Essential T: Tacos Dorados de Birria at Tacos El Morro

Sometimes it’s okay to be late for birria

If you’ve studied up on regional Mexican birria in L.A. since I last featured this weekend hangover cure back in February, by now you know that you’d better get a seat early or risk being turned away. “Se termino” is Spanish for service has ended, game over, you’re too late, no birria for you, amigo.

While we shouldn’t be so surprised by these rigid rules—hey, the Howard Johnson starts pulling the Frosted Flakes and rubber bagels by 11:00 a.m.—I should’ve known better when I dropped by Tacos El Morro mid-afternoon on a quiet Sunday in Boyle Heights as the quiet signals that the tamaleras and mariscos trucks have retired for the day.

When I pulled up to the stand, the large stock pot still had some meat on the bottom, certainly enough for a small cup of goat birria.

“There are only tacos. We’re out of consommé,” said the kid behind the stand; morro is Spanish slang for young man, or kid.

Birria is always better when accompanied by its spicy, chili-stained stock, even in tacos—I was concerned I wouldn’t get the full strength of this stand with just a taco.  But wait, are those are tacos dorados (deep fried tacos) on the flat top? Time to reconsider.

It seems that El Morro has found an answer to a common problem for birrieros—running out of consommé because the soup-crazy customers keep hitting up the pot for an extra ladle of liquid. They managed to squeeze out a small cup of deep-flavored birria full of a well-spiced blend of chile ancho and chile guajillo (one of the best consommés I’ve tasted in L.A.) and put it to good use. The mini-tacos they serve are consommé-soaked corn tortillas filled with goat birria fried on the flat top with a little oil until crispy, which is a Guadalajara trend. These dreamy little bites are reason alone to sleep in and catch El Morro on Saturdays and Sundays only, at the tail end of service, well rested for a change.

redarrow Tacos El Morro, Whittier Bl. at Albertine St., Boyle Heights