Hole In the Wall: Fight for El Zaga's Taco Rights

To paraphrase the old Tenor Saw dancehall classic, ring the alarm, cabrones: Santa Ana council members want to wage war on the city's taco trucks anew. Never mind that they tried the same scorched-earth campaign last decade, only to get smacked down in Orange County Superior Court. Forget that the city's lonchera scene has attracted international attention and remains its best tourist attraction—indeed, almost the only time you see hipsters venture outside of downtown is when they're scarfing up tacos acorazados at Alebrije's or feasting on aguachile at El Camarón Borracho. Nope: the council pendejos don't like the trucks and want to mess with them as much as possible.

At the next Santa Ana City Council meeting, city staff is expected to advise council members what can be done against this supposed lonchera plague. Council members have openly talked about everything from making trucks move every couple of hours to concentrating them in specific areas of the city to issuing a moratorium on new loncheras altogether. What bullshit! Crap like that would destroy newcomers such as Tacos El Zaga, which set up shop only a couple of months ago yet is already drawing crowds to its no-frills offerings. It serves only tacos, burritos and quesadillas, with the usual meat offerings of any taquería—this ain't a regional-specialty type of place. And it doesn't have to be, so wonderful the food is. The burritos are hefty, wrapped in silky flour tortillas; the quesadillas are gooey and the size of a drafting triangle. And the tacos are just perfect: large, spilling over with juices, enlivened by furious salsas and a pickled onion-habanero relish that has been the rage among loncheras for the past couple of years. El Zaga is only open at night, its scrolling marquee a beacon of hope for those speeding up and down Main Street.

And Santa Ana wants this gone. Many of the city's loncheras are girding themselves for war, but the vast majority of customers don't know yet. So become a taco warrior: Replenish yourself at El Zaga, ring the alarm and repeat. Because a SanTana without loncheras is worse than hell itself—it'll just be Santa Ana.

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