Sonia’s Tacos (As Eagle Rock Blvd. Turns)

Ξ December 11th, 2007 | → 2 Comments | ∇ 90041, Food |

Sonia’s Tacos

After an evening of patronizing only bars named after their streets (The York and The Verdugo), the York Blvd guys and one of our beautiful readers needed some tacos in Eagle Rock. Leo’s is an easy standby, but seeing as he now has a sign asking “please allow 30 min max for your food on weekends”, we decided to cross over to the enemy and eat at Sonia’s.

Aside: We need to start spreading the word at Oxy to get these kids to start branching out beyond eating only at Leo’s. About 90% of his latenight customers have the ubiquitous Oxy keychain around their neck.

For those unfamiliar with the telenovela that is the Northeast taco truck scene, Sonia is Leo’s ex-wife. She worked by his side until the two divorced and she started her own competing truck. For some real dramatic irony you can check out the film on Leo’s here. Especially poigniant are the scenes watching the two work together with Sonia admitting that she really doesn’t like the work and sometimes has difficulty working in such close proximity with her then husband. Both have new members of the opposite sex working by their side (now if we could throw in an evil railroad barron, a nymphomaniacal stepmother, and a dream sequence, we might have a script).

Tacos de Pastor y de Asada

Anyhow, we arrived on the corner of Eagle Rock Blvd. and Fair Park ready to mash some tacos. Per usual, Sonia’s came through. The wait was minimal (certainly less than Leo’s) and the tacos had a nice extra kick to them. Sonia serves her asada with a nice mixture of salsa and guacamole that warms your tongue and belly without making water a necessity. It’s a bit out of the way for me to be making frequent trips but it’s a great alternative to the hyped and packed Leos.

 

My Taco’s Potato Taco Redux

Ξ December 11th, 2007 | → 1 Comments | ∇ 90042, Food, Highland Park |

While flipping through the escort and medicinal marijuana studies ads in the LAWeekly at La Casa Blue two weeks ago, I ran across a food review for My Taco at 6300 York Blvd. (Read the review here) I couldn’t let Jonathan Gold horn in on our turf (Pulitzer or not), so I had to visit for myself. The main bent of the article was to review My Taco’s carne asada fries. I’m familiar with the dish (which is as much of a guilty pleasure as it sounds) from my youth down south, and I have no intention of simply parroting Gold’s article here. Instead, I planned on giving the potato tacos I hadn’t fallen in love with at El Atacor a second chance. (Read our review here)


Located across from the Rite-Aid and next to an empty Chinese Food Buffet, My Taco looks like any other Mexican restaurant from the outside. Once inside, it’s clear they’ve put serious work into making the white westsider inside all of us. Lots of color, a stylish chalkboard menu, and even an LCD TV placed this spot closer to Baja Fresh than to La Estrella on the Mexican Food Spectrum. The food was quality and I have to give them some credit for slowly beginning to bring me around to the potato taco. What I’m starting to understand about this fried spud is that in the same way hash browns are only a medium for transporting salt and ketchup, potato tacos are a blank palette for a good salsa. It is in this category where My Taco earns its niche in my book. They have a clean and fresh salsa bar with a standout red sauce as well as a green slightly viscous guacamole salsa that elevates the potato taco to a sum greater than its parts. Unlike most salsa bar guacamoles that provide approximately 2 avocados per gallon of water, this mixture is thick enough to be eaten with a fork and stays in place on the taco.

Still, I can’t get too doe-eyed for this spot as their carne asada torta wasn’t up to the high neighborhood standards. While not bad, it lacked the greasy kick that I’m looking for in beef. It’s more flavorful than say a Baja Fresh, but tastes suspiciously like the shrink-wrapped carne asada you can buy at Costco: Tender, with less fat, but with a slightly uncomfortable sweetness. Still, My Taco’s overall (guero) friendliness makes it a prime spot to ease your Westside friends, grandparents, or girlfriend’s mom, into the neighborhood culinary scene. I’ll be heading back for the green sauce and potato tacos but still searching elsewhere for my asada.

 

Figueroa Street Marketplace

Ξ December 6th, 2007 | → Comments Off | ∇ 90042, Food, Highland Park, Shopping |

5100 N. Figueroa St.

Ah Capitalism. An economic system that has provided us with the miracles of no-freeze cheese, Viagra and Levitra, and pet funerals (seriously, NPR did a story on this yesterday). My point is, where there’s a market for something, someone is likely to be selling. This especially holds true in one of my favorite little entrepreneurial corner of Highland Park. Directly in front of the Food 4 Less (5100 N. Figueroa St.) sit no fewer than six food vendors. Two taco trucks (TakiTacos, reviewed here, being one of them), one esquites and elotes vendor, two guys selling champurrado and tamales from the back of their van, a man selling cups of fruit and yogurt, and a man selling shaved ice. A few nights back I visited and tasted a few of them with the following results: Esquites and elotes are awesome. Creamy, spicy, and a little sweet all at the same time, both of these corn dishes always hit the spot. The main difference between the two is that esquites are served in a soup form while elotes are served on the cob and placed on a stick for you. Both are liberally covered in Mexican cream, lime juice, and chile. The tacos, as always, are deeply satisfying both gastronomically and economically. They grill onions with the meat to effectively soak up any missed grease. Not healthy, but damn good. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of was the champurrado. It’s a thick drink made with masa and chocolate. It tastes like what you would get if you blended a little chocolate and hot water with a tamale.

Food

This marketplace doesn’t only serve food, it also hawks a few wares. One guy is frequently set up with perfume on an upside-down cardboard box, and another is situated just to the north of TakiTaco selling illegal DVDs. This spot can’t miss when I feel like spending a relaxed night grubbing Mexican food on my couch and watching The Simpson’s Movie complete with the back of some guy’s head and a real laugh track. See you there!

 

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