05 Tacos Don Jorge
January 22, 2010
8693 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034
It’s Friday night, so Carmen and I went out to a taco shop. Tacos Don Jorge is distinguished by its awesome menu – they have tortas, burritos and tacos with your choice of typical meats, and nothing else to worry about or distract you. Their menu is imageable, as a taqueria’s menu should be. Don Jorge started out as a truck, and for the first year after their restaurant opened, the truck remained parked out front on Venice Boulevard, serving as an awesome billboard.
We each had three tacos, one each of al pastor, carne asada, and carnitas. They are slightly above average in size and $1.25 a piece. There is no salsa bar – the tacomasters have determined what salsa and how much of it should be on your taco, and they put it there. The tacos here are delivered pretty saucy. The tortillas are typical – each taco features two laminated together by steam, aka bilaminated.
I started with carne asada. The meat is chewy and a little gamy, and equipped with a quite spicy salsa. It is satisfying. The overflow of meat could not be contained atop the tortilla shell. Juicy sauces and a few chunks of meat spilled out the back when I bit off the front of the taco.
The al pastor was next, and was the standout of the bunch. It was the largest, completely resisting efforts to fold the tortillas into a taco shape around the pile of meat. I tasted the half-cylinder of pastor and thought to myself, this is the stuff, the stuff of the shepherd. It is unusually fruity flavored, and sweet; but also spicy and seasoned with chorizo-like flavors.
The carnitas was typical taqueria carnitas – grey, moist and shreddy, with consistent texture, and not too thrilling. Good carnitas is the kind that has contrasty inconsistent texture with crunchy fried bits in its midst. If I don’t find a good carnitas taco soon, I’m going to give up trying it and switch to guts.
Tacos Don Jorge is open till 1:00 AM, so good for a late night al pastor fix.