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Boca Del Rio Taco ~ La Puente

9:44 AM PST on January 3, 2007

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Hacienda Blvd. & Fairgrove Ave. ~ La Puente, CA 91744 (TACO Guide)

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Boca Del Rio is spanish for "rivermouth". This day, river is Southern California for "street". Coming from Whittier and the dread straits of 605 traffic, I hit Hacienda Rd. with Mt. Baldy as my distant compass, crossing over the hills of La Habra Heights, across Hacienda Heights and through to La Puente. Boca Del Rio is not the only taco in town, but the only one of its kind. Late into a sun bleached winter afternoon, business was brisk. I spoke through the window to a jocular pair of caballeros who are bi-lingual and syncopated to the taco rhythm. Today is a good day for cabeza "con todo". I watched the cooks deliver two heaps of steaming "head" onto the paper plate which gave pleasantly under weight. Deftly, one man dolloped sour cream onto each taco then proceded with his grater to shower the plate in a smothering cloud of shredded cheese. Salsa Verde goes on top of that.

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A friendly woman down the counter took $3.50 for two tacos and gave me the rest of what I'd need to feast- a fork and servieta. Paper napkins I like to do without, but this flimsy plastic fork was especially handy. These tacos felt like sloppy joes, on my hands and in my face. The soft, dark cabeza meat was stewed spicy and mouth watering. The cabeza piles overwhelmed their junior tortillas pads, so I started in with the fork which came wedged up under taco #1. I then palmed a taco and loosened my mandibles.

This taco delivered a consumate taco sensation, the flavor flooding my thoughts, the eating and the eaten are one. I exchange a friendly nod with the stranger across the table from me; he's known all along what I'm experiencing for the first time- Boca Del Rio tacos are mighty tasty!

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