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Cheap Eats

Sky’s Tacos ~ Mid-City

10:47 AM PDT on June 6, 2006

Exterior

5408 Pico Blvd. @ Hauser~Mid-City ~ 323-932-6253

The best tacos in this city don't come from an E-Channel-ready doppleganger for a salon on Melrose. We all know that when it comes to Mexican food, it's often the simple and somtimes the squalid joints that have the most superior authentic eats. Hell, our favorite tacos come from smog belching trailers. Less attention on decor gives more attention on the food goes our thinking.

So it was with a little skepticism that we followed friends who raved about Sky's on Pico, an Afro-American-centric taco restaurant. With a sign bearing the color scheme of Tommy Tang's and a pastel storefront, Sky's looks bouzhee to the core. And straight to the core it is.

Open Burrito & Chicken Taco

Sky's has been at this Pico location for 15 years and perhaps in that context it makes sense. As the advent of such delicacies as the taco truck blossoms through the years, and great authentic Mexican restaurants remain legion in Los Angeles, someone has to deviate from the norm. Sky calls them gourmet tacos and besides being filled with high-tech ingredients like lobster and Mahi, they cost much more than your typical $1 taco. Sky's does carry tacolitas, which apparently resemble the tacos we know and love. ..(Continued Below...)

Breakfast Taco w/ shrimp
Kitchen
Room
Asada Taco
Sky's Menu
Gift Shop
Salmon & Lobster Tacos

Unfortunately, as much as Sky's delivers in appearance and concept, the taste does not seem to be there in comparison with its more low-key brethren. No juicy mounds of pastor or lengua here. Sufficient amounts of meat come absolutely buried in chopped salad with an optional sprinkling of cheddar, wrapped in delicate corn tortillas (you have a choice) and slathered in salsa that looks and tastes like it was made in the Pace Picante factory.

A glass of lemonade arrives in a mason jar mixed with jamaica fruit, simulataneously sweet and tart. The $4.50 lobster taco was hard to taste the actual lobster and the truth could be said for everything sampled at Sky's. The breakfast taco is impossible to even eat in your hands, requiring us to munch it with a fork, so it tasted like egg in bad salsa, with the shrimp hiding at the bottom, delicious but irrelevant in the context of a real taco. The asada was a nice firm texture of delicate spiced steak, but was not juicy. The overall effect with the cheddar was a nice gooey blend but the meat was too obscured to stand out. An open-faced burrito with chicken fared better in terms of taste, but seemed much more like a taco salad than a new concept in Mexican.

Adding in the bad timing of dishes arriving haphazardly and staggered, Sky's Tacos do not see the forest through the trees. The ingredients are fresh and innovative, but the overall taco gets lost, with their main ingredients disappearing in taste under too much craziness. The clean room is nice, but like the African-themed elephant artwork on its walls, does not reflect Mexican cuisine as we know or like it. With the money you'll spend on Sky's, you could eat for a week at a quicker, tastier Taco Truck.

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