Tire Shop Taqueria is the best example of not needing an actual restaurant to serve up super delicious food. Many consider Tire Shop Taqueria to have the best tacos in LA, which is a bold claim with so many choices here. The stand sits in the parking log of an old tire shop in South LA. Interestingly, Tire Shop Taqueria isn’t even its actual name. The stand didn’t have an official name and it got deemed “Tire Shop” by happy customers who needed to tell their friends and family about it.
The stand is only open nightly from 5PM-12AM and the line can get pretty busy, most likely on the weekends after hitting the bars (I miss the pre COVID-19 days). Tire Shop Taqueria is a simple, no frills setup. Underneath a big tent is where all the action takes place. It was a mini-show watching the Tire Shop team working together to crank out orders.
Tire Shop Taqueria specializes in Tijuana-style carne asada tacos. This unique style means that the beef is seasoned and marinated before it’s grilled over mesquite charcoal, giving it a mouthwatering smoky taste.
My boyfriend and I got to the stand around 6PM and only waited in line for 15 minutes before we put in our order. Afterwards we watched the grill master prepare the carne asada steak plus other meats like al pastor, chicken, chorizo, and cabeza over an open flame grill right in front of us. The smells from the grill only increase anticipation to devour these tacos.
Tire Shop Taqueria also makes all their tortillas by hand. While you wait to order, you can also watch the ladies in charge hand press the corn masa into flat little circles. I appreciate when restaurants use fresh ingredients in their cooking and it was impressive this little stand in a parking lot puts so much effort in preparing quality food.
The server will ask if you if want your tacos “con todo” or “with all”. If you like diced onions, cilantro, salsa roja, and creamy guacamole salsa, say “yes”. I recommend you do.
We ordered two carne asada tacos, two al pastor tacos, and a carne asada quesadilla. Tire Shop Taqueria is praised for its carne asada, but we also wanted to see how its al pastor stacked up to other popular taco spots (i.e. Leos’). We got a good amount of food for not that much money. The tacos are a bargain at $2, while the quesadilla was $6. The quesadilla was probably equivalent to the size of three tacos.
The tacos were the size of my hand and was packed with flavor. In each bite, you can taste the combination of the juicy meat, spicy kick salsa roja, and the creamy guac salsa. The fresh handmade tortillas added to the enjoyment, as it wasn’t bland or flaky. You can taste the actual corn.
Overall, I would rank Tire Shop Taqueria up near the top of top tacos in LA for me. The only con was that it wasn’t in the most accessible location in South LA. But if I’m ever in nearby in DTLA or near USC, I’m definitely going to stop by for a taco!
TIRE SHOP TAQUERIA
Address: 4077 S Avalon Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90011
Hours of Operation: Mon- Sun 5 pM-12 AM (Closed on Tuesday)
Parking: Street parking. Parking can be tough during the busy hours
- Tire Shop Taqueria is cash only
- I heard that the chorizo is also very good. I’ll make sure to try that next time!