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Why: In a perfect world, Leo’s Tacos Trucks would be as common as Starbucks. This is Mexican soul food, served off a spit, in a way that can turn a simple gas station or car wash into a tiny urban party.
What: Leo’s Tacos Trucks have established a big following in only seven years. The mother ship is located at the Sinclair Station at Venice Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, but the bright yellow trucks show up at five other locations around Los Angeles.
The reason for such rapid success in a town saturated with tacos? Leo’s has set itself apart with its al pastor: marinated pork propped up on a vertical rotisserie, as the Greeks do for gyros.
The spectacle of this, in an open parking lot, is great. But the taste is even better. The pork is charred on the outside, then shaved and served, still dripping, often with a slice of pineapple.
The al pastor technique purportedly has Lebanese roots. Whatever the origin, four tacos of this caliber for $5 is one of the better deals anywhere.
Leo’s also offers burritos, tostadas, huaraches and tortas, with fillings from chicken to tripe. But it’s the al pastor that has made it a cult hit. More outlets are sure to follow.
Where: At six locations, mostly in the core of Los Angeles. The mother ship is at 1515 S. La Brea Ave., 8 miles west of downtown L.A.
How much: Tacos $1.25