Anthony and I have been itching to cut a taco swath westward and fill out our Flickr Taco Map. And so my pal Kyle, upon hearing of our westward bound taco ambition, tipped us off to a Mid-City Taco stand named El Chato.
El Chato, like all greatly positioned taco stands, sits in a car repair shop parking lot from 7pm til 2 am- nightly. A pastor spit sits on the the main counter- gleaming like a meat beacon under the dim street lights of La Brea. Kyle, swore by scouts honor- that the al pastor tacos here rivaled El Taurino and King Taco standard. Of course, Anthony and I had to put this claim to the test.
I ordered 3 pastor tacos, 2 carne asada tacos and one lingua plus a horchata. They had no carnitas option- which was appalling, but they included roasted sweet onions- which was a plus!
The asada tacos were quite salacious! Their texture was slightly chewy and packed with savoriness. I found them to be a bit saltier than the standard asada taco, which I happened to like. Anthony disagreed with my opinion though, stating they were thinner than the average taco and nothing really worth getting excited about.
The pastor tacos were great! They were drenched in marinade and had just the right amount of hotness. Its texture was tender, the sauce sweet, and left the mouth with a pleasant burning sensation. Its suprising to get tasty pastor out of a taco truck because the meat spit doesn’t benefit from being out in the night air as many a good pastor stand is.
The lingua taco was savory, slightly pasty and overall decent. Nothing really to say about it, so if I were you I’d stick to the pasotor and carne asada. The horchata was delicious despite being a bit milkier than most joints. However, this was welcome to pacify the hotness of the al pastor.
Overall, El Chato was pretty damned good. However, my stomach was churning for the next two days. Anthony and Kyle were fine- so either I had some remnants of the terrible cod fish I had from Mission 261 in San Gabriel left in my belly- or something in the tacos killed me. Tacos don’t usually do me wrong, so I’ll blame it on the cod and maybe the lingua. I usually stick to the trifecta of pastor, asada, and carnitas; lingua is outside of my routine. So, I’ll leave El Chato with the benefit of the doubt- because they sure tasted good going down.
**Corner of Olympic and La Brea in Los Angeles, Open 7pm till 2am
Horchata Grade: B+
Positives: Cheap, Good Asada and Pastor, Free Grilled Sweet Onions, Toothpicks
Negatives: No Carnitas, My Stomach Got Pwned
PS Oje Mijo!!!!