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Preview: Tacos Tu Madre, Open now in Westwood

10:30 AM PDT on October 30, 2015

The taco options in and around Westwood are fairly slim, so Tacos Tu Madre is coming in a great time. Situated south of Santa Monica Boulevard on Westwood, this take-out window with a small counter area should find neighborhood fans with its mix of regular (carne asada, crispy fish, pastor, carnitas, etc.) with fancy tacos (ahi tuna, Korean BBQ, Vegan "Bahn Mi"), and specials like Uni and Duck with Foie Gras. The menu also includes three breakfast burritos, which could be a great idea for those working nearby.

The neighborhood has a nice collection of Persian restaurants, a couple of Japanese spots, and the best skate shoe store in West L.A. (Hot Rod LA), and is just North of the venerable Apple Pan, but there's a dearth of Mexican food. In other words, the owners have picked a great location for a new taco restaurant.

For those in the area, Tacos Tu Madre will be giving out one free taco to anyone following them on social media on November 1st. Expect long lines, so get there early.

Clockwise from center: Pastor, Birria, Korean BBQ, Foie

Overall, we tried 6 tacos including the Ahi Tuna, the birria, al pastor, Korean BBQ, Vegan "bahn mi", and duck with foie gras. All came served on homemade tortillas, which were good, but would've been better if they were served just after being made, rather than resting for an unknown time.

Each taco comes heavily dressed with various salsas and cheese crumbles. Most of the tacos were pretty tasty, but overall the restaurant could use some clarity-- too many tacos, too many sauces, too many ideas crammed into a small kitchen. A neighborhood take-out joint is best when they have one thing they do really, really well. For inspiration the owners should look to the Apple Pan, with their two burgers that made their name synonymous with burgers in West L.A.  over the past 50+ years.

The scene at the window. The building has a mural by Chase

It's impossible for any taquero to be a true master at more than one style of meat, so when a taco spot offers up such a wide variety, it's inevitable that some will be better than others and that overall quality will regress to the average. Our advice to Tacos Tu Madre is pick two or three "must have" tacos, and hone that style until they have perfection, while keeping a rotation of special tacos, as they have a lot of good ideas for interesting combos.

In the meantime, Tacos Tu Madre is the best taco stand in the immediate area, and ought to be a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Get that free taco November 1st, and see for yourself!

Tacos Tu Madre is at 1945 1/2 Westwood Boulevard. Follow them on Instagram here.

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