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Taco Tastes: Carlos’s Tijuana Style Tacos Arrives in Whittier

4:18 PM PDT on October 18, 2018

[dropcap size=big]C[/dropcap]arlos’s Tijuana Tacos held its soft opening a few weeks ago in an unincorporated area of South Whittier, where it attracted so many customers it had to close down early. Carlos just ran out of his Tijuana-style tacos.

The pop-up, essentially a tent with some tables and BBQ grills near Five Points Intersection, used its IG account and some shoutouts from local food influencers @hungryinwhittier and @foodiemobb to market the event. It was a simple enough strategy that paid off majorly. And its hours have been from 7 pm to "Sold Out" every night since then. Lucky for me, I just so happened to pass by the location early Sunday evening while making my way to the market. This was my chance to try it out!

All photos by Erwin Recinos.

All the meat is cooked on a BBQ grill using mesquite charcoal for a bold, smoky flavor. Asada, chorizo, and chicken were on the menu. They also had adobada, pork marinated in a red chile sauce. As I got closer to the cooking tent, I could see the flames from the grill firing from both ends as the melting fat hit the wood coals.

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After I passed the BBQ grill, I got to the second cooking station. It's a flat grill where the chopped meat is cooked for a second time. It's also were you find two ladies making handmade tortillas. The señoras spend the night grabbing masa from a large bowl, hand-rolling it in to ping-pong sized balls, and pressing them into tortilla goodness.

Two tortillas presses are on hand. One to make the regular order of tacos. The second is used to make larger tortillas for mulitas and quesadillas. Hot off the grill, the tortillas are thick, yet light in flavor. And you don't have to worry about it breaking and spilling from under your hand.

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As for my order, I decided to try out all their meat options. Four tacos with all the fixins. That's the protein with onions, cilantro, guacamole, and chile verde. Tijuana style, fully prepared to eat.

There was a table with even more salsas, radishes, and frijoles. But I kept it simple with no extras. I enjoyed all four options and I would recommend you try all of them out. The chicken and adobado, I highly recommend. The flavors were delicious.

Carlos's Tijuana Tacos is open Thursday to Sunday from 7 pm 'til the tacos are gone.

More Taco Tastes

A’s BBQ: Smoked Meats With Mexican Flavors and the Soul of East L.A. ~ Taco Tastes

The Classic Sweet Potato Taco by Chef Wes Avila ~ Guerrilla Tacos

Birria in The Trunk ~ The Improbable Rise of Teddy’s Red Tacos

Portable BBQ: Ray's Texas BBQ in Huntington Park has a Two Pound Burrito That's a Game Changer

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