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Pancho’s Tacos ~ Santa Monica

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2920 Lincoln Blvd. ~ Santa Monica , CA 90405 ~ 310-452-2970 ~ TACO Map

Pancho's Tacos is apparently a legend for feeding some of the wild and strung out rockers who lived in Venice in the swinging 60's. While the spirit of Jim Morrison might be in the house, our main concern is whether the tacos are too. I have a feeling Pancho's is a sort of White Castle in the taco world, either a taste acquired or a taste loved from nostalgia. Each of my three tacos came doused with a very specific tasting red salsa, that wasn't neccessarily that good; rather commercial and funky tasting.

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The quality of the tacos were good, though the tortillas are store-bought, we ain't mad at 'cha Pancho's. The carne asada and pastor were of great and tasty quality, a little greasy and completely scrumptious. But that damn hyper-colored, picante salsa kind of drowned out the true sabor. I was about to leave...unamazed by the Pancho's experience when my stomach and tongue began a vast right-wing conspiracy (they are total Nazi dicks) to get me onto some carnitas...

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Not expecting much as carnitas are so hit or miss dependng on location, I was blown away by Pancho's take. They were just the way I dig my carnitas, wet and stewy, saturated in juicy flavor. What was more interesting was the way all that juice played with the salsa I wasn't feeling. Suddenly, it made sense, the salsa's strong flavors intermingling with the carnitas in a delicious bite of piquant spice and earthier pork flavors. A success! No wonder Mr. Mojo Rising got so fat, he probably caught onto these joints.

Upon further exploration, I returned to Pancho's several mornings for a big ole machaca and egg burrito ($3.55), stuffed with both ingredients as well as pico de gallo, it is delicious and keeps the meat on your bones for hours. Between the breakfast burrito, carnitas taco, and the low-key Lincoln local vibe, Pancho's is surely getting our dollar when we want cheap eats in this neck of the hoods, unless someone will take us to Tlapazola?
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