By Matthew Kim
As an LA native, I’ve been blessed with an array of diverse, delicious food my whole life. I consider this to be one of the best things about Los Angeles–you can always count on countless fast food or mom-and-pop restaurants to be nearby. Quick-bite food options are rapidly growing to accommodate everyone’s busy schedules. Today, I want to share my favorite burrito spot in all of Los Angeles: Tacos El Venado. To be specific, the Al Pastor Burrito is my favorite burrito in Los Angeles. This Mexican food stand is on the corner of Vermont Ave and 6th Street, only about three miles away from USC!
It’s important to mention that the location and hours for this food stand on Google Maps is incorrect. The stand is usually only open at night and is in front of the Walgreens on Vermont Ave and 6th Street. They also have an instagram: @tacoselvenado. One possible way to reach the burrito stand from campus is to walk to Vermont Ave and take the 204 Metro bus northward. There should be a stop on 6th street, across the burrito stand. The same bus can be taken to come back to USC.
The other weekend I went to Tacos El Venado with some of my friends. All of us get the same thing every time: an Al Pastor Burrito for eight dollars (one more for cheese). As of October 2022, Tacos El Venado only accepts cash, so make sure you have some with you before going. The Al Pastor burrito is special in my opinion because they give a very generous portion of Al Pastor, straight off the shawarma machine. It’s always hot and delicious so be cautious and don’t burn yourself. Also, the burrito comes with your choice of rice and beans (which I always get). Then, you get your personal choice of onions, cilantro, lime, and sauces before the grillers wrap your burrito. I put so much of everything in my burrito that it ended up exploding upon my first couple bites! It was so good that I grabbed a fork and finished all of it. The Al Pastor Burrito is the only menu option that I’ve tried besides their nachos (which in my opinion weren’t anything special).
Another thing to note: since this is a street food stand, there aren’t any tables to sit at. My friends and I ate the food on the hood of my car but a majority of people take the food to-go. If you have leftovers you can always ask them to rewrap it for you and take it home. Unfortunately, they don’t have any vegan options, but otherwise they offer a variety of options. The Al Pastor Burrito at Tacos El Venado is the perfect late night, mid-study session snack that’ll satisfy your cravings and is very affordable.
Matthew is a current freshman studying Business Administration at the Marshall School of Business. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, California so he is very familiar with the area. In his free time, he works as a Community Facilitator, goes swimming, and watches Netflix or sports. Matthew has teaching experience tutoring middle school students privately and as a teacher assistant in a summer enrichment program for elementary students. He loves to eat good food and try new activities throughout the city.