Sunday, March 8, 2009

In Search Of The Perfect Torta, El Taurino

Hankerin' for a torta on a Sunday evening, I head over to El Taurino on Hoover and 11th in the Pico-Union district. A favorite taco joint of a certain noodle-headed friend of mine, I decided to check it out after long last.

Expecting an outdoor stand a la E-Ho's El Gran Burrito, this was a completely indoor place, with two counters and two lines - both rather long.

I figured it must be good, so to bide my time I decide to pull out the ol' Blackberry and do a Facebook update:

Elson is @El Taurino, in search of the best torta. (7:21 p.m.)

Which was followed up by:

Ken L. at 7:24pm March 8
Where is the best torta, you think? I'm fond of the Taco Reyes taco truck on Sherman Way, but I'm happy to continue the search for delicious tortas.

Elson at 7:26pm March 8
I've been on a torta trip lately.
You're quite a bit Valley-biased, aren't you? :)
But thanks, I will leave no stone unturned, and will check it out next time I'm over the hill!

Joe B. at 7:34pm March 8
gerlie says there's a good one in monterey park where they bake their own bread. don't know the name of it though.

Ken L. at 7:35pm March 8
I'm on the LA side a bit as well, so I would love to hear about any good torta trucks/restaurants.

I'm Valley-biased, sure, but only because I live out here, not because I think all the good tortas are out this way!!!

Elson at 7:35pm March 8 via Facebook Mobile
Joe: hot damn! I gotta check that one out!

Ken L. at 7:36pm March 8
Joe, please find out!!

Although most of the time when I'm out that way, I'm at Ocean Star Seafood or Dumpling Master, etc. on Atlantic. No tortas there.

Peter H. at 7:37pm March 8
It's called Cook's Torta's...on Atlantic the intersection of Floral Dr. Its pretty good. I do tend to prefer the proper roach coach though, lol. I'll have to pick you up and take you there Elson, they even hand make their own tortillas for their tacos.
*Drooling already*

Elson at 7:37pm March 8 via Facebook Mobile
Ken: Just jokin witcha man! :) There's some good Valley spots so I'll check out any suggestions there as well!

Ken L. at 7:40pm March 8
The taco truck one I mentioned is my favorite so far. It's a good torta, a little bit hit and miss, but almost always good, but I'm looking for an absolute killer torta. I ate at El Taurino a while back, and King Taco (had tacos at both, not tortas), and enjoyed both.

Thanks, Peter!

Elson at 7:40pm March 8 via Facebook Mobile
The line @ El Taurino is long..been here over 10 mins. This better be good! Big Korean clientele too! I'm getting the bistec con queso torta...cheeseteak!

Peter H. at 7:44pm March 8
Geeze, I really dislike King Taco. The salsa's are icky, I guess i'm just used to what my Mom makes here at home. ONE taco stand on Fletcher Drive (next to Foster's Freeze) had VERYYYY good tacos. Great variety of meat....the Al Pastor kicks butt there.

Elson at 7:47pm March 8 via Facebook Mobile
Peter, you're so Atwater Village-biased, lol! :)

Ken L. at 7:48pm March 8
The one time I've eaten at King Taco was in Pasadena. It was good. It wasn't killer. Still on the lookout for killer. You can't ever beat homemade, I don't think, but it doesn't mean you don't keep looking!! :)

Peter H. at 7:53pm March 8
The little corner place on Fletcher is AWESOME. I mean, I could eat there nightly and not grow tired. Salsas are g0o0o0od, lol. I'm from the hood Elson, what do you expect :p

The hospital I run is a few blocks away from Cook's Tortas in Monterey Park. I'd rather hit the roach coach scene than eat there. Just my opinion....I say we meet up and go on a sample night, haha!!

Elson at 7:54pm March 8 via Facebook Mobile
I've ordered, am waiting. I'm. #662 and they're only calling #636!

Elson at 7:57pm March 8 via Facebook Mobile
Haha, the lady sitting across from me is on the cellphone w her man, she said, "They don't sell tortas @ King Taco!" Guess I'm not alone in TortaQuest '09!!

Joe B. at 7:58pm March 8
cook's tortas
1944 S Atlantic Blvd

Peter H. at 7:59pm March 8
Hey EL....that's when I throw in the towel and go to YOSHINOYA :p

Elson at 8:00pm March 8 via Facebook Mobile
BTW thanks guys, you're making my long wait a little less tedious, haha

Elson at 8:03pm March 8 via Facebook Mobile
This place is quite trilingual! EspaƱol, English and Korean...

Peter H. at 8:04pm March 8
El, where is the place you're at located?

Elson at 8:06pm March 8 via Facebook Mobile
El Taurino on Hoover, half block S of Olympic

Peter H. at 8:06pm March 8
Could you imagine some kimchi on your torta instead of onion and cilantro? Hahaha. ACK!

Elson at 8:08pm March 8 via Facebook Mobile
Peter; That's not too farfetched:

Peter H. at 8:09pm March 8
Damn boy, you're too far out for me. I live in a box, lol. UNLESS I'm going to MANNA all you can eat Korean BBQ....then it's acceptable to travel south on Western. Otherwise I ain't doing a drive for food that's far away. Yet you ask yourself "The how does this dude stay to damn fat, haha." I ONLY went to Rosemead today because I was already in Monterey Park checking in on my nurses.

Elson at 8:15pm March 8 via Facebook Mobile
I'm just lol'ing at the size of this comment thread! I was in the area, was driving on the 110 near downtown after church and felt an urge to stop by El Taurino (1st time here).

Peter H. at 8:17pm March 8
Hey, i'm just trying to entertain you. It seems you'll be there all night long, lol. Holla if you need company. I think it's time for a HUGE bowl of cornpops, haha.

Elson at 8:21pm March 8 via Facebook Mobile
No prob man. HEY TORTA IS READY!

Ready, yeah. Take a look at the timestamp. It's been one hour since I got in line. ONE HOUR?!?!
So here it is in all of its torta glory:
Peter H. at 8:23pm March 8

Elson at 9:43pm March 8
30 replies, all about a freaking sandwich! :) I love Facebook!

Ken L. at 7:26pm March 9
Hey, so how was it?

How was it? After posting a photo of the said torta, I captioned it so:

Great torta, but not worth waiting an hour for!!!

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