Anyone who has lived on the West side of Los Angeles has likely heard of, or eaten at, Tito’s Tacos. A multi-decade mainstay of simplified Mexican fast food in Culver City, CA (originally they had an Anaheim location, too). Most days, you will find long lines of hungry patrons waiting at one of their several ordering windows to get their mitts on the munchable burritos, tamales, enchiladas and, of course, tacos. One of those dedicated locals was a man named Ted Niida, who loved their food almost as much as life itself. So, when Tito’s decided to sell their location behind the Orange Curtain, Ted immediately jumped on the opportunity. He changed the sign slightly so that it read “ToM’s TaCos” (named after his beloved late father) and proceeded to offer the same great menu.
Over the years, Tito’s has raised their prices, reduced their portions, and turned to lower quality ingredients. Meanwhile, ToM’s kept the same dedication to quality, and customer satisfaction that made them both such gastronomic successes … and, even expanded their menu slightly to include tostadas, taquitos, nachos, quesadillas, and french fries. Plus, ToM’s Tacos also offers a chicken version of their taquitos, as well as their namesake dish.
So, about a year ago, it was with considerable glee that I directed a Disneyland-bound friend to nearby Ball Road for some great grub. Though, I was deeply saddened to receive a text from that friend, saying that ToM’s had closed it’s doors. Yes, Anaheim is long way from the Cave. But, there was so much comfort knowing that ToM’s was there waiting for my return to Orange County. Fast forward to this Summer, when I was recounting my disappointment to another friend, who excitedly stopped me mid sentence to tell me that ToM’s TaCos had actually relocated to Torrance, CA (4669 Torrance Blvd. Torrance, CA 90503 310-371-0625), not far from his factory. Needless to say, I was ecstatic that my beloved ToM’s was not only still in business, but less than half the distance from me as before. “Get the $*&# out!” I shouted, and we immediately packed up the families and headed over for some beef and cheese tacos, all beef and cheese burritos, bean and cheese burritos, and beef taquitos.
Having grown up about a mile from Tito’s, I remember the quality, size, and flavor they used to offer. As mentioned, it has since waned as their prices have skyrocketed … presumably to cover the cost of the TV advertising they now employ. But, one bite of ToM’s fare immediately brought me back to those delectable carefree days. My beef and cheese burrito was hefty, zesty, and tasty. The pourable quac was thick and full of flavor, and the famous chips and salsa were as mouthwatering as I remember. The Caveboy and Cavewoman exclaimed they had the best bean and cheese burritos they’d ever tasted, the Cavegirl was too busy munching her taquitos to even mutter a word, and the Cave friends all agreed the food was just like what Tito’s used to be … perhaps even better!
The rave reviews should be no surprise considering that ToM’s TaCos uses no trans fats, no lard, and no MSG. They do, however, use the freshest, high quality ingredients they can find while taking no short cuts in their cooking process. Which leads to the most tender, flavorful cubed beef in the Chili Colorado for the burritos; savory shredded beef in the tacos and taquitos; and hearty, mouthwatering refried beans.
So, the next time you are cruising around the South Bay, and your stomach starts to rumble, head over to ToM’s Tacos for some simple but scrumptious Mexican food. You will walk away sated and full, as will your wallet. Plus, if you are a devotee Tito’s, you will readily become a ToM’s convert! Yes, it’s that good!! Do keep in mind that ToM’s TaCos only accepts cash, and is closed on Mondays.
©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.