Taco Tuesday: Tacos de birria at El Pariente
There are a lot of great reasons to visit the El Pariente taco truck on a weekday. You may find that somebody has made cecina, which is salty, air-dried beef designed to make cows taste a little like game animals, and there is a formidable alambre -- a mass of sauteed meat, onions, peppers and mushrooms bound with a small pond of melted cheese.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays you can get five tacos and a soda for $5. But El Pariente is famous in the Highland Park area for its Jalisco-style birria, goat soup, which is an especially potent palliative on the other end of a hard Saturday night. Goat or menudo; it's up to you.
You will wait in line at the truck, parked in the lot of Serrano's Tires, and you will be rewarded with a stout foam cup of goat in consomé, ready to be dosed with chopped onion, thin hot sauce, radish, whatever your trembling hands require.
The tortillas are soft and homemade, unlikely to shock the system. And on those days when soup requires too much commitment, when Chivas has lost and your sorrow is just too great, you can get your goat meat tucked into tacos instead.
The man at the griddle, who happens to be wearing a Chivas jersey himself, will understand.
El Pariente, York Boulevard at Nolden Street, Highland Park.
-- Jonathan Gold
Photo: The El Pariente taco truck has got your goat. Credit: Jonathan Gold / Los Angeles Times