The industrial byways in South Los Angeles continue to sprout Mexican street food stars. Teddy’s Red Tacos is one of the area’s growing legends, a food truck from Teddy Vazquez that parks along deactivated railroad tracks just east of the 110 freeway and specializes in Tijuana-style birria tacos starring tender stewed beef.
Vazquez was born in L.A. and grew up in Puebla, Mexico. His friend runs popular Birria El Paisa in Tijuana and offered to teach Vazquez everything he knows. At the time, he was working in shipping and initially passed on the opportunity, but after business dipped, he agreed. Vazquez stews beef shoulder for three hours in broth with tomatoes, secret spices and chiles before the meat falls apart into shreds. He forms tacos and quesadillas on corn tortillas griddled with secret juices that provide their signature fire-red color. Tacos are available with chopped red onions, cilantro, and a splash of spicy red salsa made with chile de arbol. Accept all three accompaniments. Vazquez plates tacos with crunchy sliced radishes and squeezable limes. Request a cup of hot consommé chock full of beefy debris for no added charge.
Teddy’s Red Tacos sets up two tents on the rock-strewn train tracks that provide shade for six communal plastic tables and fold-up metal chairs. Sit and eat to enjoy the food at the height of its powers, and to save your car from splatter.