November 26, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Food Review: The Westside’s Insanely Delicious Tijuana Tacos

Tacos 1986 in Westwood Village stands out amid a crowded taco scene

By Kerry Slater

In a city filled with world-class Mexican food, it is difficult for a taco spot to stand out. A Tijuana taqueria in Westwood, however, rises above the fray by offering no-frill, insanely delicious tacos alongside some of the best salsa in town.

Tacos 1986, with locations in Westwood Village, Pasadena, Beverly Grove, Burbank and DTLA, keeps both the menu and food simple. Available are tacos, quesadillas, mulitas and crunchy vampiros filled with either Asada, Adobada, chicken or mushrooms. For lunch, I ordered three tacos: Asada, Adobada and chicken, each $3.25. The food was ready within 10 minutes and I took the feast to the hood of my car to eat.

All the tacos came topped with guacamole, onions and cilantro. I also asked for all three salsas on the side: Verde, hot and mild.

I decided to try the chicken first since it was likely the most subtle. Despite a nice char, the meat is still juicy, a rarity in grilled chicken tacos. The flavor is nothing special but when topped with the top-notch salsas (more on this below), it becomes a very solid taco. Still, the chicken was by far the weakest of the three tacos.

Next up was the Asada taco which stood out by keeping it simple. The meat has that classic Asada flavor with an amazing texture: tender yet slightly crunchy. Without just the guac, onions and cilantro, this is a fabulous taco. With the addition of the salsas (particularly the Verde), the taco becomes special and my favorite of the three tacos.

The Adobada (pork marinated in a “red” chile sauce) is very solid as well. Not quite as good as the Asada, but still a damn good taco. The flavor is subtle in a good way. Oftentimes a really good, saucy taco has the tendency of overpowering your taste buds and when biting into another type of taco the taste is still there. This is not the case with the Adobada at Tacos 1986. It has a good bite alongside some savory-sweetness and just enough taste to not require any salsas.

Left to right: hot, Verde and mild salsa from Tacos 1986.

In addition to the stellar tacos, three additional factors take Tacos 1986 to the next level, the most important being the salsa. The Verde is a perfect balance of sweet, spicy and bitter. The hot has a unique almost hummus-like consistency and goes very well with the chicken. The mild (usually the weakest salsa in my opinion) at Tacos 1986 is extremely flavorful. With hints of garlic, this mild salsa is in many ways similar to a marinara sauce and pairs well with all the tacos.

The next factor is freshly-made tortillas. Slightly larger than an average, the tortillas at Tacos 1986 manage to be sturdy without being thick or chewy. These tortillas allow the restaurant to add a healthy portion of meat to the tacos. This leads to the third factor that takes Tacos 1986 to the next level: portion size. As a hungry man, three tacos often is not enough for me while four tacos seem a bit extravagant. Three tacos at Tacos 1986, however, was the perfect amount of food. If I wanted a light lunch, two would have satisfied me.

Overall, this was one of the better lunches I’ve had in a while. When gauging a restaurant, I like to ask myself “would I take a friend from out of town here?” At Tacos 1986, the answer is a resounding “yes”.

Value: 7/10
Taste: 8.5/10
Quality: 8.5/10

Overall: 8/10

in Dining, News
Related Posts

More Than 1,000 Food-Insecure Santa Monica College Students Gifted Thanksgiving Groceries

November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022

3rd Annual GIVING THANKS(giving) event returns By Sam Catanzaro As college students across Southern California continue to struggle accessing basic...

Nourish L.A Feeds Thousands Each Week With Excess Food

November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022

Local organization Nourish L.A turns excess food into groceries for those who are food insecure in our neighborhoods and the...

Local Boy Scout Leads Effort to Fix Termite-Infested Trail Handrail

November 22, 2022

November 22, 2022

Ari Candela leads community service effort on a Beverly Hills hiking path By Keemia Zhang Last month, Ari Candela, patrol...

Pacific Park Presents An ‘A-Maize-Ing’ Ferris Wheel Thanksgiving Celebration With 90-Foot-Tall Turkey And All The Trimmings

November 22, 2022

November 22, 2022

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier presents an “a-maize-ing” Ferris wheel Thanksgiving celebration with a fun, festive light program...

ICE Grand Opening Welcomes over 1,300 on Opening Day

November 22, 2022

November 22, 2022

ICE Santa Monica has returned for all day skating and fun for the whole family learn about what’s changed after...

SMMUSD Superintendent Leaving Post

November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

Dr. Ben Drati to become Superintendent of the Bellflower Unified School District By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District...

Two People Hospitalized in Ocean Front Walk Stabbings

November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

Jamal K. Lampitt arrested in connection to November 17 stabbings Two people were hospitalized following stabbings on Ocean Front Walk...

Video Shows SMPD Officers Striking Alleged Homeless Man

November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

November 12 incident to begins after man refuses to leave private residence By Dolores Quintana A video circulating on social...

Newsom to Release $1 Billion in Homelessness Funds

November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

Move comes weeks after Governor holds funds citing lackluster plans to tackle homelessness  California Governor Gavin Newsom Friday convened local...

J.P Morgan Chase Seeks to Sell $1.4 Million Square Feet Of Office Space: Santa Monica Real Estate Report – November 21st, 2022

November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

Property, Developments, And Listings On The Westside.*  A Mini-Mixed Use Building Coming to 2nd Street *  J.P Morgan Chase Seeks to...

Construction Underway For 98 Affordable Housing Units on South Thatcher Yard

November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

Thatcher Yard Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground on 2 acre 98 unit affordable housing community..Video sponsored by Bella Petite.

Local Man Sentenced to 9 Years in Federal Prison for Role in Scam Involving Fake Open Houses at Not-for-Sale Homes

November 20, 2022

November 20, 2022

Adolfo Schoneke sentenced to 54 years in federal prison in connection to $6 million real estate scam A South Bay...

Oracle Looking to Sell Santa Monica Office Space

November 18, 2022

November 18, 2022

Colorado Avenue property has 36 percent vacancy rate By Dolores Quintana A large tech company seems to be moving out...

Local Lions Club Donation Event Helping Homeless Veterans at West L.A VA Campus

November 18, 2022

November 18, 2022

Venice Marina Lions Club donated clothing and toiletries to homeless veterans during a veterans day event at the West L.A...