Plancha Tacos is a taquería located in Beverly Grove, because wealthy people need good tacos too apparently. This modern, fast-casual restaurant has been in operation since 2010. Its industrial-chic décor with scuffed concrete floors, stainless steel-plated wall, and wood counter tops would have you believe they perhaps have Chipotle-like aspirations, except once you get a sniff of the meats being grilled in front of you, and especially when you taste the tacos they serve you, you understand they’re actually nothing like Chipotle.
The Tiger Shrimp Taco is marvelous. Like any great taco, it starts with great meat: a handful of bodacious shrimp are butterflied and grilled in a lip-smacking garlicky marinade, then laid on an bubbly bed of melted jack cheese, and sprinkled with onion and cilantro. The double corn tortillas used here are griddled firm. They are not made in-house, but sourced from a local tortilleria that knows what’s up. I leveraged the yellow habanero salsa on this taco, which was a necessary enhancement. Speaking of salsas, their chunkier salsa cruda is great with the complimentary tortilla chips provided — a little sweet, a little spicy, and made with noticeably fresh-tasting produce.
I also tried the Chile Verde Breakfast Taco. This was a mountain of food on a flour tortilla: tomatoes, pork, tomatillo sauce, refried black beans, and a mound of fluffy scrambled eggs. This is a taco I would not be surprised to see on “Man v. Food” one of these days. In addition to its audacious bulk, it was a good taco. I poured the smoky salsa roja from the salsa bar onto it, which pleasantly contrasted.
Despite the Beverly Grove location, if you come here hungry you won’t need to spend a lot to leave full: both of these tacos were less than $4 each and were excellent value given their quality and size. Two tacos from Plancha Tacos are more than enough for breakfast or lunch, and probably just right for dinner.
Taco Scores: Tiger Shrimp Taco (94), Chile Verde Breakfast Taco (85)
Jay Recommends: Tiger Shrimp Taco
Plancha Tacos; 8250 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048; Sunday through Thursday, from 8:00am-12:00am and Friday through Saturday from 8:00am-1:00am; (323) 951-9911; planchatacos.com