Finding a reliable and delicious taco spot in Los Angeles is a must. Whether you’re visiting or live here, your quality of life is elevated with every taco, burrito and quesadilla you eat. I’m pretty sure it’s scientific fact.
There are literally thousands of Mexican food options in LA, but we all know that quantity and quality don’t always go hand in hand, so choosing the right spots is the difference between the greatest, greasiest quesadilla you ever had and dry tortillas and bland meat, or worse.
Luckily for you guys, I have a thing for taco trucks. I seek them out, explore their menus and categorize them with my personal ratings system – a perfectly calibrated recipe for maximum culinary enjoyment, word to Ron Swanson.
(Press play to get an inside look at Tacos El Venado)
I’m not talking about Baja Fresh or Chipotle either; I’m strictly a fan of authentic spots that serve fresh, homemade style delicacies. Places like Tacos El Venado. The family-owned and operated Venado is a lunch truck and sidewalk stand serving some of the biggest and most flavorful food you can eat.
They offer a variety of Mexican street food fare; tacos, burritos, quesadillas, mulitas and more, available in beef (asada, suadero, lengua, cabeza, tripas) pork (al pastor, chorizo, buche) and chicken. My favorite choice is their burrito, a combination of perfectly-seasoned juicy meat, rice, beans and cheese (available upon request) assembled and handed to you unwrapped, ready to be personalized. (See video below)
Their “taco bar” offers your choice of onions, cilantro, lemon, pico de gallo and more along with three different sauces; red (spiciest), green (moderate) and avocado salsa (not spicy at all), each available for you to add to your burrito, which you then hand back for wrapping. You get all that for just $5 per burrito, and you can add or subtract the rice, beans and cheese (50 cents extra) on your order. If you’re like me and want to take it a step further, you can ask for meat only or add a second meat to your burrito for just one dollar more.
They also offer quesadillas ($5) with your choice of meat and large handfuls of shredded cheese, melted together with the meat as the large flour tortilla slowly toasts on their flat iron grill, before being folded in half and chopped into four large pieces. Mulitas ($2) are like mini quesadillas, except these are served on two small corn tortillas and stuffed with meat and cheese. Tacos are $1 each and are served on two small corn tortillas. You can add soda to your order via either a can ($1) or a glass bottle ($2) or you can go for their Horchata ($2) or Pineapple juice ($2). During the weekends (Friday to Sunday) they also offer tortas for sale ($5) with your choice of meat served on fresh bread with cheese, avocado, tomato, lettuce and onions.
I recommend trying either a burrito or quesadilla on your first visit, with a side of either a few tacos or mulitas and a cold soda, a great meal that ends up being less than $10. I’m confident their food will have you coming back for more.
Tacos El Venado is on Victory Blvd, near the corner of Troost Ave in North Hollywood, CA 91606.
Telephone: (323) 944-8320
Hours: Monday-Thursday 4:30 pm to 1:00 am.
Friday + Saturday 4:30 pm to 3:30 am.
Sunday 4:30 pm to 12 am.
Follow them on Instagram.com/TacosElVenado.
It’s cash only, so make sure you’re ready or stop by an ATM.
You place your orders w/ the girls behind the salsa table, not the cooks.
Ask for two meats in your burrito or quesadilla, it creates an awesome combination and only costs $1 extra.
Add some of their avocado salsa to whatever you order. I add it onto my burrito before they wrap it, but you can also pour it on each bite with small salsa containers.
Make sure you go to the stand on the sidewalk on Victory and not the truck parked on Troost.
Want to see more of their amazing food before trying it yourself? Check out more of my photos below.
An inside look at an unwrapped asada burrito @TacosElVenado. Rice, beans, asada + cheese, covered in avocado salsa. I just wrote a review full of tips + photos (link is in my bio) and would love if you guys checked it out and tried a burrito (or two) yourselves! If you do, be sure to leave a comment or tag me in your food pics!
Close-up view of one of the best asada quesadillas in Los Angeles, via @TacosElVenado. The beef is so juicy and deliciously seasoned, setting up the perfect combination w/ big scoops of melted cheese + a lil grease, all held together by a large toasty tortilla. Wanna try one? Check them out 7 days a week, after 4:30 pm (the location is on their page) and best of all, they are currently offering 1 free burrito to customers who leave a review on their Yelp page. (It's a one-time special + you must show them the review). Enjoy!
Back at @TacosElVenado for another magnificent meal. This is their al pastor quesadilla – a blend of marinated pork slow cooked on an open flame and then lightly toasted on a large tortilla before being bombarded w/ cheese, folded and cut into four pieces. I chose avocado salsa + orange Crush soda to complete the order, which was gloriously greasy and delicious.
Do you plan on trying Tacos El Venado? If so, please share your experience or photos with me on Instagram.com/thecherchlife.