|Mexicali Taco's simple eating area|
|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|
702 N. Figueroa St., 213-613-0416