Tucked in the back of a dark Glendale mini-mall between a laundromat and an insurance office, Taco Naco does not immediately catch your eye. When it does, the A rating sign seems as odds with the skeevy screen door and faded signage. But intrepid taco fanciers know not to be too fussy when it comes to decor. Oh, and intrepid taco fanciers know to carry cash – no cards accepted here.
I wasn’t craving anything in particular, and I was slightly leery of the cafeteria-style buffet trays, but I touched the metal side and it burned me, so it was up to code. When the counter man suggested chile verde, I thought, “Why the hell not?” Chile verde is stewed chunks of pork, more suited to one of their overstuffed burritos, but how many al pastor tacos can we feature anyways?
It was a good choice. Pork benefits from a long simmer, and there was a nice balance of tomatillo to jalapeno. The meat was tender, juicy, and just the right kind of fatty. I went for con todo because it makes for a prettier picture, and the green salsa added to the verde sauce made for one damn spicy taco. Still, it was spicy in that good sort of way. Eaten standing up, leaning over as the filling drips out, the stimulating, just bearable burn like razorblades on your lips is somehow very satisfying.
6802 San Fernando Rd. Glendale, CA 91201 Open til 8pm, cash only.
La Estrella, Panchos, Normas, Los Muchachos, Casa Vega