Fill up on slow-cooked swine as your wheels get aligned at South L.A.’s Tacos Los Guichos, a food truck operation outside of So-cal Tires and Wheels. Each taco comes strapped with alambres (stir-fry of meats, peppers, onions and cheeses), tortas, tacos and the best carnitas in town. While your car’s in the shop, a big, bubbling steel cazo of pig parts simmers in lard, the source for pork-intensive tacos stuffed with fried rib, shoulder, skin, ear and head meats. Get cochon-concentrated with the weekend-only tacos surtidas, a succulent amalgam of all of these cuts under one warm tortilla.
Good food in L.A. isn’t hard to find, but sometimes a little detective work can be required, particularly in the age of Instagram pop-ups, Tock takeout orders and cottage bakeries. Having faded into the background, but never truly gone, is a different kind of unique dining experience: the unexpected places scattered across SoCal that also happen to offer a great, often inexpensive bite to eat. While some of our non-restaurant picks below have garnered local acclaim, their unlikely locations still make them noteworthy and special to us—so read on for our guide to the eight best unexpected places to eat in Los Angeles.