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Essential T: Grilled Chicken Tacos from Pollos Asados Al Carbon El Güero
Try the real crazy chicken at this South L.A. pollo asado specialist
The very best Mexican foods start with the letter T—tacos, tortas, tlayudas. Here we showcase the tastiest “T” bites from the streets of L.A.
Juan Francisco Ochoa accomplished something pretty amazing when he introduced the USA to authentic Sinaloa-style grilled chicken with his El Pollo Loco chain in 1980. El Pollo Loco still gets respect in both Latino and non-Latino communities, even though, arguably, the quality has gone down since Ochoa’s winning recipe was first introduced to their first location in Westlake (it’s still open). But if you’re not down with pollo bowls and other menu items they’re dishing these days, then you need to get down to South L.A. on the weekends, where there’s a Sinaloan grilled chicken specialist now ruling thepollo loco corridor.
For years the grilled chicken scene has been a street stand affair, centered around Slauson and Avalon and branching out north onto various cross streets. That is, until Pollos Asados Al Carbon El Güero opened a storefront on the corner of San Pedro and Slauson. On weekends, El Güero also sets up their new food truck a block away, on the northeast corner of Towne and Slauson, serving the same juicy grilled chicken, the Sinaloa way.
At their brick and mortar and their truck, El Güero cooks on a charcoal grill to get the original flavor. Although most get their chicken combos to go, it’s best to enjoy these chickens right from the grill when they are at their most tender and delicious. The marinade is a combination of citrus and spices (no food coloring added like you-know-who) with lots of char from the grill served with beans, rice, salsa, and tortillas. Tear pieces of chicken off and make individual tacos with all the fixings and you’ve got the real crazy chicken experience.
Pollos Asados Al Carbon El Güero, 274 East Slauson Ave., Florence, 323-233-2274, their truck sets up at Slauson and Towne on the weekends.