Essential T: Legit Taxco-Style Lamb Barbacoa in South Park

Finally breaking the silence on this meaty street vendor straight out of Guerrero

Slauson’s pollo loco corridor is a stretch of drab, concrete avenue that begins at the western branch of Los Güichos just east of the 110 and end at Holmes Street with pair of dynamic street vendors, Birria El Güero and Tortas Gigantes El Chilango. This strip represents one of the best street food destinations in the city, many that I’ve previously shared with you, except for this one lamb barbacoa spot. I’ve been holding out—sorry (but not really). At Taxco, Guerrero native Julio’s stand  tucked out of sight into the parking lot of an industrial complex just up the street from Slauson Foods, you’ll experience some of the best lamb barbacoa in L.A.

Look for the folding floor sign advertising barbacoa estilo Taxco, Guerrero and head north on McKinley a few blocks until you see a banner on the west side of the street; you’ve arrived. Julio has tasty lamb, whole lamb heads, and his pancita (offal stuffed stomach) is an elegant expression of light organ meat flavors. The family-run stand also serves goat birria and makes fresh tortillas using one of those aluminum hand cranked corn tortilla-cutting machines. In the 6+ years I’ve been stopping by, the word has spread within the local Mexican community and you’ll have to stop by early for the best cuts.

As tradition demands, Julio only serves his barbacoa on the weekends from around 8 a.m. until he runs out. You can find him behind the counter chopping lamb for tacos and preparing orders by weight, tending to his flock (of pit roasted sheep), as is the way of the barbacoa man.

There are a couple of other barbacoa spots in this street food nerve center—a brick and mortar claiming Texcoco-style that’s a joke and a solid Hidalgo-style food truck—but in this neighborhood, it’s Taxco by a mile.

Barbacoa y Birria Estilo Taxco, Guerrero, McKinley Ave. between E. 56th and E. 57th, South Park