Recap: Highland Park Tacos & Cocktails Crawl
Head east to Highland Park and you will find a tacos wonderland. A few weeks back, a group of 8 or so joined me on a jaunt down York Boulevard for tacos and cocktails. We started at Tacos La Estrella, a much loved taco truck approximately York and Avenue 53. I remembered years ago loving their lengua so that was my first taco of the night.
The lengua or beef tongue was extremely tender and flavorful. When it was handed over to me, the smells made me think pho with the onion and cilantro but it’s wonderfully Latin.
Tacos La Estrella – York & Ave 53
On the same block is El Pique which is parked on the corner in front of the carwash. I had debated if I was going to get the same taco at every spot or try something different. I ended up getting lengua again.
The tortillas were noticeably better. They were puffier and seemed fresher. We wondered if they were handmade.
The lengua wasn’t as tender but it was still good. I would return later for more tacos.
El Pique Taco Truck — York & Ave 53
For years I’ve always wanted to try Huaraches Azteca. Known for “huaraches” which are extremely flat crispy oblong tortillas that seem unique to this spot. It’s an actual storefront but we ate on the street to be authentic. I had to get a taco just to keep with the crawl theme but I’m glad we tried the huaraches.
The chorizo was amazing. The sausage was very flavorful and it seemed well worth the extra $.10 cents for this taco than from the food trucks. I hardly needed salsa.
Friends got the pastor huarache which they liked.
We also got the pastor but as a “super huarache” which just means it’s bigger. And we had a choice of sauces. I opted for both red and green sauces. A regular sized huarache would be good for one but try fighting two others for the super huarache. I suggest getting your own.
5225 York Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90042 – (323) 478-9572
We stopped into Sonny’s Hideaway for a cocktail or two. We needed the booze to help digest. I tried the Napali Death Toll and recommended the Tarantella to others.
Napali Death Toll – rum, Acqua di Cedro, Legendre Herbsaint, passion fruit, all spice, lime
The Tarantella was garnished differently and I liked it better with the thyme sprigs even if I generally love basil.
Taranetella – St. George Terroir gin, Calisaya, Cocchi Americano, Cocchi di Torino, Sorrel
We hung out back in the patio though I generally prefer sitting at the bar. There were just too many of us and I thought it’d be rude to take over the bar. I’ll definitely visit the patio again though!(323) 255-2000
The plan included more tacos but the tables weren’t out this night. We also were going to go to Hermasillo but no one felt like beer and wine so we moved onto Johnny’s Bar.
I ordered Buffalo Trace on the rocks here.
I have always enjoyed the vibe of Johnny’s. It’s a neighborhood bar. Not really a dive with their cool decor including a giant liquor sign behind the ping pong table.
Johnny’s Bar5006 York Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90042 — (323) 982-0775
By this time, some drifted away so we didn’t make it to our next stop, The York. Just as well because I thought there should be more tacos! I headed back to El Pique for a couple more tacos. I got the pastor and tripas (tripe) tacos. Both were pretty amazing. I really like how they pick out the salsas for you. These both got a splash of bright red salsa that wasn’t too spicy.
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