Taco Madness 2009 ~ Sabrocho!


We’re down the final 8, the elite, the Sabrocho. Controversy has plagued the tournament so far, with a strong anti-Tito’s contingent, as well as those who felt the seeding of Cactus Taqueria and Tacomiendo were too low. In any case, we move on to the next round with the following matchups. In this round, all polls are open at the same time, and voting is open until midnight on Friday of this week. If you missed Round 1, please check here to see how we got to the Sabrocho.

UPDATE: Thank you to all who voted! Final Four Matchups (starting Monday) are:

UPDATE 2: Great analysis of the match ups here. Hopefully they will do final four predictions too!

Kogi vs. Yuca’s


Tacos Por Favor vs. King Taco

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Comments (62) to “Taco Madness 2009 ~ Sabrocho!”

  1. these brackets are making me hungry

  2. am i the only one who doesn’t like yuca? :P

    and what is titos doing on here?

  3. Tacos Por Favor is a good restaurant but Tacos Baja Ensenada is awesome!!!

  4. Tacos rule

  5. Tito’s Taco’s made it? Seriously?

  6. You know, I just searched your site for “Grand Central Market,” and found only one mention of it, in an interview with someone or other, I forget which. But you can get some hellagood fish tacos there.

  7. kogi’s national:

  8. Tito’s owns you all.

  9. Okay people, stop disrepecting Tito’s for some roach coach that sells tofu tacos(WTF!!!)

  10. Tito’s can not beat Kogi, what the hell. Tito’s is garbage!

  11. No El Parian=No clue about tacos.
    Also ate at Yucas this weekend and had a huge ROCK in the Pibil.

  12. kogi for sure!

  13. kogi is so much better than tito’s people who voted for tito’s neveer caught up with the kogi taco truck her some help!! http://twitter.com/kogibbq

  14. its gonna come down to King Taco vs Kogi BBQ. Kogi will win if votes are online based.

  15. I’m glad tacos por favor is finally getting the respect it deserves. This place is the best

  16. As much as I love the concept, it’ll be a tragic bellwether of gentrification in LA if Kogi beats King Taco.

  17. Damn, tito’s vs. Kogi, no you didn’t! how will I choose!

  18. This isn’t fair! Kogi is fusion..like both kinds of TACOS!!!


  20. agreed with 14 and 16 that there’s something not quite right about the way these numbers are skewing. i think we might be seeing a reflection of the technology gap here. does this in some way invalidate the polling or demand a correction? an interesting subject for a debate on the polling methodology.

  21. Tito’s tacos is the best….when I travel to L.A from Australia it is always the first meal I eat and the last meal I eat.

  22. How about fish tacos? Senor Fish always hits the spot!

  23. Titos , are you serious , that place is pure garbaaage

  24. I’m totally bummed and shocked that La Estrella didn’t beat out Taco Zone!

  25. King Taco Baby!

  26. titos is the best! all you titos haters need to get your head straight.

  27. Tito’s made it this far?!?!?! Come ON!!!
    I’d rather have Taco Bell, then Tito’s. King Taco all the way!!!

  28. i agree completely, Titos has got to be the most over-rated, greasiest stuff around. it does not belong in the final 8. Tacos Por Favor has gone steadily downhill over the last 3-4 years since it was “discovered” by gueros liviing on the westside. it’s pretty much slop and gristle now.

  29. Ironically, Tito’s and Kogi aren’t real tacos… but Kogi doesn’t claim to be ;)

    as for those who scowl on “roach coach”… they are called taco trucks and are far superior to any sitdown.

  30. I for one dont believe Kogi should not even be part of this challenge as they arent even real tacos.

    Kogi is nothing but a trendy experience. Dont be surprised if you find some reference to it in Entourage’s next season.

    Kogi will be gone in 2 years never to be remembered.

    Tacos Por Favor on the other hand has a rich history and will continue to please people with their delicious tacos for centuries to come. That being said, i think we all know where my vote went.

  31. i think number 30 is wrong, i think Kogi will have tacos srve around this country in the next several year!!!! people love asain food and people love tacos, kogi have it all.

  32. Cactus is the best, but only after 9-10 p.m. That’s when the pastor has reached the perfect degree of crunchiness. In the daylight it’s merely average, but after dark Cactus outshines the others on the list by far. Their chipotle salsa tops anything in town and their habanero salsa will rip your face off.

  33. Did El Taco Nazo ever get factored in?
    Taco Nazo beats Senior Fish hands down and I was a huge Senor Fish fan.

  34. No Leo’s… not even Rambo’s?

    I’m not voting

  35. Zero, you are SO on point. Nothing comes close to the texture and flavor of the pastor from Cactus. For whatever reason no other taco joint in town will serve the pork cut fresh off the rotisserie like they do. It’s true, during the day it’s last night’s leftovers so you definitely want to arrive after dark. Seriously, once you’ve had em, everything else on the menu becomes superfluous. There’s an open condiment bar, plenty of fresh onions n’ cilantro, a salsa verde with deceivingly high stopping power, and the orange one… let’s just say I’ve seen grown men weep and beg for forgiveness. Plus the price is right and the place is open till about 3 am. Cactus nummer #1!!

  36. titos is wack but i must vote for them
    becuase Koji Tacos is really wack!


  37. Hey. Count the votes!! Tito’s has the secind (2nd) most votes. They are as deserving as any other taco place down here. Plus its freaking delicious.

  38. Ya mothafucka’s are sleepin on the BEST Taco Truck in LA and it’s in Pasadena – it’s located on Fair Oaks right above California – Mexicano –
    they also have 2 restaurants –

    all the rest are pretenders

  39. I can’t believe tacos baja ensenada is not winning!

  40. How come some these places don’t charge TAX on their food… and KOGI does…???

    Hmmmmm? Something to think about…

    $2 tacos plus TAX…

    Please speak your mind!!!


  41. I really love Tacos Baja Ensenada, but I gotta represent for Santa Monica. Tacos Por Favor!!! Best salsa roja anywhere!

  42. the fact that tito’s tacos won over anybody already rules this competition invalid.

  43. Shouldn’t this be meta-taco madness? Because of these elite eight, Baja Ensenada’s fish taco is the only entrant that really qualifies as an elite taco at all.

  44. how the fuck is a korean bbq even in this competition. and for those that are saying tito’s is garbage, you are dumb tasteless fucks. and those who are complaining about it being too greasy, ITS A FUCKING TACO, what the fuck do u expect, if you want some fuckin homo health taco why dont u head to west hollywood and have some of the most unauthentic tacos out there

  45. Kogi all the way. For all the Kogi haters saying it’s not a real taco – who the fuck cares? It’s deliciousness in a tortilla that I can eat with my hands. That meets all my taco pre-requisites.

  46. Pastor tacos are a hyrbid from Lebanese restaurants (shwerma) and street vendors. Tacos Arabes are even closer.

    The history of tacos and food in general is about mixing things. Tito’s tacos are a hybrid of American food and mexican food.

    they’re all tacos!

  47. Tito’s does not belong on this list. Try the barbacoa @ Arco Iris in Highland Park FTW!
    OH yeah! whomever was looking for Grand Central Market Tacos, My suggestion is Tacos Thomas if you enter from the Broadway side it will be the third shop on the left (south wall)


  49. Kogi – you guys are the newcomers but you better beat Tito’s “Hard Shell Nacho Tacos” (blech!) They are just one step above Taco Bell. This Mexican is down with the Koh-ri-ahn tacos!

  50. I have never understood the El Taurino cult myself, but every K-town girl I’ve dated seems to take me there again for the first-time telling me it’s the best. Taco Zone I wasn’t feeling either, but have friends who swear by it. On this list, I give my votes to Yuca’s, Por Favor, and Baja. Like many, I don’t get how some of them got on the list.

    I’d like to see a future battle with these guys included:
    Atacor in Cypress Park (papas tacos!)
    La Estrella and Huarache Azteca in Highland Park
    Oaxaquena and Playita in Venice

    Lando, I once lived just 3 blocks from El Parian but was too hung up on Flor Blanca pupusas and yuca to ever drag my lazy ass on over. Story soon come!

  51. I agree with Juan, tacos are an expression of our massive cultural melting pot in the Southwestern U.S. and all that our ancestors and neighbors and brothers and sisters bring to the grill. Food is culture, we eat everyday, and just as we are what we eat, we eat what we are.

  52. Good to see that the forces of suckage are still alive and well, viz. this comment: “if you want some fuckin homo health taco why dont u head to west hollywood and have some of the most unauthentic tacos out there”

    Yeah, man, I want a *gay* taco.

    I personally just like good tacos, and luckily for us living here in LA, there are *many* places to get damn good tacos. No disrespect to the contest maintainers, but man, you can get damn good tacos, I mean really *good* tacos, all over the place in LA.

    Hell, one time my wife and I bought six $1 tacos from an obviously temporary stand in Atwater Village on Fletcher just south of the 2. We took them home and devoured them and they were SO good. (We got two asada, two pollo, and two pastor.)

    I was born in raised in LA, and yet every day it surprises and pleases me. Tacos rule.

    Long live LA, and long live TACOS!

    (Also burritos, empenadas, pupusas, and tortas.)

  53. If you want to see how we got to the 8, look back to the last round:


    Next year we will expand to 32 places in order to include more faves.

  54. If you are going to include Kogi and King Taco, why not throw in World Wraps and Del Taco?

  55. Someone tell me where I can get a proper Al Pastor Taco like the ones in Mexico City W/pineapple.

  56. I’m sorry, but is this the same Tito’s that puts leftover meat grease in its salsa?

  57. Great post! Gave you guys love in this blog article: http://www.umamimart.com/2009/03/um-exclusive-la-taco-madness-expert.html


  58. I have had King Taco tacos.
    I have had El Parian tacos.
    I have had Tito’s Tacos.
    Etc, etc.

    None of them compare to the best tacos I have ever had at Eduardo’s Taqueria in San Jose, nor do they hold a candle to La Taqueria in the Mission in San Francisco.

    However, while Tito’s Tacos is not the classic taqueria tacos I love the most, they have a unique (and consistent) spin on the form and of the 3 I would pick Tito’s.

    So if you want to read between the lines and surmise that Kogi may not be the classic tacos I crave that would be correct sir or madam.

  59. Oh yeah. At least Henry’s Tacos in NoHo did not make it on the list. THAT would have been tragic.

  60. Tito’s Tacos is disgusting and shouldn’t even be a part of this competition (which has some seriously good contenders, by the way). Everyone knows that the best tacos are in East L.A. and you can’t beat the taco stands and lonchera trucks.

  61. Dude, nobody even mentioned Tacos El Gavilan? Seriously, those are pretty bomb!

  62. these brackets are so bullshit. a real taco is deep fried shell with savory spicy meat. not some limp dick soft shell piece of crap made for pussy ass queens who don’t like the crunchy shell. fuck that kogi shit. that crap is good for maybe one shot. after that it all tastes the same. trendy hipster types who think standing in another line, after standing in one to go clubbing, is cool. fuck that! i don’t waste my time. go to dos burritos and get a taco. those mexicans know how to make some good salsa. not like the perfumed dainty taste of kogi’s bullshit salsas.