It turns out my favorite Mexican/Street Taco place was in Eagle Rock all along.
The act of Food Writing, Food Blogging…God help you, just being a foodie…is at it’s core, an act of constant comparison.
I mean what do you think we’re doing all day in these restaurants? There is no standard recipe for anything. Chefs and Cooks the world over are making things their way all the time. All you can do is try it, and see how it compares to what you’ve had before. If it compares favorably, if you get that burst of sunshine in your mouth, if all the world fades away, and all you want to do is sit at your table and feel that feeling all over again.
If it doesn’t? Well…not that.
Being a fan of Tacos as I am, I was pleased to stumble across the 3 Dog Catina in Hollywood, and their wonderful Tacos Al Pastor. Later on, I went into the Petty Cash Taqueria. What did I do? I compared the Tacos I had there with those at 3 Dog.
But there’s been this place, this other Mexican place near me in Eagle Rock that I’ve been meaning to go to for a while, and when I finally went in, I was able to compare the Tacos I had there with the ones I had at Petty Cash.
How did I miss out on such loveliness, such taste, such ease??
Problem is, they couldn’t shed their Westside prices.
With Cacao, you walk in, and get right in line to order. Do not sit down. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. You have a couple of minutes to checkout the chalkboard menu, or you can get to know your neighbor as you pass the menus down person to person. You order, you go find a seat, and wait for the magic to happen.
You can, of course, order more once you’re seated. They’re not barbarians over at CaCao Mexicatessen. After all, how else will you get their famous Hot Cacao drink, Mexican style Hot Chocolate, flavored with bits of Almond. How will you get a second Tecate or Modello Negro?
For people who favor the low key establishment, who prefer casual dining to all other things, there is no place on earth like CaCao Mexicatessen. It is why you like living in Los Angeles. It is easy. It is relaxed…and more to the point, the food’s damn delicious.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I don’t know how to tell you this, but you’re getting Tacos. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.
Because, if you don’t like Mexican-style Street Tacos, then…what kind of an American are you?
First off, start with the Cochinita Pibil, which is Yucatan spiced and shredded pork, topped with pickled red onion, and topped with avocado and cilantro. Very good. Very tasty, and I’m not much of a fan of avocado, and I downed this faster than a dessert menu at a Chinese Bakery.
(Dessert menu at a Chinese Bakery is a good thing, just so you know).
I followed it up with Chorizo Rojo Con Huevo, which is spicy ground pork and potato topped with a fried egg, lime aioli, green onion and…yes…cilantro. As much as I liked the Cochinita Pibil, this really really drew me. I love their red sauce (Rojo?), and will make this the central part of my meal.
And since I’ve discovered that I really, really like duck, the Carnitas De Pato was also a fabulous choice if I do say so myself. It’s got a nice hunk of Duck Confit, Avocado, Vinegar onion, some nice radishes and chile oil. Superb.
Follow that with the beer of your choice, and a for dessert a nice plate of Flan and a Hot Cacao (Chocolate), Mexican Style. It comes with a sprinkling of Almonds, but you can dodge that if you’re not into nuts (like I am).
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Just remember that last part about how you get in line first, put your order in and then sit down. Don’t change it around. You can still order more food after you sit down, but respect the rules of the establishment.
I will also say it is…well…cozy inside CaCao Mexicatessen. There’s a nice bar behind the Cash Register/Kitchen area, and a couple of booths. You can even sit outside on their patio. Still, not a huge amount of seats, and very narrow passage in between. Be careful and mindful.
PARKING: This is the hard part. You are going to have to Park somewhere on damn Colorado Blvd., which, to be perfectly honest is a pain in the damn ass. I got lucky my first time in, and parked…barely…along Colorado right by Trader Joe’s (not in Trader Joe’s, that’d be a good way to get towed). Failing Colorado, try the side streets. This isn’t going to be easy.
1576 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Tel: (323) 478-2791