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Posted by on Jun 13, 2016 | 59 comments

Tacolandia: Best Tacos in Los Angeles

Have you noticed how fast time seems to move?

A year ago, I posted about one of my favorite food festivals: Tacolandia.

For those of you who didn’t read the review of last year’s event, Tacolandia is the creation of Bill Esparza, a renowned blogger (he won a James Beard Award this year), food entrepreneur and world’s first “tacorazzo.”

Since he is considered an authority on the taco department, he gathers the best vendors of Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County and Baja California Norte.  This year the event included 150 vendors from all over the counties (tell me that number doesn’t blow your mind).  In addition, he brought a vendor from Phoenix (Barrio Café) and another from London (Breddos Tacos).  How great is that!

I have to be honest.  The event has grown a lot.  Several Instagram account estimated 8,000 people attended the event.  There is no doubt Los Angeles is crazy about tacos.  But, the thing is that certain magic has been lost.  The lines were long and there was not a lot of opportunity to interact with the vendors.

On the other hand, the food was delicious and abundant.  Tons of vendors provided samples for the entire four hours.  I have to say I was a happy camper after all was said and done. It is hard to comprehend the many varieties I got to try.

But, I am not going to continue writing.  I will let you judge the event by the photos.

Hope you gotta learn a little bit more about Mexican and the city which is considered the taco capital of the USA.

Warning! Mouthwatering photos ahead!

Cielito Lindo

Taquitos drenched in green sauce

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Kokopelli

Grilled octopus taco with Mexican pesto

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Casa Vega

Tacos al pastor – al pastor style means pork marinated in chiles, spices and pineapple and cooked and cooked in a giant spit, shawarma style (we call the spit “trompo”)

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

La Barbacha

Barbacoa Hidalgo style – barbacoa is lamb meat cooked for a long time (12 hours in this case) underground in maguey leaves. Hidalgo is the state from where the restaurant owners originate.

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Mariscos El Guero

Fish ceviche, shrimp ceviche and shrimp aguachile – for aguachile, the shrimp are butterflied and submerged in chili peppers, lime juice, salt, spices and slices of onion.

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Pink Taquiza Gourmet

They were serving a more “modern” take on tostadas and tacos.  They had ground meat and hard boiled eggs on them.  The avocado and chile de arbol sauces were delicious.

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Oaxaca on Wheels

Taquitos covered in black bean sauce, avocado sauce and chile de arbol sauce.  They served steak tacos too.

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Taqueria Vista Hermosa

Tacos al pastor.  Gotta recognize this vendor because of making their own tortillas on site.

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Dia de los Puercos

Fried pork belly tacos

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

El Shuko

Hot dog taco – this is a big thing in Guatemala

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

El Coraloense

Shrimp taco

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

RBTA X Monkey Bar

Salmon tostada and pork belly taco

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Amor y Tacos

Stewed pork in chile sauce taco.  Everything was topped with crispy chicharron.

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

La Tostaderia

Fish tostada

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Coni’s Seafood

Shrimp, pineapple and peppers taco.  The tortilla is made of a thin slice of jicama.

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Barrio Café

Shredded pork taco and guacamole topped with pomegranate seeds.

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Las 7 Regiones de Oaxaca

Mole negro and chicken taco

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Birrieria Jalisco

Goat birria

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Balam Mexican Kitchen

Sopork – citrus marinated carnitas, caramelized onions and basil jicama coleslaw

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Kuxxum – Huitlacoche (corn fungus) and Portobello with dry cheese and chipotle dressing

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Caribbean taco bomb – beer batter coconut shrimp, mango, pico de gallo and pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds) in a hibiscus infused jicama tortilla

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Tacos Punta Cabras

Lamb Mex samosa

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Rakken Tacos

Pho Taco

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Lemongrass al pastor

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Macheen

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Ensenada Taco

Fish taco

Tacolandia, Los Angeles, California

Which taco would you like to try?

 

 

59 Comments

  1. Oh this is awesome! I love tacos. I am actually in search of the best taco so far.

    • That is something I am doing to. But, with so many good tacos in the area, I am happy to change my favorite once in a while.

    • I know they looks great but they tasted awesome too.

  2. My goodness. I love tacos, but I think I would be hard pressed to pick which one I would choose from this amazing array of varieties. What a fabulous event this must be.
    Happy travels, have a fabulous week, and thank you for stopping by my blog last week.

    • Jill, it will take me forever to visit the brick and mortar establishments of this vendors. That is why the event is good since you can try a lot in a short period of time. I have a list of the restaurants I want to explore more.

    • I warn you before pasting the pictures! I feel hungry too when I revisit the photos.

    • The barbacoa was one of the softest and juicy I have tried. The meat can be eaten by itself without garnishes.

  3. I’ve tried Tacos for the first time in Norway – Norwegians are crazy for them and Fridays are traditionally TacoFridays here! I love them though the ones you show here look way more healthy than what Norwegians consume every Friday 😀

    • I would like to learn more about the taco culture in Norway. Here is the states we have Taco Tuesdays. That is when the tacos are sold between one or two dollars (and people go in droves to get them). When you say the ones in here look healthier, what are you referring to? What ingredients are used there?

