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Monday, March 31, 2008

Taco Loco - Review #1

Taco Loco
640 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 497-1635

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Voted #1 Best Surfer Hangout for 2005 by Citysearch Voters

To show that I eventually follow up on every recommendation made to me I went yesterday to Taco Loco in Laguna Beach which was recommended to me almost exactly two years ago. I was accompanied by Griffin Tamura of the Griffin Eats OC blog.

Griffin had been to Taco Loco before and on our way there he asked what I knew about it. I said, "Well, I've heard that they had mushroom tacos and tofu tacos." He said, "Yep, and that's what I usually get." When we arrived we were lucky to find one metered parking spot out on PCH but when we parked there the curb was so high that I couldn't open my door to get out. I was all ready to roll down the window and do a Dukes of Hazzard move but Griffin pulled the car away from the curb and I got out in the traditional way, then he pulled the car back in, we fed the parking meter a few quarters and walked the few steps to Taco Loco.

The only problem is I walked a few steps too far, right past their real building, and on to their spillover building on the other side of the driveway. I don't know what's in this second building but it does say "Taco Loco" above it and it does have Taco Loco customers eating outside. The point is, you'll want to go in the southernmost of the two Taco Loco buildings, the one you see pictured above.

Check the specials board on your way in

Fitting right in with the Laguna Beach zeitgeist, Taco Loco presents a laidback, hippie-ish vibe with meat on their menu but also a definite catering to vegans and vegetarians. I quickly looked for the mushroom tacos and the tofu tacos and found out they have both but that they also had a a mushroom tofu taco. I knew then that's what I would order and that everything else I might get would supplement it.


I added a blackened fish taco and the soup of the day which was black bean soup which was actually just a styrofoam cup of black beans. They were good as far as beans go but I think it's a little bit of a stretch to charge $3 for a cup of beans. They do top it with whatever you want on it such as onions, cilantro, guacamole, etc., so that adds some value.

My tofu mushroom taco came in a blue corn tortilla and was topped with their guacamole (which is more like a cross between guacamole and salsa - very light) and a little spicy hot sauce. The mushrooms tasted like mushrooms but the tofu tasted like chicken and I think that may have been on purpose; I had been expecting something like the tofu cubes found in miso soup but I should've known better.


All in all, the trip to Taco Loco was a fun one and the food was good but I think the $13.53 I paid was a little high for the two tacos, beans, and ginger ale I ordered. That's not going to stop me from ever going back though and I saw that some of the other customers were ordering some food that would've been great for pictures. Taco Loco earns a three and a half Speedy Gonzales rating:

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