There are plenty of parking lots in LA where you can pick up a solid order of tacos, but few run as smoothly as Tire Shop Taqueria. The operation at this takeout-only taco spot in South Park involves multiple tents divided into stations for making hand-pressed corn tortillas, grilling carne asada, chopping chorizo, and scooping toppings. While standing in line, you’ll inevitably breathe in whiffs of lime juice, charred beef, fresh tomatoes, and fried cheese coming from Tire Shop Taqueria’s outdoor kitchen. The experience can be mesmerizing, but actually eating the tacos here is even more incredible.
Tire Shop Taqueria makes some of the best carne asada tacos we’ve ever had–they’ve got a perfect balance of smoky flavor from the charred edges and richness from the marinade. Each bite involves a mouthful of juicy steak, topped with fresh cilantro, chopped onions, spicy salsa, and a massive glob of guacamole, all wrapped in a corn tortilla that’s still warm from the skillet it was made in just a few minutes prior. After you’ve finished, you’ll probably need a moment alone to process the glory of what just happened. Aside from the beef, the chorizo is our other favorite meat option here. It’s very spicy, nicely grilled, and tastes like it’s just been rolled down a hill of red peppers.
Surprisingly, the tacos aren’t our favorite thing about this South LA institution. It’s the fact that Tire Shop Taqueria isn’t its actual name–people just call it that still because it’s in the parking lot of a used tire store. Its official name is Taqueria San Miguel, but no matter how you refer to it, the long lines at this tiny stand should tell you all you need to know about that asada. Trust us, it’s worth the wait.
Juicy, tender, and marinated to perfection, the carne asada in these tacos will change your perspective on grilled meat. We like it best in the tacos, but you can also order it in a quesadilla, mulita, or whatever other tortilla-wrapped dish your steak-loving heart desires.
If you’re looking for something other than juicy steak to order in your taco, their spicy chorizo is next best thing.
We highly recommend you hydrate during your meal, and thankfully, Tire Shop Taqueria always has options like fresh horchata or aguas frescas.