Photo by Neil Nisperos
This week’s restaurant: King Taco, 406 N. Mountain Ave. (at D), Ontario.
Admittedly, most of my dinner experience was covered in my Wednesday column, but that was more about being there than the actual food.
In short, it’s a very busy place, with long lines. You order at the counter, sit down and pick up your food when your number is called.
Quality-wise, King Taco could be the In-N-Out of Mexican fast food, or the Tommy’s, another cult-like place with long lines for simple fare. The five of us at our table were all impressed by the quality of the meats especially. You can view the menu here.
On the authenticity scale, King Taco doesn’t seem to have watered things down despite being a chain: Fillings include lengua (tongue), cabeza (head), buche (pig stomach), molleja (chicken stomach) and suadero (beef brisket), besides the more common asada (steak), pollo (chicken), carnitas (pork) and al pastor (marinated pork).
We stuck with the basics — al pastor and carnitas sopes, al pastor and carne asada burritos, carne asada and chicken tacos — being willing to carry adventurousness only so far.
We also liked the chile and verde salsas, which come in small plastic cups and pack a punch. But there were some downsides.
One of us ordered chips and salsa. The chips were bagged and only average, and she didn’t like paying 69 cents for salsa when, as she learned when she took her seat, the exact same containers were given out for free on request to others at the table. Also, $1.25 for a tiny cup of guacamole seemed rather high.
There’s also the matter of whether the food was worth the half-hour wait from walking inside to picking up the order. You can get essentially the same food all over the valley with no waiting. The lines will die down, but perhaps not that much; King Tacos are high-volume outfits and the layout, with four cashier stations, is set up in anticipation of crowds.
A poll of our table revealed that everyone was willing to come back despite the lines and the hectic, noisy atmosphere. Actually, I may have been the only lukewarm voice on that count. Another said he was more likely to take his food to go, or even eat at the curb (there’s no outdoor seating), because of the hubbub.
The restaurant, btw, is closed today for Good Friday.