I have a very good friend. A special friend. One of those friends that you can always count on when in search of a little something special. One of those friends who will always give you the right answer, no matter what your problem is. A friend that can solve a dispute between two people in a matter of seconds. My friend’s name…is Google.
With a little spare time, and a lack of people willing to spend time with me, I asked Google where I should get tacos in Long Beach. Google told me to head to Tacos Chapala. So, like any good friend, I listened.
Tacos Chapala is a very unassuming place located right next to a very assuming Mexican restaurant. I get the feeling it gets overlooked a lot.
Well, I’m glad I listed to Google, because Tacos Chapala is an excellent taco joint! I don’t get the feeling that it’s terribly popular, but it should be. I happened to go on Taco Tuesday, when some of their tacos are $1. Not bad for a baller on a budget.
I tried the asada, al pastor and chorizo tacos. All of them are simple and delightful. They are served with the customary onions and cilantro, along with the un-customary radishes and lemon.
The asada is very traditional, but done very well: great grill flavor, cooked perfectly, seasoned nicely, and excellent texture. I would have liked some larger meat chunks (maybe another good band name?), but overall it’s still a very good taco. ¡Me gusta!
The chorizo is also muy bien. I like places that use home-made sausage and don’t rely on the greasy mess of a short cut many taco spots serve. The meat is a great mixture of spicy and sweet. It’s juicy, yet not spewing fat all over the plate. ¡Me gusta!
The al pastor, here, though, is the star of the show. You can’t help but drool when the pork on the spit is staring you in the face while you order. It’s not drenched in adobo, but it still has plenty of smoky, spicy goodness. Also, it’s not served with the same grilled onions and pineapple I’m used to, but the flavor of the meat alone is enough. Nothing else needed. ¡Me encanta!
I love finding hidden gems, and I feel like I did that with Tacos Chapala. If you’re ever in the LBC, you should check out this place….and Roscoe’s, but that’s for a different blog.
One last note. They don’t serve guacamole, or any variation of the avacado, on their tacos here. I’m not sure, but I think that’s punishable by death in California….so, shhhh. It’s our little secret.
- Location: 3205 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, CA (Port City)
- Tourists: Josh
- Tacos sampled: asada, al pastor, chorizo (also have carnitas, pollo, lengua, cabeza and tripas)
- Toppings: onions and cilantro/radishes and lemon
- Salsa: salsa roja
- Extras: none
- Tortillas: corn
- Atmosphere: authentico, pequeno, limpio, not mucho seating, quiet
- Price: $1.50-$2.00/taco
- OVERALL RATING: 8.5