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A Data Hero Organized L.A.’s Taquerías Into a Taco Matrix Based On Cost and Reviews

12:00 PM PST on March 9, 2022

    Via Rajesh Niti/Twitter

    Thank god for people who are smarter than us, as today we get this perpetual Taco Tuesday gift that places a whole fuck-ton of data into one usable map that compares L.A. taco spots by price and customer ratings.

    Rajesh Niti, an Arsenal fanatic and self-described "biomedical engineer by day, Football/Food analytics hobbyist by night" on Twitter, has released a searchable matrix map of 287 taco places in Los Angeles.

    "Tacos are my comfort food," Niti tells L.A. TACO. "I think the apple-doctor quote should be updated to say 'A taco a day keeps the doctor away.'"

    The businesses are broken into four quadrants on Niti's map and uses $10.05 for three tacos as the cost average, with a range of $2-$28, and a 4.265 rating as the average that correlates to so-called tastiness. The size of the business' representative dot relates to the number of reviews they received.

    The not-quite glorified "More Expensive But Less Tasty" quarter is ruled by such half-stepping lames names as Malibu's taco-and-burrito bowl-slinging Cuban eatery Cafe Habana, collegiate party-ground Cabo Cantina, the El Torito chain, and the buchón Beverly Grove newcomer Máma Por Dios.

    Then there's "Cheaper Than Average But Less Tasty," where you'll find Pinche's, Tacos Por Favor, Tacos Arizas, and Kogi among the inhabitants.

    Across the way, there's "Cheaper Than Average But Tasty," where esteemed taquerías like Villa's Tacos, El Güero, Sonoratown, Loqui, Guisados, Mariscos Jalisco, and Leo's (all reside), smoking in the boys room in leather jackets whilst sneering at "teach."

    Niti says, in fact, that Villa's Tacos has the highest rating of any restaurant he's ever seen since he began analyzing restaurants.

    In the upper right quadrant, titled "More Expensive Than Average But Tasty," you'll see such greats of our day and age as Perro 110, Macheen, Guelaguetza, Salazar, Flaco, Quiadaiyn, Holbox, and Angry Egret, super-grouping together like some kind of Derek & The Dominos or Prophets of Rage of L.A. Mexican food.

    For the "tasty" metric, Niti tells us he aggregated the data from reviews and ratings on Yelp, Google, Tripadvisor, Ubereats, and Grubhub, among others, noting that they varied somewhat as some places are on UberEats but not others. The prices were taken straight from the restaurant's websites or photos on Google and Yelp.

    The list is searchable, often insightful, and provides hours of potential fun while getting heated about tacos. Obviously, reviews can be left by a whole smattering of different palates and Mex-perience levels, too, making it less than ironclad when it comes to dictating what is tasty and what may be less so.

    While no firm conclusions are necessarily being dictated here, we'd never recommend a fellow taco life follower to skip an experience at Kogi. Or suggest that Red O has any merit over big, bad, and bold spots like modern Mirame. Nor really say tacos are the first thing you should order at a Oaxacan restaurant. And is there possibly an earth where El Ruso would ever be considered quantifiably less tasty than HomeState?

    But in the end, isn't that just what such lists and maps are really all about? Propelling us into an inexplicable rage to defend the places we love?

    Here's the link to the interactive map and a smaller, static map, below, so everyone can join in the love and outrage themselves.

    Via Rajesh Niti/Twitter
    Via Rajesh Niti/Twitter

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