Angel City Brewery located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles has some of the best beer in town. Unfortunately, this is not a beer blog so that doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the taco truck that parks right across the street feeding hundreds of drunken taco lovers every weekend.
Doña Estella has some of the best tacos in the neighborhood, but only if you’re drunk.
We’ve all been there. You leave the bar, brewery, pub and you are so hungry you’ll eat anything put in front of you. It just so happens that Doña Estella is counting on this so you stumble your way across the street and there you have it. A full menu of tacos, burritos, and other stuff a lot of you probably never heard of. Best of all, the place looks pretty legit for a taco truck. It definitely passes the eye test and if you know a thing or two about tacos, a quick look inside will make you feel a lot better about eating there. They are cranking orders out left and right and they have a line waiting that all but guarantees you are about to have some bomb tacos.
You forgot one thing, though:
I’ve made that mistake plenty of times. In fact, for the longest time, I thought this taco truck was amongst some of the best around. I not-so-vividly remember some nights crushing up to ten tacos thinking they are out of this world delicious. So when I decided to take a sober trip back so I can properly assess them, I was stunned to see all the flaws my drunken pallet missed.
Walking up to the truck, I never realized how many different things they offered. I mean, how could they expect any inebriated individual to comprehend this color coded madness? I love the variety though. Not just in the different food options but especially in the various selections of meat. I do have to take a moment to give a special mention to their Alambre. This is a glorious concoction made with meats, hams, bell peppers, onions and God knows what else. When you’re hungry or you want something you and your buddies can all munch on, then these are highly recommended if you’re drunk or if you’re sober. If you’re sober though, I would skip on the tacos.
Meat Selection – 9/10
They have everything you are looking for in a taco joint. They also have proper names for their meats, which is a nice touch considering they might have a multi-racial clientele. I like the fact they stay true to their roots.
Meat Taste – 3/10
Here is where it all fell apart. I felt like I was midway through a marathon of the Walking Dead. Just when you think you found a gem, you suddenly realize there is no substance. Let’s be honest, no matter what season you’re on it’s still the same shit over and over. People getting chased by zombies but the survivors are the real danger. Same goes for these tacos. No matter what you order, it’s still just drunk food.
Now don’t think I’m being unfair here. I actually came into this thing convinced they were going to be a 7 or maybe even an 8! Unfortunately, I took a bite of the Buche. It was hard and rubbery with little flavor. The tortilla was kind of stale too and didn’t do much for it. I thought maybe Buche wasn’t their strong suit. It’s rare places get all the meats right. I took a bite into the Asada and my fears were confirmed.
They were dry and just didn’t taste anything like the amazing tacos I’ve had all those nights after Angel City. My heart was broken.
Topping Selection – 6/10
I loved the fact they had a few sauces to choose from. No, they don’t offer you a buffet style topping table but they throw on all the necessary ingredients on your place and let you take as many sauces as you want. I love that they have more than your standard Salsa Roja and Salsa Verde and I could remember their Habanero Sauce being a drunken favorite.
Topping Taste – 4/10
Trying the sauces sober though, was a completely different experience. They were way too sour for my taste. It honestly tasted like I squeezed a full lime on my taco! The habanero was pretty spicy so that saved the day although it didn’t really have much flavor. It just tasted like a raw habanero pepper with some added garlic. Nothing too special here.
Overall – 5/10
At the end of the day, I have had worse tacos. In fact, now that I’m reaching the end of this review I kind of feel bad because they honestly aren’t terrible but I was so let down after thinking these were so great that I feel like I am holding something against them. They do have a lot of traffic though so I can see why they might rush the tacos and take shortcuts with store bought tortillas and maybe cooking a ton of meat so by the time you show up after the bar closes the meat might’ve dried out. Still, excuses are not accepted when it comes to tacos in LA. You might want to steer clear this place if you’re sober but if you’re fucked up then head on over and have some of the best tacos of your life!
Doña Estella: Parked in front of Angel City Brewery
Arts District, Downtown