    • You are right! Tacos all the way! There are tons of them in Los Angeles but Tacolandia is definitely the best.

  4. OH MY GOODNESS, Ruth! I love taking something simple like a taco and jazzing it up with amazing new flavors. this looks amazing and delicious!
    carrie recently posted..Hiking in Chewacla State ParkMy Profile

    • That is the beauty of the taco scene in Los Angeles. You have your traditional, really flavorful tacos but, at the same time, you have all these people who are trying to innovate by using different ingredients and flavors. How not to love that?

    • Los Angeles is the perfect place to do a taco crawl. I can assure you we have the best of the country.

  5. The variety is staggering. So many tacos, so little time. and room in the tum. Fun!

    • I know! I started to get full kind of fast. That is when I started to eat the filling only to save space on my tummy.

  6. Amazing! Who would have thought the humble little taco could take on so many personalities and become such a siren to the taste buds! Would love to have attended the event ‘back when’ there weren’t so many attendees. That has happened to a number of events around here, wine tastings and such, to the point we don’t even attend. Would love one of those tacos right now!!!
    Jackie Smith recently posted..Greece ~ Going full circle? Just maybe . . .My Profile

    • Jackie, I feel your pain. As much as I love the event, we are not attending next year. I do not want to thing how much bigger is going to be in 2017.

  7. Ok.. That’s it. I’m not reading your posts in the middle of the work day anymore. They make me WAY too hungry!! All of these tacos look amazing! And Mexican food its definitely my weakness!! Good thing I have fajitas and guac planned for dinner tonight. Still though- going to be dreaming about these tasty treats the whole time!!! Thanks for sharing! Glad you enjoyed 😀
    Lauren recently posted..Santiago Day Hikes: Cerro PochocoMy Profile

    • Nice you are having fajitas and guac! Recently, some friends move from Chile to the States and they were telling me how difficult it was to find good Mexican ingredients in Chile. They are trilled about being back in the States where Mexican food in plenty.

  8. WOW, now this really is a delicious post! What an amazing event, there is seriously something to please everybody’s tastes, mmmm!!

    • That is true. There were plenty of options for vegetarians, people who does not eat pork or fish.

  9. We’ve not been anywhere in the States outside of NYC but I admit that one of the major driving forces of a visit will be to try all that amazing Mexican food!
    budget jan recently posted..Hvar Town on Croatias Glamour IslandMy Profile

    • I am not sure how strong is NYC in Mexican food but I believe there are some good places. I would like to try those.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post!

    • Great since there was some really good food served that day!

    • That sounds like a god idea. People fly from all over the country for other festivals. I do not see why this one should be missed.

    • I like your way of describing it. It is hilarious! But, glad you liked it.

    • I know. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed with the variety. But, I guess I should not complain about that.

    • The slow cooked meat ones are delicious. My husband has a coworker who prepare barbacoa on the weekends. He does a great job.

  10. I want to go next year! I love tacos.

    • You should sign in for LA Weekly’s newsletter. In that way, you are going to get the pre-sale notice and get your tickets at a lower price.

  11. Well, I’m not sure I could pick just one to try, but if I was limited to only one it would have to be the “Kuxxum – Huitlacoche (corn fungus) and Portobello with dry cheese and chipotle dressing.” I keep hearing about Huitlacoche and really want to try it.
    Jim ~ ReflectionsEnroute recently posted..Made to Order – A Tasty Lesson from AlbaniaMy Profile

    • My husband loves huitlacoche. It is not that easy to find it in restaurants. You have to get it when you see it in the menu.

    • We should come with our own business: a taco subscription box. That would be great!

    • The taco tostada was great. I have come to love the raw fish combinations over a crispy tortilla.

  12. Oh yes the pictures of the food do speak for themselves! It all looks delicious. So strange because I made tacos for dinner last night! 🙂

    • Great! I have to try your tacos one day!

  13. WOW, I have never seen so many different types of tacos, and have never heard of the term tacorazzo before. May need to do some experimenting and make some of these.

    • Here in Los Angeles people come up with all sorts of terms and taco varieties. And, not only in Los Angeles because San Diego and Baja come up with great tacos too.

  14. everything looks very fresh and delicious and interesting. It’s amazing the variety of things you tried! We tend to avoid most local food festivals these days though, i have to say, because of the lines and crowds you mention. Glad it was worth it for you.
    eileen g recently posted..How To Explore The Florida Keys With KidsMy Profile

    • I probably will not attend the event next year. I am glad I was able to enjoy it this year.

    • I know, it is hard not to think about food after taking a look at all these photos.

  15. I’m so glad I ate before reading your post. Because I started drooling when you said grilled octopus. Can you believe I’ve never had a taco? There’s a (supposedly) good Mexican restaurant in town that I’ve always wanted to try, hoping to go soon 😀
    Vlad recently posted..A Foodie’s Guide To Eating In MaltaMy Profile

  16. WOW! I am drooling. I want to try one of each. Thanks for co-hosting. Once again, sorry that I am slow in visiting. I am just finishing up my semester. Almost time to breathe again! #TPThursday
    Nancie recently posted..Korea: DreamWorks, Seoul Art MuseumMy Profile

  17. After looking at the photos, I am hungry now and I want tacos. I should visit Tacolandia one of these days.

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