I have to say, Tacos has come a long, long way here in Los Angeles. I lived in Glassell Park most of my life. If you don't know where Glassell Park is, it's basically where gunshots are fired around 11pm or 2-4 in the morning, Ice Cream trucks at noon - 3pm - 5pm, Elote man around the same time, and tacos covering every proximity you can put your hands on. Back to the days when tacos were $1 a pop, and they just had that flavor you can only find on the streets. If you know what I am talking about, just close your eyes for a minute to relive it.
I remember there was this one stall, serving up all kinds of cuts you can imagine on a comal bola grill. Every meat fat you can imagine, melted and cooked as one. You can't find that anymore nowadays. Or not as easy as it was just a few years ago.
But tacos has evolved into something more multicultural. That's the beauty of living in LA. We don't see each other differently because we are so exposed to the different cultures that we are surrounded with. It's really beautiful if you think about it. I remember when I went to visit some friends in Arizona, I literally stood out like a sore thumb being asian. Nothing wrong with that, but you just know when you are in a town where your existence is minimal. Tacos, right.
I was luckily invited to a taco tasting out in Santa Monica the past weekend. And boy, tacos are my thing. So are burgers. There's just some kind of pleasure I find eating food with my hands. Mondos Tacos provide a more contemporary take on tacos than what you would find at the corner of your local neighborhood in LA. Their tacos travel around the world meaning they do flavors like Italian to a further leap like Indian.
Mondo Taco - 2200 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404
6 Tacos to try with one Watermelon Agua Fresca (delicious!).
Chips and Salsa with a side of Guacamole. A must! Good portion of avocados in the guac. It wasn't super loaded with tomatoes either. A perfect starter. I even whipped some of the guac onto my tacos. You know you want to do it too.
Angry Chicken - $3.50 crispy chicken - hot sauce - blue cheese. Finger licking hot sauce that will make your eye wink. So be careful who you are sitting in front of. Don't want to be sending the wrong signal when you are just enjoying your taco. The blue cheese was tasty and added a nice musk to cut through the tartness of the sauce.
Southern Decadence - $3.75 fried chicken - bacon - BBQ sauce - ranch dressing - diced tomato. I loved this! Yummy BBQ sauce with fried chicken strips. I had the slighted memory of eating chicken nuggets from Wendy's. Not like there is anything wrong with that, because everything about that is utterly amazing.
Fancy Fish - $3.50 grilled fish - poblano - pico de gallo - cilantro crème. The name says it all. The fish was delicate and was complimented by the poblanos and creamy cilantro creme.
El Greco - $4.75 grilled lamb - tzatziki - diced tomato. If you love lamb, this will definitely deliver. The gaminess of the lamb really shoots through. The tzatsiki and tomatoes really help cutting through the strong flavors of the lamb. Great portions of lamb.
Taj Mahal - $4.75 coconut shrimp - curry sauce - diced red bell pepper. Surprisingly one of my favorites from the 6. The shrimp was very plump, cooked perfectly, and the creamy curry sauce pairs perfectly with the light flavors of the shrimp and the sweetness of the red peppers. I really want to order 2 of these next time I come, but there are just so much to try from.
Crazy Fish - $3.50 panko crusted fish - pico de gallo - 1000 Island. Another tasty taco. Loved everything about it. There's nothing I love more than a fried fish taco. This was also one of my favorites. Simple, and flavors were well executed. The fish was fried perfectly.
If you think the condiments are a bit loaded, you are WRONG *BUZZ* The portions of these tacos are larger than you think. The protein is packed, so the amount of sauce and toppings you see doesn't overwhelm the overall taco.
For dessert, we were able to try their Blueberry Panna Cotta. Don't think about it. Just order it. It's delicious and I've had many Panna Cottas. It's so decadent, I can't believe it's in a plastic container! For $3.50, it is definitely a steal. I would honestly drive the 23 miles to get this again. If you've never had Panna Cotta, just imagine a soft cheesecake. Mild, not as sharp. Creamy. Silky. Soft. Like a baby's butt.
Plan your next visit, there are plenty of things to do out here. We visited MUJI afterwards around the corner-corner.
Until Next time.