Pastor Specialist Tacos Leo Finally Opens for Lunch
Finding al pastor during lunch is not an impossible task. Finding real al pastor? Now that’s a different story. Most taco trucks offer some kind of version of marinated pork, possibly topped with pineapple- or not. But finding that real deal, cut from a spit shawarma-like ribbons of beautiful red al pastor topped with fat covered pineapple that’s cut from the very same spit can be more of a challenge. And finding it in the Midtown Lunch boundaries (between Downtown L.A. and Santa Monica) is basically impossible.
Sure, I can always get my fill of real pastor after the sun goes down at the famous Taco Leo Truck on Venice and La Brea (or even at Rico’s Tacos, the new upstart stand on Fairfax and Pico.) But what about during the day? Is there some unwritten rule that says you can’t serve al pastor from a spit while the sun still shines? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t drive by Venice and La Brea on my way to lunch every day hoping that one day I’d see that orange truck, parked in the gas station parking lot serving up $1 al pastor tacos from their beautiful trompo. And yesterday my dreams finally came true. (Kind of.)
A few weeks ago Tacos Leo started serving up breakfast and lunch from their spot on La Brea and Venice. There’s only one problem. They’re using a smaller truck, so there’s no al pastor spit!
So instead of beautiful thinly sliced al pastor, you get chunks of charred pork that have been cooked on a griddle. It’s still the same meat, the same tasty marinade, the same salsas and the same price ($1 each). But it’s not the same. Even the pineapple was cut into larger chunks. A tasty taco, no doubt. But nothing that will inspire the same crowds who now pack the gas station parking lot into the early hours of the morning every night of the week.
The problem of serving the real deal during the day is two fold. First off, the lunchtime truck is smaller and according to one of the workers can’t fit a real deal trompo. And the big truck can’t stay there all day. It needs to be cleaned and restocked after its nighttime shift. But even if they were going to bring a larger truck, there aren’t enough customers during the day to support that kind of operation, after all one of the keys to perfectly cooked al pastor- as it is with perfectly cooked shawarma- is a constant stream of customers. If the customers come, I could see them doing al pastor during the day… so, if you find yourself in the area during lunch make sure to swing by. Order a few tacos, and let them know you would totally support the real al pastor during the day. If enough of us do it, maybe the dream of pairing delicious al pastor tacos with a sunny Los Angeles day can finally become a reality.
Tacos Leo, Corner of Venice and La Brea