5 Things I Learned At Taco Madness This Past Weekend

On Saturday afternoon thousands of people gathered in Grand Park downtown for the second year in a row to celebrate L.A.’s diverse taco scenehear who won L.A. Taco’s Taco Madness bracket, listen to music,  stuff their faces with delicious delicious tacos.  The day was beautiful and many tacos were consumed, but only some made a real impression.  Here are 5 things I came away with after a few hours of sampling everything LA Taco’s Taco Madness 2014 had to offer. 


1. Mariscos Jalisco has still go it.  At this point there should just be a taco hall of fame, right?  Is Mariscos Jalisco’s shrimp dorado taco any worse now than it was when it won Taco Madness in 2012?  Of course not. People are just sick of sounding like a broken mariachi record.  Can we retire these guys and move on, rather than force them to compete year after year only to have people say “Well, it is my favorite taco of all time but shouldn’t we give somebody else a chance?”

Carnitas, Coraloense and corn, after the jump…


2. I’m probably going to have to re-route my Perfect 2 Hour L.A. Taco Crawl to include Carnitas el Momo.  The buzz over Carnitas el Momo has been building ever since they were written about on L.A. Magazine’s blog back in October. But if you’re like me, and do most of your taco exploring during your weekday lunch hour, you’ve probably been procrastinating since they’re only open on the weekends from 9am to 3pm. Their stand in South Park is a bit out of the way, but their truck on Vermont just north of Melrose would  make a perfect new starting point, just before Ricky’s Fish Tacos.  And the best news is, we hear the owner is working on expanding hours from Thursday to Sunday. Hopefully winning the judges prize this past weekend at Taco Madness will be just the kick in the culo they’ve been looking for.


3.  El Coraloense is clearly worth the trip to Bell Gardens.  I’m ashamed to admit it but I still haven’t been to Bell (or its surrounding areas) to try any of the great Mexican restaurants just south of East L.A like La Casita Mexicana, Corazon y Miel, or El Coraloense. And after trying the latter’s tacos this past weekend I got a gut shot confirmation of what a huge huge mistake I’ve made.  Even though El Coraloense is more known for their ceviches than their tacos, their “al pastor” fish taco was totally unique and squashed any doubt that they deserved to win this year’s Taco Madness Bracket.  And just for good measure, their fried seafood taco was pretty spectacular as well.


4. You’ll get another chance to try Mexicali’s blue corn tortillas this coming weekend.  Mexicali Taco & Co rolled out (literally) the big guns for Taco Madness, serving their signature carne asada atop homemade blue corn tortillas.  Not surprisingly they took home best tortilla at the festival, but sadly they won’t be adding them to the menu at the restaurant any time soon.  However if you’re going to Coachella, they will be serving them there as part of the Indio festival’s new lineup of exciting food options.


5. I really like tacos Arabes.  I love gyro, so it’s only natural that I’d like the Mexican version of a gyro right? I don’t know if Los Originales Tacos Arabes de Puebla is the best version of tacos arabes there is, but it was enough for me to know that I really like tacos arabes.  Meat cut from a spit?  Check.  A wrapper that lives in the land between pita bread and a tortilla?  Double check.  Puebla is now officially on my must visit list.

Check out the Taco Madness results over on lataco.com


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