Let’s take a quick break from all the Japan posts to write about something more familiar to you here in America. I speak of tacos. Not too far from my office is a little joint called Three Amigos. I was told to check them out by my coworker since I was looking for some Mexican food.
They make their corn tortillas by hand. Here you can see the press and in the bottom left corner you’ll see one of the freshly pressed tortillas on the griddle.
My first trip there I opted for two carne asada tacos. At first you see the price of $1.80 per taco, and you want to walk out the door. $1.50 is the most you should pay for a taco, but these tacos are much larger than most tacos you get around Los Angeles. They’re already rolled up for you. Unrolling the taco for a photo kind of makes a mess, but I do it for you.
Let me talk first about the tortillas. If you’re not a fan of corn tortillas, this is the corn tortilla for you. They’re very light and airy with barely a hint of corn flavor. There is a down side to this. By frying the tortilla on the griddle first, you get a sear that becomes resistant to the grease inside the taco. This doesn’t exist with Three Amigos’ tortillas. Eat fast before you get a soggy hole in your taco.
The carne asada was decent, but I’ve definitely had better. It could stand to have more grill time to get a little more texture. All in all I was happy to have tried this joint out.
You didn’t think I was going to leave it at that, did you? I went back, this time for three tacos so I could check out their other taco offerings. This was a dumb idea. These tacos are pretty big. I was in need of a siesta after this meal.
First up, carnitas. I have to say I was disappointed in this taco. The pork seemed to be lacking saltiness and fried texture. It was as if they slow cooked it in an environment that was too wet. It didn’t get a crisp texture and any saltiness seemed to be washed away.
Cabeza. I’ve never had cabeza with this much gelatin in it. I have to say this is the first time I didn’t like cabeza in my taco. This is also a texture issue, and more time on the grill could have rectified this.
Chorizo. You really can’t mess up chorizo. It’s delicious pretty much always. This taco was a mess to eat though, staining my fingers red. Totally worth it, like every bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos.
Lengua. This one was super gamey. I think they tried to hide it with lots of cilantro, but it was still pretty noticeable.
Chicken. It tastes like chicken, which in this case is a good thing. This isn’t anything special, but sometimes that’s a good thing. Familiarity and consistency aren’t always bad. Trying to get what’s new all the time grows tiring.
While I wasn’t impressed with the meats in every taco and even disappointed in some, the tortillas here get a big thumbs up. Since I’ve only tried each type of meat once, I’m willing to go back to try some again. Perhaps they were having an off day, or maybe it was me.
There are also three items left on the taco menu to try that I haven’t already. Birria, buche, and chicharones. The first two I’m pretty afraid of after tasting how gamey the lengua taco was, and the last one makes my chest hurt just thinking about it. Still, I must…