Sunday, July 11, 2010 | 12:05 a.m.
- What: Los Tacos
- Where: 1710 E. Charleston Blvd., 471-7447; 4001 W. Sahara Ave., 252-0100
- When: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily
There are many taco shops on East Charleston. The most accessible, and the one with the easiest name and the most straightforward menu, is the one with quite possibly the best taco in town. Los Tacos, operating out of a building that used to be a franchised family restaurant, has been packing them in at lunchtime for years now, pleasing everyone with its deliciously minimal and affordable selection of tacos, burritos or tortas stuffed with your choice of carne and fresh ingredients that remind us how perfect unadorned food can be.
Four months ago, the owners expanded by taking over another shuttered spot, a former Weinerschnitzel on West Sahara near Valley View, and now those of us on the west side don't have to pass through Downtown to enjoy these big, beautiful tacos. "Enjoy" is the right word; this food is pure recreation, with no complications. Los Tacos is the truth.
How they build a great taco: Start with two warm, pliable corn tortillas. Drop in some white cheese and tender, whole pinto beans to make things a little melty. Then comes your meat, so choose wisely: carne asada, juicy shredded chicken, pork as carnitas, spicy al pastor or buche (fried pig's esophagus), chorizo, beef head or tongue, fish or shrimp. Order them with everything, which will include fresh pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole. That's a serious taco, a little messy but worth the trouble. Two will fill you up beyond belief. I recommend the al pastor, a deep, rich flavor culled from dried chiles with a bit of sweetness from pineapple. Or go the vegetarian route, which simply removes meat from the taco equation. At Los Tacos, the extras are enough.
If you feel like seafood, skip the tacos and order a crispy tostada topped with citrus-flavored white fish or shrimp and thin slices of beautiful, fresh avocado. Seafood cocktails — a tangy combination of oysters, shrimp and octopus — and oysters on the half-shell also are available, along with nachos and quesadillas, and that's it. That's the whole Los Tacos menu, and really, you don't need anything else.
— Originally published in Las Vegas Weekly