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Culver City

La Isla Bonita Taco Truck ~ Venice

10:06 AM PDT on September 13, 2006


Rose Ave. Btw. 3rd & 4th St. ~ Venice, CA.

The Westside is a little light in the taco truck department until you hit Culver City's stretch on Washington or the taco trifecta at Barrington. Besides Lincoln's mainstay, La Oaxaquena, and a taco truck in the Fox Swap Meet parking lot, La Isla Bonita seems the only other shoreside game north of the airport.


It sits sleepily on Rose Ave...perchance dreaming of San Pedro? La Isla is generally pretty popular and slings mariscos along with traditional Mexi-fare out of a van with hot hand-painted octopi among other characters. Tacos come hot and fast at $1.25, accompained by a large pepper, grilled onions, and spicy pickled carrots and radish. The pastor seemed to make the smallest impression on me; its Lilliputian cuts of tough, red-stained pork reminding me of Baco Bits, which although roasted nicely, lacked crunch and definitive flavor, plus they were very oily. Done in three bites, it was a spicy number that really failed to impress.


The asada was similarly tough, it seemed as though everything was a little overcooked that day at La Isla. The small bits of steak were also oily, but this time in a good way that brought out the deep flavor of both the asada seasoning and the steak. The diminutive pieces were charred, giving a nice, more extreme companion to the roasted meat and great texture...


The carnitas taco, again, was charred in its flanks, but delicious, with a semi-stewy broth encasing the shredded bacon-like, white meat that absolutely stuffs the taco. It is very meaty and tasty, a different take, like most, on carnitas. I went back for another pastor, trying to make sure I hadn't missed anything to find, yet again, it had no spark in there for me.

La Isla Bonita is nonetheless a dependable addition to the Westside taco scene with plenty to offer a hungry belly during lunchtime, the truck seems to vanish as 3:00 O'Clock rolls around...then its off to La Oaxaquena.

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