So how does the local Taco joint do it?
Every neighborhood has it’s own Taco Stand, or more potently, it’s own beloved Taco stand. This is Los Angeles after all.
You go here, and they love this. You go there, and they love that. Everyone has go their own take, their own thing going on. You need to. There are plenty of Americans, Mexican and non-Mexican alike, who love them some tacos.
One of the favorites in Atwater Village-slash-Glendale is Hugo’s Tacos. It’s been here for years. You’ll find at least a small line of people gathered in front of it when you go there.
For me, it was okay.
I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m in search of “my” Taco Stand, and that so far La Estrella in Pasadena is it.
Well, after a visit here, La Estrella remains it.
Don’t get me wrong, this is decent Taco joint. You’re not going to regret having come here, unless you tossed a coin between coming here and La Estrella.
It’s an outdoor stand, with plenty of parking in back. You just saunter up to the window, place your order, and wait. Just like plenty of other Taco Stands.
Now, here’s the point where I may need some more education on the fine art of eating Tacos here in the ciudad. For me, La Estrella was an easy mark. Walk in. Say you want Tacos, and Tacos arrive, ready to go. You may add on a number of add ons for your personal taste, but…you know. Boom. Enjoy.
Here at Hugo’s Tacos a bit more customization is required. And we don’t mind customization, it’s just…well…c’mon. I’m hungry. I want my Tacos. What, you want me to work to make them perfect too?
Yes, that is all the fault of the author, and as I look around, I’m seeing that most of the places do it the way Hugo’s does it. Here’s your meat that we prepared, it’s right there in the Tortilla, and…well…there’s the fixin’s bar. In this case, La Estrella is the exception.
Like I said before, Hugo’s is a fine establishment. It’s quite popular with the locals, even though Tacos Villa Corona is a couple blocks away, and the James Beard award winning Yuca’s is a quick drive down the way.
But I’m still looking for my Taco place. Though with each passing Taco, that answer becomes a bit more clear.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: So my lunch was composed of three Al Pastor Tacos with Green Verde Chile.
Al Pastor is my preferred cut of Pork when it comes to Taco Meat, and I’ve always liked Verde Salsa. But somehow, they didn’t quite work here.
Let me take that back. They didn’t…not work either. They were okay. The meat was a little overdone, but nothing too prohibitive. The Salsa Verde while rich and dark looking, didn’t punch me in the face with flavor either. So, okay. You’re experience may vary.
Because of the Southerner in me, I also got some Organic Rice and Organic Beans as a side, White Organic Beans and Organic Spanish Rice to be exact. These didn’t float my boat, but then again White Beans never float my boat. I find their texture creamy and smooth, but their flavor a little dull. That’s me. I wasn’t expecting White Beans, and if I’d known they were what I was getting I’d probably wouldn’t have ordered it. The Spanish Rice was okay. A bit dry, but okay.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Just know going in that you’re going to have to design your Taco from jump. Choose your Salsa, and choose your meat, and…go with God.
PARKING: The Hugo’s Tacos in Atwater Village has a decently large lot on its property. Don’t be surprised if at any random time you pull up, the place is almost entirely packed. Maybe one or two spaces here and there. Be patient. Take a lap around the block again if you must. Hugo’s is enough of a turn and burn space that a space should be opening up soon.
Hugo’s Tacos (Atwater Village)
3300 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Tel: (323) 664-9400
Daily: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm