(Photo courtesy of dontoine)
I write this post with a great sense of sadness, as the time has come to say goodbye to a friend, or as the title and photo suggest, to pour out a lil liquor. While the loss I’m speaking of isn’t an actual person, don’t let that fool you into thinking that it isn’t a significant one. You see, this post is dedicated to the memory of some of the best food you’d find in any corner of Los Angeles, (home to some of the world’s best tacos and burritos), “Super Tacos La Rana (Estilo Jalisco)” or as it was commonly known, just simply “Rana.”
(Photo courtesy of Robert S. on Yelp)
Located in North Hollywood, CA, Rana was taco truck gold, aka large portions of inexpensive and delicious, greasy Mexican food served piping hot. The flavor of their asada was top notch, with just the right amount of saltiness that left you addicted and fiending for more. It was always cooked fresh and seasoned as you waited in line, allowing you to watch the giant mountains of finely diced beef sizzle in grease and doused in their perfectly concocted seasoning, just waiting to be devoured.
Their food choices were just as great, with options that were all cheap ($4 for huge burritos, quesadillas or tortas) and only $1 each for tacos and mulitas, which were heaven-sent mini treats of your choice of meat mixed with cheese and covered in two golden-brown corn tortillas that perfectly complimented a main course burrito.
The meats available were plenty; asada, al pastor, carnitas, lengua, chicken (ugh) and a number of other common choices like buche, etc. The asada was their magnum opus though, a masterpiece of culinary street art and the essential ingredient to their superb burritos (meat, beans & cheese) and what I would confidently call the best quesadilla in LA.
The quesadillas consisted of a large, toasted flour tortilla that would overflow with large amounts of thickly-sliced white cheese and asada, all cooked smack dab in the middle of of all the greasy deliciousness oozing all over their hot griddle. Behold the beauty above, as well as several other ones I ate through the years below.
They were parked in the same spot every Wednesday to Sunday for years and I was a regular since about 2010. The food was so great and the prices so affordable that they were packed with customers from the minute they’d arrive around 6 pm until they would close at about 2 am. The drawback of their popularity was the wait, which was usually about 20-30 minutes from the time you ordered until you picked up your food, but it was always worth the time.
My family and I made weekly trips to their truck and we never let a chance to brag about how great Rana was pass, eventually introducing it to as many people as we could. Everyone always ended up coming back or asking us when we were going again, eager to put their orders in. Sadly, they disappeared on the week before Christmas 2012. I was optimistic that they were only gone for the holidays, but my fear grew with each week that passed without their return. Google and social media searches gave no hints of their whereabouts, so I started to ask around, and word on the taco streets was that they were gone for good, victims of an unknown problem that forced them to leave.
I began the mourning process by telling people the unfortunate news, still shocked and left with the sad reality that all I’ll ever have is the memories and photos on my Instagram.
No more quesadillas, no more mulitas, no more burritos and no more Rana. Pour out a lil liquor indeed.