SNACK ATTACK

L.A.'s Taco Trucks

  1. The brightly painted taco trucks of Los Angeles are a popular place to refuel at both the start and end of a night. El Chato, at a busy Mid-City intersection, is one of the best. (Shane Redsar)
  2. Like many kinds of folk art, the murals on taco trucks often tell a story. The El Chato truck carries a particularly good example. (Shane Redsar)
  3. El Chato's tacos are tiny but pack in lots of flavor. Here, cabeza (beef head and cheeks) and carne asada (steak) come with different salsas and plenty of garnishes. You'll need a lot of napkins. (Shane Redsar)
  4. With a wide sidewalk and some of Echo Park's hippest bars nearby, Taco Zone is in a great location for people-watching. (Shane Redsar)
  5. Taco truck windows stay closed until the cooks inside have prepped enough to open for business. If the process takes too long, a line of devotees is quick to form. (Shane Redsar)
  6. Taco Zone employees cook up some of the best late-night dining in the city while staying cheerful through the wee hours. (Shane Redsar)
  7. Taco Zone is one of the relatively few trucks serving quesadillas. Try them with suadero (chopped sirloin). (Shane Redsar)
  8. Tacos Arabes's official name is a little mysterious, but it's easy to identify: The specialty's name is painted on the truck's window. (Shane Redsar)
  9. Fusion before the term existed, tacos arabes use Middle Eastern seasonings such as cumin and turmeric, and a wheat tortilla. (Shane Redsar)
  10. Tacos Arabes's tortillas couldn't be more local: They're made in the factory the truck parks in front of. Diners can see the torillas being made late into the evening. (Shane Redsar)
  11. Tortillas are one of the specialties at Tacos Arabes, and the fillings are good too; these beef and pork specimens have additions that include cilantro and radishes. (Shane Redsar)
  12. The airbrushed murals on the sides of taco trucks serve as mobile advertisements. On Rambo's, the action hero holds a plate of freshly made tacos. (Shane Redsar)
  13. The back of the Rambo's truck continues the scene, with a buxom safari leader surveying the action hero and his tacos. It may not make much sense, but it is entertaining. (Shane Redsar)
  14. Popular tacos served at Rambo's include lengua (tongue, in the foreground) and tripas (intestines). The tacos each have their own particular salsa here, and all of them are spicy. (Shane Redsar)
  15. La Estrella has become a mini chain, with a number of trucks as well as one brick-and-mortar restaurant. (Shane Redsar)
  16. If you only try one kind of taco at La Estrella, make it the al pastor (sheperd-style) marinated pork that's perfectly seasoned and cooked. Lots of people get it without the standard salsa, just a sprinkling of cilantro and chopped onions. (Shane Redsar)
  17. Salina's Churros serves no tacos, but the specialty snack served there is just as much a classic. (Shane Redsar)
  18. The proprietor at Salina's Churros extrudes her churro dough into the vat fryer full of bubbling oil. (Shane Redsar)
  19. There's a reason the churros get such high billing at Salina's. They're freshly made, inexpensive, and addictive. (Shane Redsar)
  20. In L.A., even the churro trucks come graced with religious art. (Shane Redsar)

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