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10 Great Tacos in Orange County

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The numbers don't lie, people: despite the protestations of some commenters to the contrary, ustedes LOVE lists! Ustedes LOVE Best Of-related stuff! So, to increase the love, we're combining the two! A list of Best Ofs! YEAHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Here's the comprende, Mendez: every Friday now, from here until kingdom come (aka, until we start the 100 favorite dishes for 2012 list, which we Forkers actually do love to do), we'll gather a list of great meals that weren't able to win our Best Of designation this year but are perennial contenders. Most of the writing will be rehashes of previous valentines we've written on the subject, mostly because it's okay to plagiarize yourself. Eventually, you'll be able to get these on our Best Of app for your smartphone--take THAT, Yelp!

First up this week: 10 great tacos in la naranja. Now excuse us as we sacrifice another baby to the social-media Ba'als that rule modern-day journalism...enjoy!

10. Al Pastor Taco, Taqueria Tapatia

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The tacos are similarly spartan, dressed up only with onions and cilantro, and one of the last places remaining in Orange County where they cost less than a dollar (though just barely, and the price has increased this year...). In both, the al pastor is tender, vaguely possessing pineapple and citrus flavors, and partners well with beans and rice--or, if you want it, shines on its own.

Taquería Tapatía, 202 S. Bristol, SanTana, (714) 972-9115; also at 1118 W. First St., SanTana, (714) 835-8168.

9. Chorizo Taco at Carnitas Los Reyes

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Photo by the Elmo Monster


The chorizo is grated until it's as fine as salt, then cooked in oil that looks and feels like transmission fluid but tastes like a thousand spicy hogs. The obsidian-toned meat is gritty, and the flavor subsumes your palate with its thick coat.

273 S. Tustin St. Orange, (714) 744-9337.

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