Pueblo Nuevo is a bright beacon on the corner of Empire and Buena Vista not far from the Burbank Airport. They are part of a dual restaurant with a shared kitchen, the counter service taqueria, and Mariscos Costa Azul, a diner style sit-down place for a nice dinner with the family. The taco counter also handles Costa Azul’s takeout. The place is family owned, and run with that kind of laissez-faire attitude that is very relaxing when you are not in a hurry, and can kind of piss you off when you have only 30 minutes for lunch. Service was very friendly, bordering on sweet.
The menu is a dazzling array of pictures and lists and signs. The tacos feature more ‘variety meats” than standards, and they emphasize Ensenada-style seafood as well as Sinaloan ceviche tostadas. I went for a trifecta of cabeza, buche, and carne asada.
The buche and carne asada were a little on the chewy side. but that cabeza, wow. The shredded beef is simmered in a flavorful, rich sauce, and is meaty and intense like brisket, but fattier. Occasionally you get a litle glimpse of the dark side, the seamier, gamier flavors that remind you this is not your standard taco. I don’t know why cabeza gets such a bum rap. i guess some people are damaged by head cheese. vegans often say, “I don’t eat anything with a face on it.” Well, I will rip that face right off of your skull if it’s meaty enough (umm, have I been listening to too much Dethklok?). Cabeza is delicious when properly cooked, and Pueblo Nuevo is definitely the place to get good head.
I also tried the seafood tacos. With the meats you can order a smaller, taco truck taco, but with seafood big is the only thing on the menu. The shrimp are small and unremarkable. The fish though, are something special. I was confused when they arrived, because this was not mahi mahi or snapper coated in Baja fish batter. Instead it was pollock with a coating similar to that of Veal Milanese. These tacos were definitely not standard issue. But topped with just a hint of their chunky, homemade Tartar sauce they were something that you just may begin to crave. And then there is only one place you will know where to get it.