In a post-Omnivore's Dilemma world, we know that politics are on our plate. 
But there's another level of food politics going on in Los Angeles: food 
truck legislation. The debate of late has been about extending 
restaurant-style letter grades 
http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/community/letter-grades-food-trucks/ 
to food trucks. Grading trucks would help do away with the 'roach coach' 
stereotyping, but the street food traditions of many loncheras--the trucks 
that inspired L.A.'s mobile food craze--are often at odds with The Man and 
his rules, the al pastor at Tacos Leo being a prime example. Tacos Leo is 
know for its al pastor pork, prepared on a traditional trompo spit next to 
the truck by Norberto Martinez Castro, who was brought here from Oaxaca 
specifically for his pork-roasting skills. But Castro's spit recently 
disappeared, its outdoor location deemed illegal. Some blame the food 
bloggers who drew attention to the truck, while others see 
http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/food-trucks/food-truck-taco-pastor/#comment-10195557 
the lost trompo as a casualty of the ongoing battle between the city and 
its mobile food outfits--an opinion we agree with. The achiote-stained 
pork, cooked inside the truck now, is still seasoned by Castro's practiced 
hand, giving the meat a perfect balance of heat, spice and citrus. Set atop 
a pair of corn tortillas and topped with a slice of pineapple, these are 
still some of the best al pastor tacos ($1) around. And if there's any 
justice, we'll get the trompo back soon. Tacos Leo, corner of Venice and La 
Brea blvds., Mid-City
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Tues. 28 Sep '10
Dining | LOS ANGELES
 
Al Pastor vs. The Man
Tacos and politics at Venice and La Brea
 
Tacos Leo
 
In a post-Omnivore's Dilemma world, we know that politics are on our plate. But there's another level of food politics going on in Los Angeles: food truck legislation.

The debate of late has been about extending restaurant-style letter grades to food trucks. Grading trucks would help do away with the "roach coach" stereotyping, but the street food traditions of many loncheras--the trucks that inspired L.A.'s mobile food craze--are often at odds with The Man and his rules, the al pastor at Tacos Leo being a prime example.

Tacos Leo is know for its al pastor pork, prepared on a traditional trompo spit next to the truck by Norberto Martinez Castro, who was brought here from Oaxaca specifically for his pork-roasting skills. But Castro's spit recently disappeared, its outdoor location deemed illegal.

Some blame the food bloggers who drew attention to the truck, while others see the lost trompo as a casualty of the ongoing battle between the city and its mobile food outfits--an opinion we agree with.

The achiote-stained pork, cooked inside the truck now, is still seasoned by Castro's practiced hand, giving the meat a perfect balance of heat, spice and citrus. Set atop a pair of corn tortillas and topped with a slice of pineapple, these are still some of the best al pastor tacos ($1) around.

And if there's any justice, we'll get the trompo back soon.

Tacos Leo, corner of Venice and La Brea blvds., Mid-City
READ Bill Esparza's Al Pastor Primer
 
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