CaCao Mexicatessen [2]

Tacos

CaCao Mexicatessen
1576 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041
(323) 478-2791
www.cacaodeli.com

I love CaCao. They use quality ingredients, and their dishes are well-thought-out and well-executed. You are paying more here than at a typical taqueria, but it’s fair for the reasons I laid out. Yet, the restaurant almost never gets discussed in the conversation for having the best tacos in LA. CaCao isn’t just a taqueria, but the tacos here can go toe-to-toe with the best of anyone’s in town. I’m not usually in the Eagle Rock area, nor do I desire to be in it on an usual occasion due to all the damn hipsters, but I do try to make it out to the restaurant a couple of times a year.

I ordered 4 tacos on this visit (in order from left to right in photo above):

Suckling pig cochinita pibil ($5.95 – weekly special) – shredded suckling pig in Yucatan spices, bed of black beans, topped with plantain bananas, habanero aioli & pickled red onion

Carnitas de pato ($4.25) – duck confit, avocado, vinegar onion, radishes, chile oil

Huitlacoche ($4.65) – Burns Farms huitlacoche, Rancho Gordo hominy & roasted corn, topped with aged parmesan cheese, salsa & radish

Quesataco de Tijuana ($4.25) – pan seared tres quesos, filled with alder smoked albacore tuna, topped with salsa roja, avocado, crema & micro-cilantro

First of all, the prices have gone up, by ~50 cents for each taco, and proportionally so for most of the dishes on the menu. I’m not sure when the prices changed, but it’s been almost a year since my last visit. The taco sizes remain the same though, so that’s fine (although the amount in the huitlacoche taco was on the lesser side). I’ve had the huitlacoche and the carnitas de pato tacos before, and they remain as great as ever. The duck carnitas is probably tied with Ricky’s fish taco as the best individual taco in town, in my opinion.

But let’s talk about the tacos I’m trying for the first time. The menu at CaCao has changed a bit, specifically to include more delicacies from Baja California, according to my Mexican cuisine professor. Because of his post, I ordered the quesataco, a Tijuana taco with fried cheese and smoked albacore. I have my concerns regarding a fish + cheese combo, but as it works for Coni’Seafood’s marlin tacos (which I tried at Tacolandia), it works here. It’s a big block of pan-fried cheese, over some meaty smoked albacore, and topped with avocado, crema, salsa roja, and some microgreens. Heavy, but refined with complexity.

The other new taco I tried was their weekly special. For this week, it was the suckling pig cochinita pibil. I actually don’t see the regular pibil on their menu anymore, but I’ve had it before, and considered it one of the better versions in town. This version was different in 2 ways. One, it was made with suckling pig – true Yucatan-style. Extra porky, extra fatty, extra delicious. Love what CaCao does with suckling pig when they get their hands on it. Two, it was served with black beans and plantains. I could’ve actually done without them, but enjoyed their inclusion nonetheless. An excellent taco here.

CaCao remains as good as ever, and I just wanted to bump it to reflect its continued excellence. In addition to the menu additions, they’ve finally completed expansion to the former flower shop next door, and have added beer and wine to the menu. And don’t forget the weekly specials – subscribe to their weekly mailings to receive emails notifying you of them, as well as a 10% coupon for Tuesdays-Thursdays. I still need to go for their specials with sea urchin that’s been so highly spoken of. It’s nice to see that they’re not just content, with their reputation and success.

Cuisine City/Neighborhood Price Grade
Mexican Eagle Rock $$ A-

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