Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mexicali Taco: A very quick trip to the border of Downtown

Mexicali Taco's simple eating area
I don't think I ever tried the Mexicali taco stand Downtown, although I remember parking by it and thinking it smelled awfully good. But my perennial quest to find a place to pick up dinner that's smack on my route home has now been satisfied, as Mexicali Taco opened recently on the last stretch of Figueroa right before I hop on the 110 for the final leg of my commute.
Jamaica, horchata and strawberry lemonade aguas

While it's essentially still a taco stand, the new Mexicali is clean and bright with several picnic tables for seating, a selection of fresh aguas and a salsa/toppings bar. Regular tacos stuffed with flame-grilled carne asada, chorizo, chicken or vegetables, are just fine, reminiscent of a good Baja street taco.
But you must try a Vampiro ($3.75) -- a fat quesadilla stuffed with a choice of meat and infused with "special garlic sauce" that is destined to rival Zankou Chicken's in local food lore. A Vampiro looks plain on the outside, but the thin, chewy flour tortillas are imported from Mexico and pack a big punch of flavor wrapped around a handful of garlicky meat. Add your choice of chopped cabbage, brightly flavored  pickled onions, avocado sauce and two red sauces to get the combination right where you want it. Yes, beer would be good, but that's where take-out comes in.
Mexicali's chorizo cachetada, left; veggie taco, right
Specialty number two is the Cachetada ($3)-- a crispy tostada laden with meat and topped with "chipotle aioli" -- kind of a froufrou description for what is basically a glorious marriage of mayo, garlic and chiles that will get all over your hands, your phone and everywhere else until you devour every last bit. Order an egg on top for maximum effect. Also on the menu: the Zuperman, sort of a mega-dilla with all three meats and cheese, and nachos topped with cheese and meat. Each plate comes with a nice little cup of soupy beans, and the spicy grilled peppers called Gueros are available if you must sample everything on the menu. Mexicali Taco may have a brief menu, but I'm sure I'll be back often to fuel up before a concert or on my way home from work.
Mexicali Taco
702 N. Figueroa St., 213-613-0416

Mexicali Taco & Co on Urbanspoon


Miles said...

i dare say, i must have number 2.

jater said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Emily Littlefield said...

Just found your blog! Its awesome! Thanks for sharing, I will be sure to come back over and over again to find the best spots in town :)

yilia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
California Callie said...

It's awesome! I am starting dreaming of visiting the place and eat a lot!

California Callie said...

It's awesome! i started dreaming of visiting the place soon.

Matt said...

It's my new favorite spot. Especially good before a Dodger game!