As an actor, Danny Trejo has made a career of playing menacing roles in films like “Machete” and “From Dusk Till Dawn.” So, when arriving at his newly opened Trejo’s Tacos on La Brea, you might see the mural of him wielding two machetes and think, “I’m in for some seriously macho tacos.”
But don’t read the wrong thing into Trejo’s burly image. This isn’t thumb-your-nose-at-health “dude” food. On the contrary, health and sustainability are the muscles behind this operation.
Trejo tapped chef Daniel Mattern (who previously cooked fabulously healthy dishes at the former Cooks County) to help design the menu, which offers better-for-you tweaks on typical taco stand fare with impeccably sourced ingredients. The meats and produce are primarily organic, as is the tofu. The organic, non-GMO corn tortillas are made locally in Boyle Heights. The kitchen is sourcing organic brown rice from family-run Koda Farms and heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo, and the hot sauces are fermented in-house.
That translates into a whole lot of deliciousness on the plate. The super-fresh, chunky guacamole dusted with crushed pistachios ($7) is a must-order starter. The tight taco menu currently includes four options ($4 each): tender slow-roasted pork shoulder, succulent pulled beef brisket, juicy fried Jidori chicken (served in a lettuce cup) and vegan black pepper tofu. On the side, we loved Danny’s super rice ($4), a mix of organic quinoa and brown rice with aromatic cinnamon and cumin.
As for drinks, there’s kombucha ($6) and housemade, date-sweetened horchata ($4) on tap; Trejo’s own Mexican-style lager, brewed in the Arts District, will be added soon.
In a couple of months, the menu will also expand to include a selection of salads, which will be an ideal addition as temperatures heat up on the restaurant’s large, umbrella-shaded patio (most of the seating is outside).
We think “restaurateur” is Trejo’s best role yet.
1048 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles