I believe it would be a terrible thing to ever ignore the plight of a fellow foodie. And people who run taco trucks, well, I have seen the passion in those taco creations and they count. So when I heard of their plight, well, we had to come out and show our support. Apparently the powers that be are trying to make it so they are not allowed to park in the same spot more than 30 or 60 minutes depending on the part of town.
So back to the story. Scot went along grumbling, as we had perfectly good leftover pasta bolognese (made from scratch) in the fridge and he really wanted that. But no, I haven’t been to a taco truck in forever and insisted. It was for a good cause, after all. Scot begrudgingly agreed and off we were to Gardena. The place we chose looked like a converted car wash. They had an actual building on the lot that sold homemade juices and desserts. And the truck was parked on the actual lot. I have a feeling this truck is not at all affected by the ruling but whatever. We were there. Being it was 8:30 at night, and of course we were the only gringos, we did stick out a bit. Especially when I brought out my spanish/english dictionary. At that point people started asking us if they could help us. They knew nothing of Save Our Taco Truck Night, but they were very friendly evn though they thought we were insane. They attempted to steer us towards carne asada and carnitas. Feh, they have that at Chipotle. I wanted all the special parts. (Which is why I brought the dictionary; I needed to know which part of the creature I was ordering.) When I explained that lengua (tongue) was my favorite, they kinda stopped trying to help. One especially friendly girl did say that I had an especially strong positive aura and she wanted to do an astrology reading on me. I was very complimented and considered her offer, but we never quite got around to it.
Then we finally got around to ordering. The dictionary proved useless. Apparently I am going to have to find a dictionary specializing in animal parts, as none of the more select items on the menu were in the dictionary. The funny thing was we asked all the people in line and they did not know what any of them were either. They just made yukky noises.
So we decided to start with a few tacos: lengua, carnitas, and tripe. And two tostadas: octopus and shrimp, and a ceviche. Tons of food and it came to $9. While we waited, we went to the juice bar and I got a horchata and scot got a chocolate banana milkshake. All the food was quite fresh and had great flavor. There was an assortment of hot sauce available from various countries in South America. The tacos (soft) also came with a tender grilled onion, grilled pepper, and some carrots. THey came with a great homemade salsa and onions on top as well. The lengua was both of our favorites; very tender, mild flavor. Carnitas are always good, but the tripe was a bit to tripe-ey for me.
With the tostadas, my favorite was the octopus which was cooked until just tender, and had just the right amount of citrus accent.
Well we probably didn’t need it but being that we only spent $9 we wanted to try some more stuff off the menu. I think they were laughing at us at that point. So we threw caution to the wind and ordered more tacos: Cabeza (i think this was beef tendon) carne asada (duh) and pastor (pork? still not sure). And lengua quesadillas. And a shrimp cocktail. The shrimp cocktail was kinda overcooked and in a gazpacho that tasted of too much tomato juice. The cabeza was the best of the tacos..very tender. Great texture and flavor. The other two were forgettable. The lengua was immersed in gooey cheese in between two very fresh flour tortillas. I was too full to eat much of it but the few bites I had were very good.
All in all, the whole thing cost about $22. I love LA for these kinds of experiences.
Be sure to ask for lots of extra napkins.
Neighborhood: Harbor Gateway
Corner of 168th Street and Figueroa
Pulpa and camarones tostada
lengua, tripe, and carnitas tacos