EC Eats

California Tacos: Some of the best tacos in EC are located next to a local CBD shop


Around this time last year, I was hankering for some Mexican food, so I hit the internet to see if I could find a new spot. After scrolling past the first couple of authentic Mexican staples — Chipotle, Taco Bell and Taco Johns — I eventually came across a taco truck called California Tacos.

I was intrigued and I began gathering up the troops — my roommates — to go try this new discovery. Back then the truck was located somewhere on Brackett, close to that one flower shop, but I digress. 

We pulled up to the delicious-smelling vehicle and I was struck with the irony of a food truck called California Tacos — complete with beach waves and palm tree designs — slangin’ tortillas in the middle of a frigid, Midwest winter. 

I remember it tasting great, but it was a little out of the way for me and I sort of forgot about it. Imagine my excitement when a year later I saw that same truck a mere two doors down from where I currently reside now on Water Street. 

And before too long they had opened up inside the building next to a CBD shop in the same place. When I realized this location was permanent, I knew my wallet as well as my waistline would soon suffer. 

I’ve eaten there a blush-inducing amount of times considering they’ve only been open a few months, but I had to stop by yet again this weekend so I could have the taste fresh in my mind when I sat down to write this review. I was really just being a good journalist.  

I went with my go-to, the taco special. It includes four tacos with a side of rice and beans. They also offer soda in those really cool, classic-style bottles which I of course am never able to resist.

For my choice of meats, I went half and half with fried pork and al pastor — which is also pork but it’s prepared nice and slow in a chili marinade, according to

The term ‘greater than the sum of its parts’ is used quite often but it goes a long way in describing these tacos. I don’t think there’s any secret sauce they have tucked behind the counter that makes or breaks the flavor, just skilled cooking and good ingredients.

The intense savory flavor of the tacos is no doubt the result of plenty of spices and seasoning. They offer corn and flour tortillas. I opted for the former and was delighted to see they were slightly toasted before being laced with spicy pork, onions and cilantro. 

They also have two salsas that can be included upon request and when I ask for extra, the nice person behind the counter is gracious enough not to charge. 

 The green and red are both equal parts fresh and flavorful, and there is a chili oil they keep out of sight from the customers I can only assume to prevent unwitting daredevils from partaking— so I had to try it. 

In a last-ditch effort to save me, the person behind the counter told me that a little goes a long way as they handed me my assortment of salsas — boy were they right.

But as long as you don’t go overboard with it, (a couple of drops will do the trick) it adds a nice heat to the food.  

Overall I loved the experience and the food at California Tacos. And if you’ve got 15 bucks in your pocket, I would definitely recommend you give it to a newly opened, local taco spot as opposed to the aforementioned, Americanized counterparts littered across Clairemont.

As I say that I realize I’ve probably spent just as much at Chipotle in the past two months as I have at California Tacos,  forgive my hypocrisy. 

Obadiya ca be reached at [email protected].