Purveyors of the original Baja-style fish taco, Taco Nazo has grown from a humble lunch truck in 1978 to six locations throughout the Southland and immense popularity. We recently visited the Bellflower location as we were driving by on the 91 Freeway, and were in awe of the food and the service.
At first, Taco Nazo can seem overwhelming – there’s a line of people out the door, a line of cars waiting to turn into the parking lot, a line of people waiting at the Taco Nazo Express stand nearby.
But in reality, there’s a huge dining room to accommodate all the diners, the line to order moves fast, the food comes out fast and there’s a parking attendant helping people enter, park and exit the lot. Everything flows smoothly and people are friendly and chill.
A Taco Nazo greeter will answer any questions about the menu that diners have and assist in ordering if needed. First-time visitors are welcomed with a free fish taco.
Waiting in line for a few minutes is good, because their menu has a lot of offerings from tacos, burritos, quesadillas, bowls and tortas (sandwiches) to ceviche, Mexican-style seafood cocktails, and usual sides of rice, beans, chips, salsa, guacamole, crema (Mexican style sour cream) and chile gueritos (grilled yellow peppers.)
The restaurant offers six different kinds of tacos – pescado (fish), camarón (shrimp), carne asada (grilled marinated steak), pollo (chicken), al pastor (grilled marinated pork), papa ó frijol (potato and bean). The potato and bean tacos are made with the perfect amount of requeson, a fresh cheese similar to ricotta.
While Taco Nazo’s specialty is Ensenada-style seafood, their carne asada is also top-notch – tender and flavorful. We’ve had better al pastor at other places but it still was tasty and very good.
The fish and shrimp tacos are battered and fried, served on two small corn tortillas and topped with cabbage, tomato, onion, cilantro and crema. They are absolute perfection in a bite.
The potato taco is fried and served piping hot and topped with crema, cabbage and a pico de gallo (cilantro, onion and tomato.) It’s an eye-opening dish for those who haven’t yet tried the gloriousness that is the Taco Nazo potato taco.
The mixed ceviche – we ordered a medium – stacked layers of pulpo (octopus), pescado (fish), jaiva (imitation crab) and camarón (shrimp) topped with half a sliced avocado and served with crispy tostadas. It was out-of-this-world delicious and extremely fresh.
Taco Nazo’s homemade salsas carried a nice kick and good flavor. Plates are served with a grilled chile guerito, which are easy to eat but leave a lingering slow burn that can build, so be mindful of the amount and frequency with which those are consumed.
Some locations but not all serve ice-cold beer and micheladas. All locations offer Mexican drinks, sodas and agua frescas, along with free water.
We enjoyed the fast, friendly service and clean bathrooms. There’s a lot of people working there so tables are cleaned promptly. Even though there are a lot of people eating in the restaurant, it’s easy to find a table as the place is run like clock-work and turnover is quick. For those truly in a rush, try the express stand nearby, which also has plenty of seats.
Lunch or dinner at Taco Nazo is a perfect way to Get Out Of Town. The food is absolutely worth the drive to any of the six locations – Bellflower, La Puente (the original restaurant), El Monte, La Habra, Walnut and Azusa – from Burbank.
Check the restaurant website for locations and hours, but they are typically open from 9 or 10:00 a.m. until 9 or 10:00 p.m. daily.
We were so focused on ordering Taco Nazo ceviche and tacos, next time we’ll have to try out the cocktails, burritos and tortas.
Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll open a seventh Taco Nazo in Burbank. But until then, we have to Get Out Of Town for our Taco Nazo fix.
Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.