>> Tacos La Central | Eat the World Los Angeles

Sunday 11 August 2019

Tacos La Central

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mร‰XICO (Baja California)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This visit was made by our friends at Pel and Word Charmers, all photos belong to them. An updated version of this article (13 December 2023) is available as part of the Historical section of our Substack page. Check that out here:
In the dying days of 2015, Colton lost one of its beloved institutions, 58 year old Original El Burrito #1 closed for the last and final time. Originally a burger, hot dog, and milkshake stand, the owner switched to a Mexican menu in 1957 after 8 years in business and never looked back. Since then loyal customers kept coming back, bringing their children and their children's children until the final days in business.

It was these very large shoes that Tacos La Central set out to fill at the end of June 2016 just over half a year after the closing. As 2019 is already halfway finished the Tijuana-style taco is taken for granted in Los Angeles and surrounding regions, but back in 2016 La Central was blazing a path for themselves. As trucks and late night stands in Los Angeles continue making names for themselves, some even starring in Super Bowl commercials, Tacos La Central has been showing Colton, San Bernardino, and the Inland Empire what this was all about for over three years now.

One of the new co-owners has roots in Tijuana, where his family-owned restaurant has been supplying him with recipes. A little bit of inspection makes you trust when a taquero claims "verdadero estilo Tijuana" for their place, translated something like "the true style of Tijuana."

[From Pel: "The greater Los Angeles area is clearly experiencing a Tijuana-style taco moment. Everywhere you look, it seems there’s a new joint serving freshly grilled meats (and sometimes veggies, it's California after all) over tortillas hechas a mano with a bright green slather of requisite guacamole (hopefully the legit variety).

Even though the menu printed on the wall still announces “Opening Special” pricing, Tacos La Central has been in the game for at least three years now which qualifies them as established players in a field of relative newcomers.

Tacos estilo Tijuana.

The menu could not be more simple: tacos de adobada, asada, pollo and chorizo, all priced at $2. For a couple bucks more, you can upgrade to a mulita (below, which adds cheese and sandwiches the fillings between two slightly grilled tortillas) and wash it all down with a proper sized half-liter Mexican coke for another $2.

Grab a seat in the outdoor picnic area amongst gleaming strip malls, old school auto shops and (probably) still snow-capped mountains, while the scratchy speaker blasts something barely distinguishable. True SoCal.

And afterwards? Keep driving to little-known Diamond Valley Lake, walk amongst the wildflowers, rent a boat and make a day of it.]


COLTON Inland Empire

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