Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Reason to go into El Monte: Ixtaco Taqueria

Talk to Chef David Mondragon about food and he gets a gleam in his eye. Its a passion that can't be taught about food. It shows in his dishes at the new Ixtaco Taqueria in El Monte. Its a tiny place next to an auto body shop before you hit the 10 freeway.The menu at Ixtaco is pretty simple. There's tacos, quesadillas, burritos and a few other things on the menu.What makes this place different? In an area filled with tacos Chef David's have personality. It all starts with handmade tortillas.Then there's the meat options. You have several ways to go here. You have your traditional carne asada, your chicken, and your carnitas but I am going to tell you to pass on all of them.
Its all about the seafood and the pastor here.What is pastor? Its a spit roasted pork thats a beautiful red from a natural spice called Achiote. The technique of pastor is actually from the Middle East if you are a fan of donner kebab you may see the similarities but...yeah off story. Ixtaco has the best pastor I have had in the SGV. Its crispy and caramelized with a nice blend of spices that make pastor my favorite taco. Its served with bits of grilled pineapple that compliment the meat perfectly.

I would go to Ixtaco for the pastor alone but the seafood tacos...are serious.Chef David tops all of his fried seafood tacos with his signature chipotle sauce. Its an aioli with a kick and it marries with all the crispy seafood its out on top of. You can't go wrong with the shrimp or fish but it's calamari taco I am mildly obsessed with. Battered and deep fried I had no idea that fish and shrimp tacos could be beat but the humble squid.For now all the tacos at Ixtaco at only one dollar. It could end at any time and honestly you should be paying much more (hopefully they don't read this.)


                                      10021 Valley Blvd, El Monte, California 91731


Assorted seafood tacos


pastor quesadilla 

In house fries 

chicken tacos 


Chef David Mondragon


In house made drinks. Flavors change daily 


calamari 

grilled fish