I have to steal a pic from Yelp because I was too pissed about dropping $3 for this small wad of lifeless protein and corn:
Just like there’s inedible Chinese food in Shanghai, there’s inedible Mexican food in Boyle Heights. But first, here’s a little scene drawn from Chicago.
The above cats could always be spotted at the south end of Maxwell Street, grilling carne asada over coals, even during the midst of the nastiest Chicago winters. They’ve been doing it since 1994, and at the urging of all their gringo customers (motivated by folks like me, and the good willed folks of LTHforum, no less), they opened shop 10 years later. Except it was in the middle of NOWHERE, and a million miles away from Maxwell Street. Their failure was depressing as hell, and they never even garnered 1 review on Yelp. Yet freshly grilled, nicely charred, but never over-cooked carne asada tacos, incorrectly labeled as “tacos al carbon”, were the TITS. I even “borrowed” Maxwell Street parking permits just to be able to get in and out of Maxwell Street faster (on the Southend, natch) on Sundays. I wish I had pictures of them grilling it up circa ’05. Surely I still have a photo somewhere; sometimes Lencho’s would seek shelter for their fire underneath the crumbling aquaducts, thereby charring the underside cement after a few weeks.
Fast forward 20 years to 2013, LA’s going APE SHIT over whatever guerilla taco stand, now rocking in a storefront thanks to a Korean laundromat owner, that BBQs their beef skirt/flank over coal. On certain Sundays, I also go ape over a “tacos al carbon”. Short of heading over to pinata row and hoping the stands didn’t get busted by LAPD, this gets a bit difficult as most taqueria don’t have proper vent hood to clear out charcoal grilling. I’ve found it at Vineland Swap Meet years ago, but I haven’t gone back since the turn of the decade.
A few months back, I finally revisit the subject, and hit up Apache. It sucked. Junk beef, ungriddled tortilla, no marinade in beef. Tough and dry carne asada. Like I like to say: no pride. It’s not even worth the $1.25 (or whatever I paid for). Not all taco trucks are good, but this sucked harder than majority of taco trucks I tend to visit. I was so upset I threw out the last taco and had to chase the taste out of my mouth with a beer.
Apache’s Carne Asada
1843 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90033