GREAT F’N TACOS
To some people, the name of popular fast casual taco chain Pinches Tacos is offensive. To others, those with a sense of humor, it’s just a fact—they make good fuckin’ tacos.
With locations on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood (the original Pinches Tacos shop), Santa Monica Place in Santa Monica, Washington Boulevard in Culver City, and most recently, right in the heart of Larchmont Village, it’s easy for L.A. taco lovers to get their Mexican fix any time of day—in any part of town. And don’t forget their Homewood, Alabama restaurant. WTF you may ask. The owners like to joke they meant Alhambra but ended up with a restaurant in Alabama.
From the Anaya brothers, owners of The Original Cha Cha Cha Restaurants, their Pinches Tacos is where to find delicious grub, made from treasured Guadalajara, Mexico family recipes. Three generations of Anaya’s have passed down the perfected recipes of homemade salsas, secret mole ingredients, and carne asada marinades in Jalisco, Mexico – the O.G. “home” of the taco.
According to legend, from the Anayas themselves, their great grandfather is reputed to have cooked for the happy villains of the Pancho Villa gang. Beloved for their recipes of bite-sized soft tacos, burritos, and tortas, the family’s century old mole recipe has remained unchanged throughout the four generations since its inception, along with their “secret family recipes” for “al pastor” marinated pork and beef “barbacoa.”
During our recent visit, we feasted on a slew of homemade tacos—all made from scratch (without the use of any lard). Phenomenally, tasty tacos include Pollo Mole, Pescado (fish), Camaron (shrimp), and Lengua (tongue). There is also a Veggie taco, and if you’re looking for another healthy item, go with the Nopales (cactus) salad.
Heartier items include Sopes (loved the Carnitas Sope!), Tortas (do get the Al Pastor Torta), and the out-of-this-world Elote (Mexican corn-on-the-cob) made with Mexican cream, cheese and chili powder. The Gringo menu (Americanized Mexican food) is a hoot and definitely worth exploring on future visits, but go for the tradition fare your first time out. Consider the Anaya cooks to be salsa masters, as each taco comes with a recommended salsa and there is no salsa bar to load up on. Each taco is served with what the kitchen deems the appropriate salsa and spice.
And just in case you’re thinking the Pinches folks are vulgar, the word (pinches) in Spain does actually mean “a cook’s assistant,” so don’t take any offense, just indulge and enjoy their savory eats.
Pinches Tacos are located throughout Los Angeles in West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Culver City, and Larchmont Village.
By: Jose Martinez