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Hawaiian Gardens

Taco Tuesday: Tacos San Pedro ~ Hawaiian Gardens

Nestled between the 605 fwy and Coyote Creek is the city of Hawaiian Gardens. At one square mile, it is the smallest city in Los Angeles County. However, this small city has two locations you should know about. One is The Gardens Casino, a 24/7 gambling casino where you can play No Limit Hold 'em, Blackjack, Baccarat and many other games I have never actually played. The other is Tacos San Pedro, a mexican restaurant located directly across the street from the Casino.

I was introduced to this place by a buddy of mine that grew up in the area. He explained to me this place is a true local's spot, and has been serving customers since 1985 at their location two blocks east of 605 fwy. I made my way there a few weeks ago to try out some of their best-loved dishes.

TacosSanPedro (1 of 5)
Al Pastor Nachos

The nachos have the usual toppings that have come to be the standard at most taco spots in LA: sour cream, guacamole, nacho cheese, pico de gallo, and beans. This version included al pastor in a wonderful sauce and jalapenos on the side. It’s a bit messy but very tasty. One of the things I do not like about nachos is that the chips get soggy and become mush-- these chips are prepared fresh and can hold their own against all those sauces.

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Buche Tacos

I ordered three tacos: al pastor, buche and tripas. Buche, aka pork stomach, is a very tasty meat but takes skill to prepare. You can often judge an establishment or taco vendor's commitment to quality by the preparation of this meat. If not prepared well, it does not have the best taste and an even worse texture. Tacos San Pedro prepares this meat very well, leaving it tender in the middle and slightly crispy on the edges. The salsa is a bit of a heater so you may want it on the side.

Lastly we have the chicken flautas. As I entered Tacos San Pedro I looked around at tables with food, looking to see what my fellow patrons had ordered. I swear to you, every single table had an order of flautas. You have a choice of chicken of beef and either a full order or half. A half order is 4 flautas, which is plenty for one person. The flautas come topped with lettuce, guacamole, sour cream and a sprinkling of goat cheese. I had some salsa roja on the side for a little more bite. The flautas are delicious and it's no wonder everyone orders them at this little taco gem in Hawaiian Gardens.

TacosSanPedro (2 of 5)
Chicken Flautas

Tacos San Pedro is open 9am to Midnight daily. So if you're gambling late into the evening, or you just got out of a movie at the nearby Long Beach Towne Center, Tacos San Pedro is open to satisfy your taco cravings. For more information check out their page on Yelp.

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