Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Los Cinco Puntas - L.A.'s Greatest Taco?

Last week, I had to attend a training seminar in East L.A. Kind of a hassle, but balanced out by the opportunity to try out some of the places on my East L.A. list. I flipped through the notebook I keep with the names and addresses of places I want to try (indexed by neighborhood), and flipped to the East L.A. page. I decided Gallo's Grill would be a good place to try, but when I arrived at 4533 E Cesar Chavez, I found a boarded-up building. Apparantly, they have moved since I wrote that down. So I looked to see what else was on that street. "Los Cinco Puntas? My Spanish is a little rusty, but doesn't that mean the five ho's or something?"

Actually, it means the five points, as I figured out when I saw the corner the place is located on. It's not a restaurant, but a meat market. People were standing in line in front of butcher cases full of various meats, and I could see tortillas being made on a griddle behind them. My note, probably from a Chowhound posting, said "deli type place-get carnitas and tortillas." So I ordered two carnitas tacos with everything. I agreed to quacamole, but demured when offered some kind of pickled chile strips, and got a coke in the bottle out of the cooler.

No place to eat it there, so I went out to my car. And Jesus, was this a taco! Big, two or three times the size of a taco truck taco, probably bigger than the Taco Bell variety. The tortilla was a thick gordita type, warm and bubbly. The salsa was hot, but didn't overpower the meat. The pork was incredibly flavorful, and the guacamole smoothed out the greasy, salty pork taste nicely. I really believe this is the best taco I've had in Los Angeles (which is another way of saying the best taco I've had in my life).

Los 5 Puntas
Cesar Chavez and Lorena
East L.A.


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