Let’s Taco’bout It

Los Angeles is often called the taco capital of America, and it bears this proud distinction for reasons other than California’s close proximity to Mexico. Indeed, it would take a comprehensive guide far beyond the scope of this article in Woodland Hills Magazine to catalog the myriad of taco styles that exist in L.A., with most representing regional examples that are officially recognized in Mexico and others being more modern styles influenced by Mexican-American culture. Whichever way you look at it, though, they’re all delicious.

As a traditional Mexican delicacy composed of a wheat or corn tortilla folded or rolled around, a taco can be made with a plethora of fillings including pork, chicken, beef, seafood, vegetables and cheese, enabling incredible versatility. A taco, as all Los Angelinos know, is usually consumed without utensils and is often accompanied by garnishes such as salsa or chili pepper, guacamole or avocado, cilantro (coriander), tomatoes, onions and lettuce.

We’re going to go beyond Taco Bell in this roundup in order to suggest restaurants serving some of the tastiest tacos in Woodland Hills. So grab your sombrero, reschedule your siesta and scream “ole!” for the following taco spots.

Taqueria El Tapatio has been serving Mexican food-loving Los Angelinos for the past 24 years with locations in Canoga Park, Reseda, West Hills and Woodland Hills. The restaurant’s menu offers comprehensive lunch and dinner selections, ranging from traditional Mexican-style food to exotic dishes found nowhere else in L.A. With sizable tacos that come fully loaded with sides like rice, beans, shredded lettuce and guacamole and utterly authentic home-cooked Mexican meals, Taqueria El Tapatio serves the freshest genuine Mexican food this side of the border – at the best prices. The Woodland Hills location is situated at 22806 Victory Boulevard.

Wahoo’s Fish Tacos was established in 1988 as the brainchild of the Wahoos brothers – Wing, Ed and Mingo – who combined their love of surf and food to create a restaurant boasting a unique, eclectic Mexican/Brazilian/Asian menu…with a Hawaiian north-shore vibe. In ’88 the brothers decided to “import” the fish taco concept to Orange County, California, and give it a unique twist – they combined the fish taco with their Brazilian favorites and Asian-inspired items, adding a dash of surf-esque atmosphere, and Wahoo’s Fish Tacos was born. Among the customer favorites at this Los Angeles area staple are the Citrus Slaw Taco, Skinny Citrus Slaw Taco and Enchilada. The Woodland Hills Wahoo’s Fish Taco slocation is situated at 19960 W. Ventura Boulevard.

Baja Bud’s bills itself as a “fresh and healthy Mexican food restaurant,” established in 1988 and now boasting four locations. Bud’s range of delicious tacos are served on fresh, handmade corn tortillas and served with freshly-made corn chips, and are available in four distinct options – the “2 Tacos” selection, which is a traditional Baja-style handmade corn tortilla with freshly-grilled chicken, steak, fish or carnitas; the “2 Tacos Deluxe” selection, which adds fresh iceberg lettuce, jack cheese and fresh guacamole; the “Make it 3” selection, which adds one traditional taco for an extra $1.50 and the “Make Your Tacos a Plate” option, which adds black beans and yucateco rice. Baja Bud’s Woodland Hills location is situated at 21801 Oxnard Street.

Taco Reyes specializes in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tortas and other traditional Mexican dishes, all served with pride and passion. The restaurant is often credited by Mexican food fans as having the best Carne Asada Burritos and best Chicken Tacos in the Valley, hands down, and is open until midnight for some mingling-with-the-locals fun. A friendly atmosphere fuses with quality taco and burrito plates at Taco Reyes, making for quite the memorable experience when a severe case of taco cravings hits. The restaurant’s Woodland Hills location is situated at 21929 Saticoy Street in Canoga Park.

Sol y Luna has become the favorite Mexican restaurant of Los Angelinos up and down the Golden State – and for good reason. Here, a delicious menu filled with a ton of options combines with charming touches like tableside guacamole preparation – which many call the highlight of the Sol y Luna experience – to yield an unforgettable dining foray, much of which comes courtesy of specialties like the Carne Asada Burrito, Carnitas Burrito, Crunchy Shredded Beef Taco and Chili Verde. Sol y Luna is located at 19601 Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana.

The greatest of taco restaurants utilize an abundance of local ingredients that evoke both the flavors of California and Mexico, and the selections highlighted above are changing the way people look at Mexican cuisine. Put simply, there has never been a better time to be a taco lover in L.A.