You know it’s taco Tuesday when chef Luis Perez fires up the outdoor grill, and the aroma of charred meat and burning mesquite wood fills up el patio at Lola Gaspar. We recommend arriving early (come six o’clock half the restaurant’s tables are already booked with reservations) and enjoy a happy hour sangria while you wait for the tacos to ensue. Chef Perez uses El Metate tortillas to envelope fillings like tiger prawn and chorizo in salsa borracha, succulent carnitas and jerked spiced fish tacos. These are all great, but what you should be ordering are the specials — whatever chef has cooking on the open fire and especially the trompo.
A couple of weeks ago, guest chef Aron Habiger joined Perez in slanging lamb al pastor and Oaxacan pork belly tacos. Perez’ version of the ubiquitous chili-rubbed pork takes on the taste of slow-roasted spiced shawerma with Mexi savor as slabs of lamb marinated in don’t-worry-about-it chili spices, achiote and vinegar were topped off with pineapple piled high on a rotating spit, giving the lamb a delicious caramelized crust.
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Habiger’s Oaxacan pork belly taco: a crispy thin slice of equal parts fat to meat, dusted in a chapulín ash, dressed with a red curry squash puree, shiso leaf, fresh horseradish, scallions and topped with aromatic cilantro flowers —alta cocina-inspired and straight delicious. Pro tip: Make sure your server gives you the tray of fixings. The server never brought ours out, but luckily Perez’ tacos were good on their own! The taco desmadre starts at 6p.m. until they run out—provecho!
Lola Gaspar, 211 W. Second St., SanTana, (714) 972-1172; www.lolagaspar.com