Cactus L.A.

2 09 2010

Before I left on vacation, a friend of mine asked what I planned to do after the cupcakes were done.  I had two responses: eat Mexican food until it comes out my ears, and drink my weight in American craft beers.

Pretty much the taco stand of my dreams.

While I may not have accomplished either if these goals in a literal sense, I certainly satisfied both cravings in a big way.  The first was largely thanks to Cactus.  Upon touching down in Los Angeles, my friend Courtney informed me that there was a really good taco stand just around the corner from her house in Koreatown.  Hooray!  Nick and I planned to take full advantage.

Taco from Cactus

First thing the next morning Nick was up early and out the door.  He came back with two tacos – carnitas and al pastor – and a big cup of coffee.  We happily devoured our breakfast, after which we cleaned ourselves up and headed straight back to Cactus for lunch.

Chile relleno platter at Cactus

I ordered a carne asada burrito, which was much bigger than it looked when it was all wrapped up in foil.  I ate as much as I could, but was unable to finish.  Just means I get a snack later on.  Nick went for the chile relleno platter.  He’s on a lifelong quest for the perfect chile relleno (other lifelong quests include best biscuits and gravy and ideal bloody mary) and he reckons that this one rivals his previous top contender:one eaten at a hole-in-the-wall in Juarez, Mexico a decade ago. We washed it down with (what else?) a bottle of Mexican Coke.


After lunch we hopped on a train headed inland to see my family.  Somehow, we ended up going out to Mexican for dinner that night, making that three Mexican meals in one day.  Not that I am complaining at all.  Pork tacos for breakfast, beef burrito for lunch, and grilled fish tacos for dinner?  I just wish I could do it again tomorrow.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.




8 responses

2 09 2010

“(what else) — a bottle of Mexican Coke” ?!!

You would have done well to have chosen a mexican barley pop.

This isn’t Russia.

3 09 2010

Australia could rival Paris in the not-much-good-Mexican stakes, so this post reads like a dream to me. I’ve never even had chile rellenos, let alone “the best” ones. Cannot wait to hear about more of your US adventurising!

3 09 2010
hungry dog

Tacos for breakfast, a girl after my own heart! This place sounds intriguing, and I will be in LA next weekend (although in Venice, maybe we could make a trip to Koreatown). Mexican food is one of the best things about living in California–and LA is particular.

4 09 2010

Pete – I can get crappy beer in France, but soda made with cane sugar instead of beet sugar is something special.

Hannah – It’s probably better that way, because once you’ve had one, you will dream about it always. Although that will probably be the case as soon as I tell you that its a roasted chili pepper stuffed with cheese then battered and deep-fried. Sorry. 🙂

hungry dog – I hope you get a chance to check it out! If not, L.A. is still full of delicious Mexican options, though we all know the best stuff comes from the random little taco stands and trucks. As one of my culinary school instructors used to say, “the lower the grade from the health department, the better the taco!”

5 09 2010

pistols at dawn, lady.

6 09 2010
Tammy McLeod

That looks fabulous. Living here in the Southwest, I know how much I’d miss it if I moved away. I could eat Mexican for any and every meal.

6 09 2010
Ann Mah

Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Best. Vacation. Ever!

6 09 2010

Pete – 10 paces?

Tammy – So could I! 🙂

Ann – Pretty much.

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