12 Pepe’s Tacos
March 21, 2010
4582 Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066
Carmen and I treated ourselves to a lunch at Pepe’s Tacos, which would catch my eye every time we drive to Mar Vista. It’s near Sanchez on Centinela, which is some stiff taco competition, and still manages to stay in business, so it had to be good.
And it was good. I opted for a combo meal of three tacos, fries, and a soda for $5.99 (tacos are $1.39 each a la carte). The fries were welcome addition to my taco plate, and were hot, fresh and seasoned. We were also served a complimentary bowl of tortilla chips and salsa while we waited. The serveuse was nice.
I chose the carne asada, carnitas, and al pastor tacos. They were pretty big, above average in size, served in very good conventional bilaminated tortillas with a nice leathery feel. My tortillas performed excellently, withstanding the juiciness of the meat, although Carmen experienced a catastrophic tortilla failure and had to finish up with a fork. All three tacos were served with a helping of the green salsa, which was good but not very spicy.
First I ate the al pastor. This was a satisfying taco – the good-sized discrete chunks of pork had a dry-rub style seasoning, with a salty adobada flavor and good texture. Not the typical al pastor, but very good. The carne asada came next. This one was the biggest, in at least the 80th percentile for tacos. The meat was juicy, and elegantly meaty, adorned with little more than salt, pepper and garlic. Finallly the carnitas taco was a good solid example – little textural variation, but juicy, exhibiting a nice brown colourway, and ample smoky flavor of slow-roasted pork.
Pepe’s was not better than Taqueria Sanchez, but represents another excellent Westside taco option.