Open for just over two years in an unassuming little strip mall at the corner of Victory and Buena Vista, Taqueria El Tapatio serves up the best taco in Burbank, in addition to hitting the high points of authentic Mexican-American food with terrific sopes, burritos and ceviche.
For those who grew up or spent many years in the Mexican-American communities of Los Angeles, finding those staples of the diet can be hit or miss in Burbank. I have long, and only half-jokingly, stated the best tacos in Burbank are from my kitchen. I now have to amend that statement!
We have tried many places around Burbank, looking for great to-go or quick-bite Mexican favorites, only to feel like Goldilocks – this one was too dry, that one was too fatty or grisly, this one’s salsa is weak/rice is hard/beans are not right/tortillas are tough and so on and so forth. Some restaurants in town are excellent for table-service Mexican food, but often their to-go tacos become soggy on the drive home and fall apart.
For excellent, authentic and superbly tasty carne asada, al pastor or chicken tacos, burritos and sopes, Taqueria El Tapatio is the spot! Their ceviche mixto (mixed fish ceviche) – otherwise known on the menu as Tostada de Ceviche – is also delicious and fresh.
Taqueria El Tapatio’s meats indicate the quality of the restaurant – we have yet to find a chewy piece of steak, chicken or pork there. We recommend getting the tacos and burritos with everything, including onions, cilantro and accompanying salsa. The salsa provides the right amount of moisture, especially for the al pastor tacos.
Sopes are made a little differently from what we are used to, substituting crema and some melty cheese for the queso fresco. Still, the thick corn tortillas are tender and the whole messy enterprise is delicious and moist. Drop some chile verde on each bite, and your tastebuds will thank you.
Burritos are solid, a perfect ratio of meat, rice, beans, onion, cilantro and salsa. Rice is tender and tasty and the refried beans are a nicely simple accompaniment.
Boasting an “A” rating from the L.A. County Department of Health, Taqueria El Tapatio is fast and clean. Their fresh salsa bar includes chiles rojo and verde, lime, pico de gallo and sliced radishes for cleansing the palate, along with pickled carrots, jalapeño, and potato slices.
A cold case of flavored Jarritos sodas, water, Fanta and Coke complements the fresh horchata and jamaica aguas frescas. Frequent specials of the day include chilaquiles and chiles relleno. The restaurant also offers some breakfast options.
Taqueria El Tapatio doesn’t have a website or an online menu and the owners don’t really maintain a social media presence. That’s okay, because they don’t need to do all that. They just make really excellent, authentic and fresh Mexican food.
We look forward to trying out the rest of the restaurant’s menu… fish tacos, shrimp cocktail, shrimp with chile or with garlic, fajitas, echiladas, tortas and more. The restaurant offers a variety of vegetarian options, too.
Taqueria El Tapatio receives a Tops In Town for the best tacos and solid Mexican favorites in Burbank.
Restaurant Info: Taqueria El Tapatio is located at 2501 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505. 818-845-5561. Taqueria El Tapatio is open Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Taqueria El Tapatio receives: Tops In Town
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Poor)