99 Essential Restaurants 2014

Tacos Leo

photo by Noah Galuten

Tacos Leo is a sunset-orange truck parked in the lot of a 76 gas station at the corner of Olympic and La Brea, a truck that not too long ago introduced quite a few people to the wonder that is the al pastor taco. Not just any al pastor taco, mind you, but this one in particular: A taquero shaves thin slices of the marinated pork off a tornado-shaped trompo and flicks them on top of hot tortillas — it’s all in the wrist, he might tell you — along with a chunk of pineapple. You’ll order as many tacos al pastor as you have dollars, and when you pick up your order, you might briefly consider the options at the generous salsa bar nearby. Really, though, these tacos are best as is, unadorned, undiluted. Two or three bites of juicy meat sluiced with bits of pineapple later, you’ll finish one taco; a few more minutes, and you’ll finish them all. Then get back in line for more.

-- Tien Nguyen