The Best Little Gourmet Taco Cart in Orange County: Soho Tacos
Soho Taco's tacos
Sixth entry in our series where we promise to review, for better or worse, every "high-end" roach coach that visits the Weekly's world headquarters. A Hawaiian shaved-ice truck visits next Monday--when will YOUR mobile food truck come? Inquire with Jessica Ford at email@example.com!
I must admit I had doubts about SoHo Taco based on its name alone--were its creators hipsters yearning to make OC hip? And my skepticism increased even more when I saw the group of clean-cut Mexis manning a taco cart outside Weekly world headquarters last week--were they the Lola Gaspar type of High-spanic? Yeah, I'm a judgemental wab--so sue me.
But I started talking to the main guy, a native of SanTana whose family owns a meat market near the spectacular Las Brisas de Apatzingan. Nice kid--but mine eyes were distracted by the bright, juicy pico de gallo before me.
Pico de gallo is traditionally the biggest disappointment in Mexican cuisine--chopped-up tomatoes, stray bits of cilantro and jalapeño, usually neither spicy nor flavorful but just red, flat liquid. But SoHo's pico was unlike any I had seen--vibrant in color, and not just the red-green tone common to the condiment. There was orange. Purple. Yellow. Turns out it was a pico de gallo made from heirloom tomatoes, and damnit if it wasn't the best pico de gallo I've ever tasted, approaching the nuanced glories of the greatest bruschettas. It's even better than my mom's version, and you know a Mexican means business when he admitsanything
And they had my much-mythologized queso añejo in stock? I fell in love before even eating a taco. Turns out the tacos were as delicious as the heirloom pico de gallo and queso--not small, juicy, with sharp meat flavors pertaining to each cut. Carne asada was properly burnt; carnitas, stringy and fatty; chicken, grilled down to perfect nubs. SoHo even offered tacos de cecina, salted beef approaching the richness of brisket, a choice that shows the guys' confidence in their cooking. The only problem I had with SoHo is that they sold their last bottle of Jarritos before I arrived, but they made it up by stocking Mexican Coca-Cola.
Can Mexicans out-gourmet the gourmet taco trucks? Damn straight. SoHo Taco is already on my rarefied list of places I'll visit again if I see them--just imagine the pleasures of their veggie taco fused with the queso añejo, a pleasure you can usually only find in the homes of zacatecanos. And these guys are michoacanas using cheese from Guerrero! The mind boggles at their potential if only they got a lonchera--in the meanwhile, their taco cart reigns over their peers. Someone sneak them into farmer's markets, stat!
Soho Taco is at--where else?--www.sohotaco.com
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