asada and Pastor con Salsa Roja y Verde

After eating a total of six tacos with all salsa roja (on my first visit) – I ended up going through two horchatas to pacify the burning ulcer in my stomach. Luckily, the horchata is thick and delicious- with a few cinnamon sheddings clearly floating in the mixture.

Also, for those who just want Tacos- El Taurino has a Taco Truck in the back during some parts of the day. Apparently it leaves for other downtown locations at night- I’ve yet to pay attention to where it roams. Regardless, the tacos are the same inside and outside the cart.

Overall, I’d say El Taurino is a top shelf taco provider in the Los Angeles area and recommend all fine taco connoisseurs to make a visit.


Overall Rating: A-
Horchata Grade: A
Salsa Roja: FUCKING HOT.
Price: 1.15 per taco

Positives: Delicious. Great decor. Al Pastor- amazing. Asada is fresh. Carnitas are succulent.
Negatives: Long waits. Unintelligible number calling. Very little interface with how taco is equipped- handled by a chef.

Location: 2306 11 Street, Los Angeles CA 90006

6 Comments on “El Taurino- Los Angeles Taco Resturaunt

January 2, 2007 at 8:40 am

El Taurino is the best after a very long crappy day “testing” games here at Vivendi. The red sauce is also not that hot you McPansy.

March 10, 2007 at 12:32 am

i suffered from the salsa roja here as well!!!!!!!!!!!! O.O fucking ridiculous!

July 12, 2007 at 4:58 pm

OMG!!!!!!! I LOVE THIS PLACE!! My family and I have been coming to this restaurant since I can remember! Specially on the weekends! This place is great after a night of partying and beer drinking! You can eat,drink beer, horchata and my favorite Tamarindo! Their tortas de asada are the best with avocado, beans, crema, onions, ect. THE BEST IN TOWN!!

Former Customer
July 12, 2008 at 9:03 am

Don’t waste your TIME or MONEY. High prices SMALL portions and VERY LONG lines and even longer WAIT times. The service is sub par. They’ll take your money within minutes of you entering but then you will wait and wait and wait. What’s worse is that they have a phone number posted for their corporate office where they simple tell you that they will look into the matter.

July 21, 2008 at 11:04 pm

The Service SUCKS! There are so many other places in the city to choose from where you WILL get quality food at a good price. This is NOT one of them.

Foodie Ro
March 21, 2009 at 9:13 am

This place serves real tacos. The meat has flavors and everything is delicious in the menu. I have taken many of my non-latino friends to taste a real taco and they love it. I then hand them a Pepto Bismol tablet just in case.
Ok, it’s not the best neighborhood but that’s part of the experience. A little urban experience never hurt anybody. The service is not the best but then again should a taqueria have a bunch of struggling actors with faux-mohawks named Tucker kissing your ass. I love Pancho screaming out the orders while his workers make fun of his dependency on Viagra.

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