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My Taco ~ Highland Park

10:55 AM PDT on April 3, 2009

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    My Taco ~ 6300 York Blvd. Highland Park, CA 90042 ~ (323) 256-2698

    My Taco, meet L.A. Taco, which is your taco too, and our taco, and like you, alla our taco! I'm a taco, you're a taco, wouldn't you like to be a taco too?!

    Now that pleasantries have been exchanged, let's eat! My Taco is a bouncy bright taco joint taking up 1/3 of a busy parking lot dedicated to giant, glowing yellow signs. The girls who work here are super hot and the vibe is cozy yet festive, with a very West Indian attitude towards color.  Upon ordering, one of the dynamic duo of register gals suggested I try their lengua, forcing me to bite mine, lest I bite hers (sorry, but spring awakens). Instead, I dove into a few classics that showcase the beloved grill hiding in My Taco's kitchen, as well as a few new tastes certain to stimulate.

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    Which brings us to why My Taco is your, my...yes, our, taco. These babies come small and stripped, leaving a bare taco canvas ready to be personalized beside the neighboring bar of salsa jars and chopped veggies. It's truly the edible, Mexican version of the Build-a-Bear Workshop! Mmmm, they really should have braised Care Bear or spit-roasted Snuggle on the menu. But I digress.

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    Or do I? Lest I've tempted your bloodlust for devouring all beings cute and cuddly, you'll be happy to know these ladies put Borrego (lamb shank) tacos on the menu that kick backdoors to the floor. The sacrificial lamb has apparently been spared no torture save a crown of thorns. The sheep meat arrives burned, beaten, and whipped to a creamy pulp, cowering on the plate and acknoweledging how much it deserved "it" for throwing our Lamborghini keys out the window. There there, little lamb...crunch! It is is a comforting bite; soft and grilled lightly to a crisp char on the edges, giving way to a soft mash of warm oil, mixed spices, and wispy game meat. The medley creates a delicious consistency that rules above the mellow, but noticeable flavors. It is like lamb puree reconstituted in the shape and consistency of a soft chile relleno and lain into a taco, with the available borrego sauce aiding the trick. Call it lamb machaca and blee-ee-eat your heart out, Jose Andres!

    My Taco, to show you racist taco separatists out there, also has a longaniza sausage taco, again proving tacos to be the cuisine that brings all Angelenos together. The longaniza is a pork preparation, kinda sorta like chorizo, enjoyed on various plates by widespread cultures sharing Spanish heritage, with roots in Aragon, España, and popular especially in The Philippines. Gorgeously painted in the red hues of Hell, it has a savory reputation for being spicy and salty in intense degrees. Tapas bar memories seep through a loose, but rindy, dish heavy on salt and taken to the maximum allotment of grill char, and far beyond. This chopped sausage scramble is held together through 3rd degree burns, leaving a blackened trail throughout the taco. The dish is very successful when it comes together in one huge bite, with the tortilla and toppings dulling the spice, salt, and scorched pork, but certain nibbles will leave you overwhelmed between one flavor or another. The pork is delicious, the mix nicely picante, but someone might turn down the flame for a minute and ease up on the salt shaker. Still, I would surely go back for more, even if the recipe stayed the same. Blood pressure, please accept my apologies for the coagulated pork products in advance.

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    As for the taco triumvirate: The pastor is slippery, with a loose dabbling of sauce that unleashes flavors similar to A1 with cardomom undertones in a complex mix. These tastes are balanced perfectly with a sprinkling of onion and lime. Our old friend "crisp" comes back into play, though not with the force of the longaniza's prep. It gives a nice firm texture to the pastor, which overall is a very individual and delicious form of one of our favorite taco fillings.

    The carnitas were simple, with a slightly glazed shell over the nicely diced chunks of white pork which are tender, bursting with super soft, sometimes slightly fatty, interiors. The pork's natural sweetness works very well on its own as My Taco has a way with grill textures and flavors that fully speak for themselves. Still, we're control freaks, and the fresh salsa bar allows us to stay modest or go crazy as we please.

    The asada is completely solid, a 100% steaky bite grilled to perfection. The lines and color of the meat alone can make the heart skip a beat. I was tempted to ditch my tortilla and start shoveling the sizeable, juicy cuts into my maw. It seems My Taco has a hard time going wrong, with or without condiments backing them up.

    Third to the food and gorgeous girls, My Taco has aguas frescas, no ground-breaking feat in Northeast L.A. However, I am obsessed with strawberry Jumex and anyone who has ever seen me late at night wandering the streets begging shady aquaintances to exchange my sexual servitude for a mere sip of Jumex de Fresa knows this. After a long day, I was hoping the red jar contained watermelon juice. I nearly did a backflip when she told me it was fresa. The strawberry aqua fresca makes you feel divine, like some royal kitchen of Smurfs spent all day squeezing the juice out of wee little strawberries for your arrival. I promise did not eat a psyilcibin taco.

    I love My Taco for its versatility, upholding of supreme quality, and introduction of a few different flavors you don't always find coming together in a food we eat almost daily, and still never get tired of. Their menu is huge and their attitude very embracing. My Taco manages to make our favorite food fun again. Just as we aspire to be L.A.'s Taco, we are proud to call My Taco our taco. Seen?

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