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17226 Crenshaw Blvd. @ Artesia Blvd. ~ Torrance (See TACO Map)

To escape the recent searing heat, I slipped into Josie's, its wall reading, "THE BEST CHICKEN TACOS IN THE SOUTH BAY..." Greeted by a kind smile, I was welcomed to sit anywhere and settled for a spot in the back. The climate is cool, and I wonder if credit is due to the two dozen or more green plants surrounding me with fresh O2.

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A tall and wide glass of scarlet Jamaica quenched the thirst, a flawless house blend of bitter sweetness. The menu includes a more-than-token child's menu, with vegetarian options like a potato taco, salads, and an egg burrito. I chose Josie's Sampler-- taco, taquitos, & quesadilla.

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The chicken taco shell is lightly fried to a shapely crisp, retaining its elasticity well enough to be devoured without spilling the fresh chopped lettuce and sturdy tomato wedges topping the shredded chicken.

The quesadilla is made with decent, not too greasy cheese which I top with the house chile de arbol salsa and that old stand-by, Tapatio. The taquitos put Josie's Sampler over the top. One beef and one chicken, two expertly crisped rolls of tender textured and cleanly butchered meats, topped with sour cream, guacamole, and cheese shreads.

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Josie's has been saving the day, heating people up and cooling them down since 1952. The relaxing natural light, green plant-scape, amiable staff, and revolutionary Mexican decor honoring Pancho Villa and Emiliano "Tierra y Libertad" Zapata, all reflect the care that's gone into preparing food that looks and tastes original and solid.

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