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Boyle Heights

East Side Taco Report: Eat These Vegan Tacos in Boyle Heights

11:11 AM PDT on October 27, 2015

    eastside_taco_report

    Some restaurants/taco trucks think that putting beans in a corn tortilla equals a veggie taco. Fine, but we can do better, and actually, there are two restaurants in Boyle Heights that are pretty serious about their vegan taco game. Plus, they're right across the street from each other, so yes, you can totally do a veggie taco bang bang!

    La1stStreetTaqueriaVeggieTacos

    La 1st Street Taqueria

    The Los Veggies tacos at this East 1st Street spot are pretty serious. Handmade tortillas are stuffed with a pile of cooked and raw vegetables, including kale, shredded cabbage, cucumbers, and carrots. There's also a big slice of seared tofu in each one, but if that's going to far for you, then just ask them to leave it out---the tacos work with or without the soy slabs. The splash of lemon juice on top adds a lot to the overall flavor, and the red and green salsas (red is hot, green is mild) take them even further. Beans and rice come with the three-taco special ($10) that you'll find listed on the chalkboard to the left when you walk in. But if you are actually vegan, note that they sprinkle cheese on the beans.

    Note: They do a really delicious kale and pineapple agua fresca style juice.

    1843 1/2 E 1st St---Monday-Friday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., closed Saturdays.

    UnSoloSolKitchenVeggieTacosUn Solo Sol Kitchen

    Right across the street from El Mariachi Plaza, Un Solo Sol Kitchen opened last year to the delight of many hungry eastside vegetarians and vegans. The Latin-American menu (there's also some Asian and Middle Eastern influences) features plenty of meaty dishes, but the vegan options are vast. One of the best is the veggie tacos. You can get them done two ways: the Nopalitos version has nopales, tomatoes, mushroom and spinach while the Mixed Vegetables currently includes peas, green beans, black beans, and corn. If you get the taco combo plate, you can get one of each, and a side of their black beans, which are some of the most flavorful I've ever had. Also on the menu are vegetarian green or red pozole.

    1818 E 1st St.---Wednesday-Saturday, lunch 11:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m., dinner 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Check out Un Solo Sol's website.

    News & Notes from the East Side Taco Scene...

    They're not tacos, of course, but Jonathan Gold just did a rundown of L.A.'s 5 Best Burritos. Four out of the five were (of course) from East Side favorites: Al & Bea's, Lupe's, El Tepeyac, and La Azteca.

    Bill Esparza recently took Phil Rosenthal from the new PBS show I’ll Have What Phil’s Having around L.A. to show off some of our city's best culinary examples. East Side stops included Carnitas El Momo, Mariscos Jalisco. Apparently Rosenthal was pretty taken with El Momo's carnitas. “You could have a $400 meal and still not top those carnitas," he reportedly told Esparza after one bite.

    A new report (follow the link to read the whole thing) about street vending from L.A.'s Chief Legislative Analyst is out. It lays out three options for the future of the city's not-so-underground food industry, including keeping laws as is (boooooo!), allowing vending on all city sidewalks that comply with the American's with Disabilities Act, or having free-range vending is some areas and more regulations in others. I guess the findings will be presented to the city's Economic Development Committee today, and then they'll make recommendations to the City Council. Aye, just let us live!

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