Long Beach Lunch: El Taco Loco #3
One of them is El Taco Loco #3, the city's only advertised 24-hour taqueria and coincidentally, a place I had been to multiple times before--albeit at hours of the night when traveling to its harsh neighborhood is best done in large groups and tacos are more whiskey-sponges than culinary artifacts.
I recently decided to try out El Taco Loco's homemade tortillas in a proper fashion and so for the first time ever, I hit up the popular taqueria sober and during daylight hours.
|Late-night shot of the combination Tapatío and paper towel holder|
On each table is another contemporary American amenity--the combination paper towel and Tapatío-bottle holder. The Tapatío fits upright into a small circular cutout on a small slab of light-colored wood; the paper towels go over a vertically placed stick, sometimes enveloping the hot sauce with is loose, end sheets. I like to imagine an old caballero-looking guy whittling more than 20 of these contraptions specifically for El Taco Loco, but that's probably too romantic of a thought.
I must have been staring at the paper-towel-and-Tapatio holder on my table for too long because the cashier kindly brought my food to me--two carne asada tacos and two al pastor tacos.
|Carne asada tacos|
Though the fillings were very much of the "con todo, por favor" variety, the taqueria's signature tortillas made the tacos more than an average $1.25 handheld. Because they are handmade, the tortillas are much larger and thicker than mass-produced ones. Plus, they have a great, toasted corn flavor that almost makes them more interesting to nibble on with just some salsa roja.
Even when they're not soaking up Jack 'n' Cokes, El Taco Loco #3's corn tortillas are a Long Beach must-have. I guess you could get them at any of the other regular-hours El Taco Locos scattered throughout the harbor cities, but something always tastes better when the grill is on full time.
El Taco Loco #3, 1465 Magnolia Ave., Long Beach, (562) 437-6228.
Follow Stick a Fork In It on Twitter @ocweeklyfood or on Facebook! And don't forget to download our free Best Of App here!