The Skinny: After a four game winning streak on the road in a tight race to make it into the NHL playoffs, the LA Kings are back home at the Staple Center. Everyone was dressed in green because of St. Patty’s day and for 25 bucks, I got to watch the Kings get shut out by a team that lost the previous night. But hey, at least I was in the box seat area that has it’s own open bar.
Kike’s is a taco spot that’s in a parking lot on 2nd St & Beaudry Ave. It started off as small street stall with just a fire pit, lawn chairs and tables. Then years after good fortune and loyal customers, they got enough money saved up to buy a truck. But accordingly to Spreewell of Ramen + Tacos, there was a fallout between the workers and now there are two different locations not to far from each other.
The High: I was at the Staple Center and I got to watch the Kings lose while sipping on Jameson, nibbling on Staple Center bar food, and saw some old roller and ice hockey teammates from my High School years.
After the game, some of us went to Kike’s Taco Truck and from there I ordered the Buche. Of all the ones I had before, Kike’s version was actually the cleanest tasting one so far. Texturally, it was perfect, like tender calamari. And because of a mix up order, the sweet girl working by herself in the truck, gave me an extra one for free. So for only 4 bucks, I technically only paid for 3 tacos and a can of Fanta Pineapple. Ramen+Tacos guy Spreewell and a cousin of mine who were both there, ordered the Pastor and Carne Asada. They were both happy with their selections as they talked about stories that will only stay out of Vegas for that moment in time.
The Low: The Kings lost and while I have stopped following them since the addition of purple in their jersey colors, the new owner, and players being 10 years younger than me….it was still a bummer. Also, the cooks at Staple Center must be getting lazier and their waiters walking on cruise control. We ordered Chicken Wings, but they came out lukewarm. The whole Organic White Carrots that came with them still had that unclean outer layer on. Along with those wings was a “where’s the Pulled Pork?”….Quesadilla. No bueno!
As for the Buche Taco, while texturally it was good, it was kind of bland. The Salsa Verde didn’t really add much to it either, it was just cold.
Would you come back again? Yes, just because the Buche was lacking in seasoning doesn’t mean their other stuff are too. They also have sweet breads (throat glands), something I’ve grown to like after trying them at King Taco.
More Info: 621 S Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90005 | Cash Only | 1 dollar Tacos | They also serve Danger Dogs if you are in the mood.
The Skinny: El Gallito is a taco truck that can be found almost anywhere in Los Angeles. The one I went to was on Pacific Coast Highway in Lomita and on Washington Blvd near Culver City. Taco Sinaloa #3 is a sit-down restaurant in Torrance which I found on Yelp. Reviewers recommended the Pastor, so I got that along with their Buche (pig stomache), which is my favorite meat of choice. So I got the Buche at El Gallito’s, along with their Carnitas and the little more expensive Tripas.
The High: El Gallito’s Buche and Tripas were great, both texturally and in flavor. The Tripas were chewy and the amount of Buche was plentiful. I just wish the Tripas were a bit crispy around the edges.
The Low: El Gallito’s Carnitas wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. The pork was a bit dry and lacked flavor, even with the chopped onions and red salsa I put on top. I would have used the green salsa they provided, but it was frozen….so I couldn’t.
Taco Sinaloa #3’s version of the Buche taco started off well because some of the pieces were crispy and it was packed with flavor. The second bite I took felt like I was chomping down onto a soft salt lick doohickey. I could literally feel my brain fluids be sucked out by all the sodium that was in that taco.
The Pastor that people raved about on Yelp was a complete disappointment. I ordered two of them but only managed to finish one. My biggest problem with it was that it just tasted like bland pieces of pork puffs that got re-hydrated by the amount of oil used to cook it. I was expecting chucks of pork that were sliced off a gyro looking hunk of mystery meats….but got mushy blobs instead.
Would you come back again? Yes to El Gallito and no to Taco Sinaloa #3. I just hope I went to Taco Sinaloa on a bad day because their Buche could have been my favorite