If Mexicans weren’t already fans of Australian actor/singer/dancer/X-Man Hugh Jackman, the Wolverine’s recent Twitter request for Mexico City taco stand recommendations did the trick. Shortly after landing in Mexico on October 7, Jackman reached out to the public via Instagram, announcing that he had a “hankering for some really good street tacos.” On Instagram, his video racked up more than 60-thousand likes, gleaned a number of good suggestions, and spurred a tug of war over which Mexican state had the best tacos. In the end, however, Wolverine wound up at one of the popular roadside fondas at La Marquesa, a recreational area about 30 minutes east of D.F.
Now, who am I to question a man with razor sharp claws and adamantium bonded to his skeleton? But the truth is, La Marquesa isn’t a taco destination. It is a fine place to go for regional cuisine like green chorizo, rabbit mixiotes, spinal cord soup, and escamoles (ant larvae). But street tacos? Not so much. I’m sure the happy staff in his Instagram photo served some delicious tacos de cecina (beef jerky)—Jackman declared them the best tacos he’s ever had—but when the actor comes to L.A. to shoot Wolverine 3, here are a few places local places where he can go to taste real Mexico-City style tacos.
Jackman never made it out to El Huequito, El Califa, or the countless other destinations for al pastor tacos in Mexico, so he can catch up right here in L.A. There are excellent al pastor at Leo’s Tacos and Tacos Tamix made with adobo marinated pork that is sliced off a trompo by D.F. trained taqueros.
Leo’s Tacos Truck, 1515 S La Brea Ave, Mid-City, 323-346-2001; Tacos Tamix, S. Tremaine Avenue & Pico Bl., Mid-City
The chilangos (people from Mexico City) crave offal, which means pig heart, liver, uterus, and chitterlings are big hits at the street-side stands. Tacos Los Güichos, who also happens to make some serious tacos al pastor, serves slow cooked carnitas from large stainless-steel cazos, or you can head to one of the Metro Balderas locations on the weekends for all things porcine. //Tacos Los Güichos, Olive and Slauson, Florence; Metro Balderas, 5305 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park, 323-478-8383
Tacos de Canasta
Tacos de canasta (basket tacos) are one of the most iconic street foods in Mexico City. They come in a basket or insulated box lined with a towel to naturally steam the tacos filled with mole verde, adobo, refried beans, potatoes, or chicharrón. El Atoron does tasty Jalisco-style tacos de canasta and the classic fillings of are available along with homemade pickled vegetables and chilies. //El Atoron, 4501 S. Alameda St., Central Alameda, 626-262-6432
Tacos de Fritanga
There’s nothing more appetizing than a disc filled with with brisket, hog maw, chorizo, chitterlings, and other animal bits cooked in their own fat. Once you tack on a steam table piled high with sweetbreads, tongue, and brains, you have a truly unique and delicious taco experience. The tacos de fritanga at Los Cocuyos in Mexico City are an institution, but you can still find some gems in L.A. Tacos La Güera is one of the few vendors that serves real brisket and a no-name spot in South Central produces the best hog maw tacos around. //No Name Tacos de Fritanga Stand, Florence and Avalon, South Central; Tacos La Güera, 5959 Maywood Ave., Florence-Firestone, 213-582-2642
Tacos de Guisado
Whether kept warm in cazuelas (clay pots) or in steam trays, a guisado stand can have anywhere between five and 30 of its signature stews simmering away and ready for ladling. In D.F. they’re served over a pile of rice on the tortilla, but L.A.’s original guisado slingers at Loteria Grill keep it lighter, serving albondigas en chipotle, tongue in salsa verde, or their newest alambre of seared filet and sirloin tips with tortillas for DIY tacos. //Loteria Grill, 6627 Hollywood Bl., Hollywood, 323-465-2500, loteriagrill.com