Tacos de Papa Round-up

You meat eaters don’t know how hard it is to be a vegetarian wanting to go out for Mexican food; mostly the choices tend to be breakfast dishes, bean and cheese burritos, enchiladas de queso, chiles rellenos, or the always boring Vegetarian burritos which are basically the bean and cheese with some added lettuce. (Don’t even mention vegan, that gets much more difficult.) So when a place has potato tacos it feels like they care about us carrot munchers, but we know its just a cheap and easy item to include on the menu. But still, I always appreciate seeing these on a menu. So when I finally had the courage to eat at the place named “My Taco” (jajaja!!!) I was quite blown away with the tasty tacos de papa.

Though they were a bit overloaded in lettuce and grated cheese, as you can see from the pic above, the base of this simple food was well done: a crisp, freshly fried tortilla shell stuffed with a creamy potato filling. Seems that should be easy enough to do but many places manage to get this basic part wrong, giving you some floppy and greasy tacos instead.

Another thing to like about My Taco (giggle!) is that they have a salsa bar with some decent salsas and the usual suspects of rabanos and escabeche. Add the required side of beans and rice and for only $6.50 you have the makings of a fine meal. My first plate of tacos were so tasty I thought maybe the Taco de Papa Crown was going to be landing here, but I figured I’d go back and try the wares from the current title holder…

El Atacor #1! I’ve had more than my fair share of their potato tacos but I had to stop consuming them as they used to sit quite heavily in the stomach, but it was time to give them another chance.

Uh, still looks kinda heavy but they’re done much better than what I remember, I think they turned up the heat on the deep fryer since they’re crispier and hardly greasy. I had been avoiding these cuz I thought they might be cooked in animal fat, but I asked and it turns out they only use corn oil. And the taste? At only $4.85 you ought to find out for yourself. Let me just say that the crunchiness of the outer layer works perfectly with the steamy-creamy carb filling. I also like how they put the lettuce underneath so you can decide how much of it you want to eat, which also makes the fried half-moons easier to eat. The liquidy guacomole taquero goes much better with these tacos than it’s big brother regular Guacamole, sometimes this salsa is not just a cost cutting measure. Yes, that’s 4 tacos per order! After careful consideration, and a second and third visit to My Taco (snicker!) plus a return to Atacor, I think the crown is staying put. They are both good examples of the dish but Atacor can still hold its own. I suggest you try them both and see what you think.

If you look at the upper left hand corner you’ll notice they also have the sense to show the Saturday afternoon matches of Futbol Mexicano. I think this was a match up between Toluca and Cruz Azul. (The cementeros went on to lose during the final championship game against Santos last weekend.)

One place the Crown is certainly not going is west of the river. At Loteria Grill I asked about the potato tacos which turned out to be regular “soft” tacos. Nah, I don’t want that, I want them like tacos dorados. Instead they gave me taquitos. Sure, they’re tasty, as it tastes like they add lots of butter to those potatoes with poblanos. But a side of chips? With a plate of fried tortilla rolls? Pfft, que lastima. Oh yeah, $7.50! Que lastimado.

My Taco (snort!) 6300 York Blvd Highland Park 323.256.2698

El Atacor #1 3520 N Figueroa #4 Cypress Park 323.342.0180

Loteria Grill 6333 W. 3rd St (Farmers Market) 323.930.2211

14 thoughts on “Tacos de Papa Round-up

  1. hey you know who I think also has some decent tacos de papas is that one place you reviewed for HRs in Pasadena, I forget the name, but it’s on Mentor just off Colorado by the Ice House. I’ve been there a bunch of times since your review and after having the chilaquiles and HRs various times, I noticed they had a potato tacos plate and decided to switch it up. cheap, good, and filling, and lots of good salsas at the bar.

  2. My Taco sounds exquisite. Yum. jajaja.

    Seriously, tacos de papa are my favorite meal of the “Mexican” persuasion. It’s hard to get them wrong, really, and those who do fail at being cooks. Tacos de papa were my first sit down homemade meal after getting back home from college. Y con jamón adentro, lechuga, salsa y crema… Mmmm.

  3. MMmmmm! Thanks Chavo. I’m going to give out a tip for my LAEastside homies on some awesome Mex-Veg dishes, including some super tacos de papa, like the one’s Chavo has written about. (I’m restaurant tip-selfish, so the rest of you cover your eyes now).
    I’ve been going to “Alegria on Sunset” in Silver Lake since the day they opened. Everything is delicious and fresh as homemade. I’m an omnivore, but every local
    Veg I know loves the HR, Tacos de Papa, & Breakfast Sopes. Recently they served
    a Veg soup and grilled seasoned vegetable enchiladas in tomatillo sauce that were
    amazing. They also make seasonal fresh fruit licuados. The only drawback you may find is their prices. A little higher than the places Chavo listed ($8-$9+ a dish) but
    if there ever was food worth the price , it’s Alegrias on Sunset.

  4. Oooh, yeah as long as we’re making tips here. La Naranja, I just found. It’s good. I had the onions, which weren’t really vegetarian because they were sitting in beef fat, were very good. They had that griddle thing with the hump in the middle and the grease moat around it, so the meat can soak up it’s own fat. It was full of people so I assume it was good.

    They deserve a special mention because they have an unusual menu. In addition to the expected taco etc. and burgers, they also have Korean short ribs (kalbi) and some variation on teriyaki. With a fruity name like “La Naranja” you know it has to be a “fusion” restaurant.

    La Naranja
    I think it’s on Daly south of Broadway
    Lincoln Heights (I think)

  5. La Naranja is pretty crazy. They grill their tacos inside of the restaurant instead of outside, so it gets all smoky in there. I’ve only had the “burro vegetariano” which was actually pretty good, since most vegetarians burritos are quite boring.

    I often go here, late at night, with my parents. Lots of folks in suits come in too, maybe they just got out of late church?

  6. La Naranja, really? I’ve heard the food was really bad but I haven’t tasted it myself. Now I’m curious to give it a try but I’m still put off by the ambiance. The place always seems so greasy and dirty (maybe from grilling inside?) There’s so many other places to eat in LH, perhaps I’ve grown fickle.

  7. I just had the onions. It’s hard to mess them up. Restaurants mess up the onions by not having any onions, or using the ones with little bulbs. And, yeah, it was pretty greasy and dirty (and hot) in there. It’s fun to watch the taco guy do his work, though.

  8. The only place I’ve ever had a taco de papa outside of home as at Don Antonio’s on Pico and Bundy (I think). They have a special for $1 tacos on Wednesday. They were pretty yummy. Nothing like my mom’s, but still good.

  9. Chavo, no offense but you’re kind of an idiot. Neither of the first two choices you gave are for vegetarians unless you don’t mind your tacos de papa fried/saturated in animal fats. I’ve been to both and asked,so thanks for your false advertising.

  10. kakamix,
    Yes, I am an idiot. but still, I’ve also been to both (uh, notice the pics) and have also asked about the oil. Atacor uses corn oil, and that’s the only one I was worried about. Maybe you should ask again.

  11. Sorry i don’t frequently take photos of the foods i eat at hole in the wall taquerias or I would post some up for you too(because i guess i’ve obviously haven’t been there if i don’t have a picture of it like you) but maybe you should ask if they use a separate grill for their meat as they do for their “papa”. Most “vegetarian” shit is cooked in animal fat(whether they like it or not) if the place serves meat regardless of how pristine the corn oil is. And unless it’s a vegetarian spot, it’s not going to have a separate grill or deep frier, that’s not cost effective. Do your homework

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *