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El Paladar Oaxaqueno ~ West Los Angeles

12:10 AM PDT on June 26, 2006

Paladar Oax Side

Barry Ave. below Santa Monica Blvd. West Los Angeles (Eastside of Vons)

El Paladar Oaxaqueno has a neighborhood following you don't always see with taco trucks/trailers on the westside of Western, which often have a random, drifting clientele coming and going serendipitously from the bars or are mobile units dispatched to construction sites on call or by routine.

This great white beauty is perpetually perched on the eastern corner of Vons on Barry Ave., right below Santa Monica Blvd., slinging small tacos; dry, folded, pizza-like clayudas; plus hearty tortas and big-azz burritos. From lunchtime to the wee hours of the night, westside families, couples on dates, weary workers, and neighborhood ballers n' shotcallers get thier sustenance aqui, in the heart of a bastion of Oaxacan residences and apartment complexes. Although we've had one or two lackluster experiences here and prefer the truck boasting the name of the fantastic, nearby restaurant Juquila, everything Paladar Oax. touches is typically quite excellent.

Pastor y Asada Tacos

Those familiar with Middle Eastern shwarma will surely respond to the rotating spit of pastor spinning on the mobile kitchen's left flank. I'm typically more a fan of pastor than stewed carnitas or asada steak; its complex balance of squish and crunch, and mild flavor-saturation difficult to pull off with precision. It can be too oily or too dry, sometimes without the pork-rind texture we crave. Paladar Oax's pastor does not acheive said balance, despite holding a nicely spiced curry within its medium-sized chunks of pork, it was a little too charred at our arrival, resulting in a hard pastor that, despite great taste, was too chewy.

The asada, on the other hand, does not disappoint. Over 70 small bites of peppery, juicy steak covered our tiny corn tortillas with a small smattering of oinions and a hearty spread of cilantro. Savory, not oily, it is just resistant enough to be chewy while still giving that melt-in-the-mouth feeling we love in steak. El Paladar Oaxaqueno is not always perfect but pretty damn close, plus its tiny tacos (at $1.25) are more expensive than tacos typically come. But just like a best friend or a handle of tequila, it is always there when you need it.

Paladar Oaxanero
PO Tortas y Clayudas
Pastor Spit
Paladar Oax Kitchen
Paladar Trailer
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