Review: Star Tacos

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a moment to make a stop for some gas station tacos. This truck on an Arco gas station parking lot is setup every day starting around 5pm. I used to pass it often as it was one of my routes when commuting home from work when the LA freeway was too backed up and I needed to get creative. Problem is I just wanted to get home and I already had dinner planned.

Fortunately, on a drive to a work event I had an extra 15 minutes and we were not going to eat until 8pm so I needed something small to hold me over. That’s when I passed by Star Taco’s truck and looped back around knowing this was finally the right moment.

There are a few open parking spots next to the taco truck. I pulled in and the team was finishing their setup putting up the lights for when the evening finally arrived. A couple other people were there waiting to order and the spread of salsas and other items to add to one’s tortillas and meat were out and filled to the brim.

There a lot of choices at Star Tacos. Tacos, burritos, tortas, asada fries, and a wide selection of meats to fill them with. They even had cabeza and tripe. They even had alambres, which is something I rarely see, a taco with grilled beef topped with chopped bacon, bell peppers, onions and cheese.

I kept it probably a little too simple since I saw barbacoa and carnitas and I naturally gravitate to those two options when I see them and I want a quick bite. I ordered 2 of each and waited about 5 minutes for my order.

The tortillas were perfectly done with a little oil and placed on a grill to bring them to life. They were flavorful and were chosen with care, not the normal bag of store bought tortillas but not homemade either. Just a good quality mass produced corn tortilla that went great with everything.

There were bits of fat and juice in the barbacoa tacos. They had a rich flavor and the meat was super tender like it had been slow cooked for a day. The red juices glistening off the meat in the California sun. I was pretty impressed how nicely done the beef was and I would definitely order it again. The spicier light red salsa went well with the barbacoa and topped with some onions, cilantro and squeeze of lime was just perfect.

But the real star of Star Tacos (sorry I couldn’t resist that..) is the carnitas. The meat was perfection. There is a deep crispiness that is not burnt or dry. It was flavorful and still moist while a few chunks of crispy gems were scattered in the corn tortillas. I could eat a dozen of these and still want more.

While I didn’t dive too deep into the menu on this quick stop, I have plans to return and see what other treasures await. How’s the al pastor or the cabeza? And let’s try an alambres taco to see how that complex mix tastes at this truck.

Star Taco’s should get more recognition, but it’s a crowded place in Los Angeles to stand out. And while I want to give them a 5 star rating, I just don’t know yet until I try some more options, but what I had was a solid 4 or 4.5. Check them out next time your around Melrose and Western Avenue.

Gas Station: Arco

Address: 655 N Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 9004

Rating (4 out of 5):

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Categories: Reviews

Author:Chris Baccus

Accomplished marketer, home cook and aspirational bass player.


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