It’s Labor Day weekend 2018, and for the second straight year, Kristi and I are taking a little vacation.
Last year, it was Albuquerque.
This year, it’s Southern California.
And it’s my first time in Los Angeles. My first impression is that it’s a city deeply rooted in the 1950s and 60s. A lot of the architecture hasn’t been updated at all since then – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
This was also my first time to land at LAX. Kristi and I rented a car through Budget, which is an awful company (all rent-a-car companies are poor, and I can’t wait until there’s an Uber-of-that-world).
But we survived.
And then we asked the Budget attendant about places nearby to eat.
She had a list. On that list was a Mexican joint I had never heard of: Paco’s Tacos. It could turn out that this place is a total chain, but on their website, I’m only seeing two locations, both in California.
Including one location right near the airport.
The first thing I noticed when we walked into the place was that it didn’t smell very good. The door is situated near the bathrooms, and they had some kind of plumbing issue.
Don’t let your nose fool you though. Have patience.
The host led us to a back room that was virtually empty. We got there well before lunch rush.
And then a waiter brought us homemade chips and a salsa that would rip paint off of metal. It was glorious and hot. For a mainstream type of restaurant, this was the hottest salsa I’d ever eaten.
They also had a station where two women were making homemade flour tortillas from scratch. Kristi and I devoured a stack of them with the help of some sweet cream butter.
And now I’ll stop.
The rest of the experience was good but ordinary. Tamales were good. Enchiladas were a-ok.
But for the chips and salsa and tortillas alone, I’d rate Paco’s Tacos as pretty much the best Mexican place I’ve been to in a long while.
You just have to get past the bathroom smell.