Yo! My name is Norberto and I love tacos. So recently, I was going out for a walk when my homie Gadiel decided to kidnap me and take me on a taco tour of LA (I'm actually not joking). His plan was for us to try three radically different tacos: An original street taco, a vegan taco, and a Korean BBQ taco. What started out as a prank turned into a wonderful journey through LA's tacolandia, and honestly, it was pretty dope:
Our first stop was the 26 Ave Taco Stand in Lincoln Heights, where we tried a taco de asada and a taco al pastor, made in its original form, with a small corn tortilla, and some perfectly cooked meat.
The tacos were terrific. I was REALLY into it, but Gadiel had a problem with the amount of heat in the salsa (I should note that I'm Mexican, so I grew up with spicy food my whole life. The hotter, the better. Gadiel, on the other hand, is Dominican, and spicy food wasn't really a thing in his household).
Next we tried Tacos Sín Karma, a vegan taco pop-up that specializes in cooking the BEST plant-based Mexican food. Here we tried a vegan taco cleverly called "carne as nada" made with plant-based "meat" that was marinated and seasoned to perfection.
So, real-talk: Gadiel and I were hesitant to try vegan tacos. We didn't know what to expect really. But, after taking only one bite of the taco, our worlds were turned upside down.
And finally, Gadiel took me to Kogi Taqueria, where we met chef/food truck extraordinaire Roy Choi. He introduced us to his world-famous short rib taco that fuses the savory taste of Mexican street cuisine with sweet Korean BBQ flavors.
Gadiel and I were taken aback by this gem of a taco. From the first bite, this taco packed a one-two punch, hitting our taste buds with delicious savoriness, followed by a nice and subtle sweetness. And in that aspect, the Kogi taco was familiar, yet unique in more ways than one.
In the end, we had to pick our favorites. Gadiel picked the 26 Ave Taco Stand, I picked the Tacos Sín Karma, and Curtis, our cameraman/sound dude, picked Kogi. Each establishment had something different to offer, and they all perfectly captured what the beautiful LA tacolandia landscape is all about. So, despite being kidnapped, I'm glad we went on this journey.