2 years ago, this quick tour of East Los Angeles revealed not greatest al pastor stand, but a commoner’s food that’s universally appreciated by the people of Boyle Heights and EasLos. Then, it was difficult to imagine the ubiquitous outdoor trompo powered by a portable propane tank could be superceded by a spit from a lunchero. No. Seriously. Leo’s, as tweeted by The Bandini late July, is putting out a superior al pastor to anything East of the 101 has to offer.
There’s not much to report back beyond what Bandini has already covered. After 3 visits, it seems the neighboring artistic, cash-strapped gringoes have already invaded the lunchero. Certain nights, along with the folks waiting for the bus at the gas station, dudes in Kangols and white loafers can be spotted after clubbing further up north in Hollywood. Only 1.5 months has passed since The Great Taco Hunt’s report, and the quality of the al pastor has slipped slightly. In order to keep up with the demand while only rotating 1 single trompo, the taquero has begun to griddle uncharred, uncooked, shaven bits of pork on the plancha, thereby nearly completely defeating the purpose of having fiery flames spitting out between ceramic grilling elements.
Still, the slightly sweet, heavily spiced pork butt shaved from a spit, topped with daftly sliced, then flung, pineapple, can not be beat for $1. There’s no mole or fancy sauces ala Loteria, but at this price, you may never want a taco from a restaurant again.
Nonetheless, Leo still sports some of the best al pastor for $1, especially because A, real estate simply costs more West of 110, and B, this taco man flicks his pina through the air with precision of a hackey sack player. Please be aware the various green salsas pack a whopping punch and there are no medio/mild labels on the salsa buckets.
Leo Catering (Leo’s Tacos)
La Brea & Venice, Los Angeles, CA
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