Taco Love on Sunset is Grossly Misnamed
I don’t know what you think you mean when you say the word burrito, but I know what I think of. I think of a tightly packed nugget of perfection. One that is wrapped in paper and/or tin foil and will stand up on its own. I think of something that will never be touched by a fork or a knife, and doesn’t have a “wet” option (if anything, the more dry the better.) I think of something that has more rice than beans, and those beans will be black or pinto, not refried. And don’t talk to me about Chipotle. If I’m in San Diego, you can replace those rice and beans with french fries and I won’t complain. Sour cream and/or guacamole? Yes please. And the meat is there to add fat and some textural contrast, not as a vehicle for heavy spices or some kind of chile sauce. That flavor gets added at the end when you choose which salsa you want to put on your burrito… ideally bite by delicious bite. Call it a San Francisco burrito, use the word “mission” if you want, but I just call it a burrito when I say I have never had a good burrito in Los Angeles.
That is until yesterday, when I had the burrito at Taco Love- a grossly misnamed new shop on Sunset near Crescent Heights. Because it’s not the tacos you’ll love at this place. It’s all about the burrito.
The menu at Taco Love is fairly simple. There are four protein options- carne asada, carnitas, adobada (their version of al pastor), and chicken- which can be ordered in a taco, on top of french fries, in a burrito, or on a salad (natch.)
The asada is grilled, the carnitas are braised (or roasted?), and there is a great looking spit behind the counter where the adobada gets cooked.
The meats all get hacked up before being served, so if you’re into big chunks of meat in your taco (or nice slices of al pastor, ala Tacos Leo) you will be sorely disappointed…
…especially in the tacos, which are going to be all about the meat. The tortillas are better than average, and each taco automatically comes topped with onions and smeared with a bit of guac, making the $2 price tag a bit more reasonable. That being said they’re definitely on the small side, and won’t keep you from wanting to hit up your favorite taco truck instead.
The burritos, on the other hand, are a different story. You have two options on that front…
A regular burrito, with meat, pico de gallo and gaucamole ($6.50).
Or a Cali Burrito, with meat, cheese, sour cream and french fries. ($7; also known as a San Diego style burrito.)
But the best is when you combine the two by ordering a Cali Burrito and adding pico and guac ($8.50). For those keeping score at home that’s meat, cheese, french fries, sour cream, guac and pico de gallo. The fries are just your run of the mill shoestrings, but do a good job of keeping things from getting to sloppy and wet in there, the downfall of most L.A. burritos. Add some of their green sauce or red sauce and you’re in business. Carne asada is the natural choice in one of these burrito, and Taco Love’s version is better than average. But you could easily substitute their carnitas, chicken or adobada and get the same delicious burrito results. The adobada is the most flavorful of the four, since it’s been marinated, but none of the meats really stand out on their own. But in this simple, well constructed burrito they do their jobs perfectly.
Fans of San Diego style Mexican food will also be excited to see that carne asada fries make it on to the menu as well. (Yes there are fries under there.) Just like with the burrito there’s nothing particularly special about each of the individual elements, but it all comes together to make a pretty satisfying basket of what most would lovingly refer to as drunk food.
Oh, and there’s this!
In the end Taco Love might not be your definition of the perfect burrito. And without beans and rice, it even falls short of being my perfect burrito. That being said, this San Diego style Mexican food joint makes the most satisfying burrito I’ve ever had in L.A. One that I will gladly say that I love.
Taco Love, 7980 W Sunset Blvd. 323-650-8226