45 Tacos El Primo

45 Tacos “El Primo”

September 7, 2010

Alley just north of Adams Blvd at Redondo Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

West Adams

Carmen and I ventured out for Tuesday evening tacos, seeking trompo. On Saturday night we had seen a giant sidewalk trompo right on the sidewalk in front of a Tacos Guadalajara truck, now occupying the spot on Adams in front of the R-Ranch Bodega, where the Tortas Ahogadas truck used to park. We drove by and espied no trompo, so we figured to head up to Venice and La Brea, my new favorite taco intersection, and not because that’s where the combination Taco Bell and Pizza Hut is either. We didn’t get past the corner of Adams and Redondo before we spotted another truck, however, and lo and behold, they had a trompo in the window. Trompo fortune.

Tacos “El Primo” is a small taco trailer pulled by an awesome two-tone tan-and-brown F350 “Dually” pickup truck. It is parked in a potholed alley parallel to and north of Adams Boulevard, next to an empty corner lot and in between a humble four-unit apartment building and the back of A&C Appliances – a spontaneous taco community appears regularly in this gritty interstitial space. I found Bandini’s review of Tacos “El Primo” from September 2006, where the photographic evidence reveals the same truck and the same trailer parked in the same place four years ago to the day. Tacos “El Primo” might look to the observer like an exemplification of the ephemeral nature of taco supply and demand in Los Angeles, but it is a surprisingly permanent fixture. Eating here is a veritable flashback in time to four years ago, when the economy boomed and it seemed like the party would never stop. Everything turned to shit, but Tacos “El Primo” remained.

I ordered two tacos al pastor and one carne asada, cheap at $1.00 each. Horchatas are also $1.00 each. It’s like 2006 all over again! Tacos are served plain, and there are large bins containing salsa and a premixed mixture of onion and cilantro. I applied the red to the steak and one al pastor taco, and the green to the other. The tortillas are nicely oiled and griddled to effective leatheriness.

Carmen loved these tacos. Carmen raved about the steak, which I found very juicy and moist – Carmen glimpsed the steak being boiled briefly in a dark liquid filled with grilled onions before being griddled. But the red salsa bollixed up my taco. It was pretty spicy, but it tasted like soap. The green salsa was far better.

The al pastor was good, but not among the best – I’m not even sure it came from the trompo, since it looked like they were only just firing it up, and we might have come to early for the righteous pork treat. It was tender and thoroughly marinated, but saucy and quite sweet with chunks of fruit and onion in the sauce; good enough for me to give it the endorsement of pronouncing it taco-righteous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *