Tacos el Tito ~ Vermont & 167th St. Gardena, CA 90249
Everyone who loves tacos knows they taste best when you’ve been working your booty off all day or night doing something hard, whether labor or leisure. I was tired from same-said style of ass-busting, having worked hard under the guidance of inky-azz CBro and his winged-monkey army at the TACO propaganda arm, pushing and pulling on multi-ton, ancient iron machines famous for their ability to endow one with “buns of steel.” Bedraggled, blunted conditions aside when our presence was announced with great ceremony at Tacos el Tito, these mu’fuckas were practically the best tacos I’ve ever had. Thankfully, they are as far away from Tito’s Tacos, the favorite taco joint of many old skool LA heads, like Tony Danza, for example.
I’d been starving for weeks. Both Mary Kate AND Ashley are coming to town soon, and I refuse to be the fattest one as we berate the staff at Hyde for not bringing our $600 bottles of Georgi Vodka quickly enough. Like Syzmon Bukowski, the famished Majdanek hostage in Michener’s epic Poland, the thought of big, oily, golden globules of fat sitting on a bowl of soup or anywhere else occupied my waking sleep. El Tito provided just that. These were not only some of the top rankin’ tacos on my plate-O-fame, they were no doubt the oiliest. Each taco seemed half-liquid, each tightly-flavored bite exploding like a Mexican Chewels!
The asada was excellently spiced, and the meat was a perfect mix of sturdy and tender, thoroughly lubed up by all that grease. It was not all burnt-like, as some of the asada in town is, but rather kind of tender and very lightly browned. Delicious! Yes, they had no carnitas, they had no carnitas that day!!! I was bummed, but went for the pastor and chorizo. The chorizo was probably the least best, as it comes so ground up that all that oil made it a little pastey. Still, the commitment to flavor was still evident as it was a DEEP RED chorizo, also packed with varied and intricate flavors, hinting at sundried tomato or a tomatoey mole.
Pastor was the bomb, with nice medium sized square chunks griddled and slightly sticky, tough and tender, and really tasty. All three tacos had great proportions of their meat chunks and generous helpings. Even so, I went back for an asada, when I usually go back to pastor, I struggled on that one but opted for what I thought tasted best and was not let down by my second go-round.
CBro was also pretty damned stoked on his tacos. He and Rio Kvisto appear to be on a never-ending quest to get Madcow’s Disease and I spied his crazy ass stuffing buche tacos down to his gullet. I asked him what was up with the buche, and he nodded that they were the bomb, with grease all running down his plate, fingers, and chin.
Tacos el Tito is a little like a religious experience, or at least was, to me, that night. Its flank is painted with two saints straddling a small country town church. With kids giggling over bouncy, wee soccer balls in a small yard on the corner, neighborhood players coming through to shoot the shit, laugh, and munch spicy-as-fuck cucumber salad, and those heavenly tacos, Tacos el Tito is as close to eating tacos with The Big Man Upstairs as I’ve come in a long time.