Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cactus Taqueria...keeping it very real in Hollywood

950 Vine St.
Hollywood, CA 90038
(323) 464-5865
Hours: You know what? That's a very good question. Lunch time to really late night sounds about right, but I've never seen them closed.

Few words for an amazing place. Cactus Taqueria is this tiny little stand on Vine that has people almost always crowding around it. Now, while I won't say there's no better place in LA for tacos, I will say this is by far one of the finest in Hollywood and the price is most definitely right. The tacos only being a buck, how can you not afford this place anytime of day?

Notice the spit for's meat an undeniable force to be reckoned with on Vine.

I figure I might as well start with a non-taco item so we can get that through first. Their quesadillas are light and seared just right, this was their veggie version with avocado included. Perfectly packed so it won't turn into a mess and really just a picture of salivating tastiness.

Fish tacos have been high on my list ever since moving to California all those years ago (so few of us are actually from here). While I won't say I crave these (far from it) I will say they have a decent entry into the fish taco forum. Good sized chunks of lightly breaded whitefish with dabs of sauce make this a simple great taco.

Their carnitas are AMAZING. Quite simply some of the best carnitas I've had in LA. It's juicy and has super tiny bits of crispiness on the ends of the pulled pork. So dang good.

The al pastor rocks as well considering it's pork from the same batch. I will say this though, their bbq marinade for the al pastor is slightly different than most in that there's more of an earthiness than a tang to it. Whatever it is, they do it right.

The carne asada is a touchy subject. I've had it when it's been amazing, and sometimes when it's just average. When it's good, the meat is tender and juicy and falls apart in your mouth. When it's not, it's just not all that happening. Typically though, there's almost no fat at all, no matter if it's a good day or not, a definite point on their side.

I wanted to throw this in here for laughable measure. I myself am more of a purist when it comes to tacos (that being that a taco is a tortilla with meat, onion, and cilantro and that's it), but my buddy Pete was joining us and he likes American tacos covered in cheese.

Though I only showed a few of their meats, it's worth a note that their cabeza and chicharrones are KILLER. I'm sure many of you have passed by and thought... why are all those people standing there? Did Pink's open a taco stand? Hardly. They just know how hard it is to get a good taco in Hollywood (not to mention they take credit) and this is their cure.

PS. There's a second location on Beverly and Kingsley

Free refills: Nope it's by the can, and may I add they have Cactus Cooler at Cactus Taqueria.

Entree Price Range: Big menu and all under $5 to be sure with tacos being just a buck.

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Blogger tannaz said...

i don't think i've ever seen cactus' food in daylight. i've encountered a lot of interesting tacos and people here around 2 am though...delicious horchata too.

August 29, 2007 at 5:56 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Mmm, tasty! I'll definitely have to check it out... I'm still on a hunt for a really great fish taco in LA (the ones I had in Hawaii still reign supreme-- go figure!). I'd love to see a post about your favorite place!

August 29, 2007 at 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Jonah said...

That place looks like a must-try. I'm not one to order a quesadilla at a taco stand, but I'm going to try that one.

August 29, 2007 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger Aubrey said...

Tannaz: I totally forgot about the good.

Jessica: I myself am still on the hunt myself. Some places I've tried have been good but inconsistent.

Jonah: It is a must try especially if you're in the neighborhood catching a play on Santa Monica.

August 30, 2007 at 10:20 AM  

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