Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Asadas Well Done: El Parian

On a lazy Friday night, Hometown Buffet monster and I headed into Pico-Union for a taco adventure to El Parian, a deep, dark, soot-encrusted brick storefront on Pico Blvd. I was super excited to finally devour one of El Parian's infamous carne asada tacos. But before we could even enjoy these tacos, we were taken back by how much the tacos were going for. When Bandini went to El Parian last year, his taco's were $2.25. They are now a whopping $2.75!

El Parian's jumbo carne asada tacos are seasoned and cooked to perfection. No wonder this is Bandini's only 5/5 taco joint so far. Their juicy chunks of sizzling pieces of carne asada on homemade tortillas are what I have been dreaming about all these taco nights. Definitely my favorite carne asada so far and worth the $2.75.

Since El Parian only offers carne asada, carnitas, and birria (goat) tacos, I also ordered a carnitas taco. I wish I didn't. It wasn't horrible, but there was nothing great about their carnitas. I'd skip their carnitas if I were you, well, unless you want to chew on something that reminds you of dried squid or carpet. Mmmm carpet.

D, being the adventurous one, ordered a birria taco. Stewed goat anyone? D sat back and enjoyed his sweet, yet mild and tender goat taco. They've got great texture on their birria...dang.

El Parian will continue to hold high ranks with their carne asada and birria in this city infested with taco trucks and taquerias. The only thing keeping this place from being perfect are some fresh tortilla chips and a salsa bar.

El Parian
1528 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles Ca 90015
(213) 386-7361
Mon-Fri 8am-930pm
Weekends 9am-930pm
Cash Only


H. C. said...

Wow $2.75 and still worth checking out -- must some da-yum good tacos. As of late, my fave has been the $1 ones from the Tacos Juanita truck on Western & 3rd.

And yea, I'm a bit squeamish about unusual meats too--can't even bring myself to try cabeza (head) & lengua (tongue). Just carne asada, carnitas, al pastor, pollo or pescado for me, please--thanks. (though the last two are rarely served in trucks.)

BoLA said...

Mmm... carne asada... sounds good right about now!!! LOL!!! MS and I will have to make a run here... this looks like it's right around my neighborhood! :)

Chubbypanda said...

Wow, $2.75 a taco. Banditos! Highway robbery! Where's El Zorro when you need him?

Tokyoastrogirl said...

I think I'll pass on the carpet taco and stick to the goat ones. YUM!

eatdrinknbmerry said...

The goat tacos were good - tastes very similar to lamb. Two tacos at El Parian and you should be pretty full - they are big.

Food Marathon said...

It should be noted that for $2.75 the tacos are much bigger than the usual taco truck tacos. Also, was the cook cutting the meat while you were there? It's louder than a gunshot- he chops the birria and canre asada with what sounds like a firecracker in a tin drum.

j gold said...

For a radio thing on Pico I did a few years ago, the producer close-miked the sound that one of the cooks there, a skinny, zitty teenager in a Slayer T-shirt, made when he thwacked into a goat carcass with a machete. That was a kid who really loved his job.

Jeni said...

HC...I didn't mention that El Parian tacos are 2-3 times larger than the average $1 tacos...and the quality of their asada is outstanding.

BOLA...just make sure you try some birria. I know you love your gamey meats.

Chubbypanda...I wouldn't boast about these tacos if they weren't worth it.

Tokyoastrogirl...the goat has been braised forever. D really loved it.

D..thanks for putting up with my taco cravings. You choose where we eat this Friday ok.

FM...the cook must have come from the 99 Ranch seafood department! haha.

Are you the real J Gold...thee Jonathan Gold? Not Jerry Gold or Jorge Gold??? Nonetheless, thank you for reading Jonathan, or Jerry or Jorge. It's a pleasure to meet you! Anyways, I hope to make it back to El Parian some time soon...hopefully I'll make it for the birria beating.

eatdrinknbmerry said...

hi j & j. gold!

MeowMix said...

Wow Jonathon Gold reads your blog. NIIIIIIIICE :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I was listening to Jonathon Gold's radio piece (on This American Life) and that's how I got to this blog, by googling El Parian. Small circular world. I wish I were in LA. New York's tacos suck.

Jeni said...

Anonymous...I'll trade you for some pizza! Thanks for reading.

nbgirl976 said...

tacos on central and 42 place in..90011 are the very good. they only post up on friday ~ sunday nights!!!...on saturday and sunday morning they sale birria and birria tacos...its almost as good as my moms birria!!


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