Saturday, October 18, 2014

Famed Hollywood Taqueria Calle Tacos To Offer Catering Service

By: guest blogger @iam_robot

In a time when quick-service and casual dining chains are offering catering service to generate additional revenues, Calle Tacos, Hollywood popular taqueria owned by street-food extraordinaire Dorian and Javier Villasenor, are doing exactly just that. This Hollywood Blvd permanently parked lonchero (food truck) strive to bring your favorite Mexican fare, utilizing decades-old family recipe and fresh ingredients, to your family events and corporate meetings.
Calle Tacos
For its catering service, not only common Mexican food (burritos, nachos, tortas, fajitas and tacos) will be served, there’ll be less known items like Shrimp Ceviche, Chicken Mole Poblano and Kobe Beef Sliders. Washed those down with their homemade Watermelon or Pineapple agua fresca, suddenly those corporate events feel a wee bit memorable.  And yes, any of the dishes can be customized with a selection of protein, toppings or sauces to suit your taste. Based on my experience, their al pastor, carnitas and carne asada are excellent but their Chipotle Fish Tacos is probably one of the most delicious tacos in LA. Fish was skillfully fried to golden brown perfection while the chipotle mayo adds tang and cooling underneath.

So here’s how the catering menu looks like:
Shrimp Ceviche – shrimp seasoned in citrus with pico de gallo and red onion.
The dish came looking more like a shrimp cocktail but the taste combo were there. The citrus veered the dish towards sour but the inherent sweetness of the pico de gallo balanced out the equation. I like how the red onion didn’t lose the tanginess or crunch despite being soaked in citrus or pico de gallo for a long time. My slight criticism about this dish is that I wished the shrimp was bigger and packed a tad more crunch.

Chicken Mole Poblano – Chicken mixed in a sweet mole made with chiles, chocolate and warm spices
Love the interchanging flavors of smoky, spicy, savory and sweetness here. And it’s really hard to find a good mole in this town - many times this chocolate-tinged sauce came either too sweet or too bland (lacking in key ingredients like onion, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, or sesame seeds). This rich and thick sauce blended really well with the chicken stew – very soft and broke apart upon first bite.  Though certain bits felt a bit dry, overall, I thought the chicken was tasty – smear some mole goodness before you eat them.

Rajas Poblanas con Pollo – Roasted Poblano chiles in a cream sauce with Corn
At first I thought it was a bowl of pasta but it’s basically Poblanos delicately stir-fried with Chicken Breast in a cream sauce. I thought the dish was quite tasty though a touch too creamy for my liking -I wish there’s a good balance with heat or saltiness here - maybe infusing the chicken with spicy marinade.

Kobe Beef Sliders
I thought this was a very satisfying burger. I liked the soft texture of the Hawaiian Bun but the caramelized onion was the star here - sweet, succulent, smoky. Sweet onion blends really well with the savory beef and garlic aioli's nutty flavor. A couple of concerns here - First, the beef was definitely tender and good quality, but it didn't pack a ton of flavor and strayed on the drier side. I think cooking the beef on a medium rare scale would do justice. Second, I thought the slider was a tad too basic - I mean a burger (according to me) should be a smorgasbord of all things irresistible and the variations should be infinite - so go wild, throw in some smoked bacon, super gooey cheese, guacamole or sauteed mushroom. Guess I’m not sure what they’re trying to do here…Is it a take on a classic burger (thin patty, American cheese, and relish) or a gourmet burger? If it’s the latter, I think a couple of additional (interesting) ingredients are necessary to rouse this burger-crazed nation.

Jalapeno and Pineapple Margaritas
Not sure if these are part of the catering menu but they were delicious. I like the Jalapeno Margarita a little more – the kick plays off the cocktail’s tart flavor. Sweet, spicy, and savory – perfect for the hot day.

All in all, other than a couple exceptions, I think Calle Tacos’ catering menu is definitely one of the best I’ve ever seen. I just like their “no shortcut” approach – ingredients are always freshly prepared, meats are seasoned and cooked thoroughly, and cooking techniques that are borderline complex/ old school. Add those with their personalized menu offerings and distinctive products, I don’t see how they could not be the forefront of the catering game in Los Angeles the next few years. 

Calle Tacos
6506 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 465-9100
Calle Tacos on Urbanspoon


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