Jonathan Gold on Carne Asada 'Crime'
It's a taco stand, get it? | Photo by Karen Apricot New Orleans via Flickr
This is why Jonathan Gold won a Pulitzer Prize. He makes taco truck food sound like it should be eaten three times daily (and never anything else) while truly capturing Los Angeles:
The best thing I had to eat last week was a massive carnitas huarache, from the Gorditas Lupita’s truck on Eagle Rock Boulevard near Avenue 34. I ate it while leaning against a warehouse wall in Glassell Park, washed it down with a bottle of Mexican Coke and perfumed with the exhaust of a thousand diesel trucks. The second-best thing may have been a Puebla-style cemita overstuffed with fried beef milanesa, ripe avocado and shreds of the Pueblan string cheese called quesillo — that one I ate sitting on a plastic folding chair right on Indiana Street, where it runs into César Chávez at Five Points in East L.A. The third, who knows? A bean-smeared clayuda devoured while sitting curbside at the La Oaxaqueña truck on Lincoln at Rose in Venice? A tostada of fiercely hot aguachile, chopped marinated shrimp, eaten on a milk crate perched next to a Whittier Boulevard medical clinic? A spicy tongue taco eaten at El Pique, in the parking lot of a Highland Park car wash on York at Avenue 53? The carne asada taco at the El Chato truck on Olympic near La Brea, the tooth-staining red sauce at El Taquito Mexicana in Pasadena, the al pastor at El Taurino on Hoover at 11th near Macarthur Park? They all came from trucks; they all made me feel glad to be alive, glad to be in Los Angeles.