Welcome to the Militant's Taco Thursday (gee, the Militant sure loves these special series things, doesn't he...), where the Militant Angeleno will highlight a taco joint (be it building, cart, truck or stand) in Los Angeles.
Taco stands are a regular fixture in this City, but those of you who have driven to or from Downtown Los Angeles via the 2nd Street Tunnel at night may or may not have seen a particular stand, under the lights of the Downtown skyline, on an empty parking lot on 2nd Street and Beaudry Avenue that would catch your eye.
You might have thought, "WTF?!" or "No way" or "Did I just see what I just saw?" or even an "Oy Vey!"
A taco stand with the same name as a dated slur used against Jewish people might be very odd, especially in a city as culturally diverse as this one (which, despite its historical bouts of tension between various groups, is still miles ahead of the rest of the country, which is still fascinated with the played-out white vs. black racial dichotomy, yawn...). Even more suspect is the fact that it stands on a street named after a wealthy merchant and former mayor who was once known for his anti-semitic views.
But relax, the Militant asked what was up, and discovered it's all a cultural misinterpretation. Like customs, mannerisms and traits, names and words can be construed in different ways, much like a Rorschach Test.
The taco stand is owned and operated by a gentleman named Enrique. In many Spanish-speaking countries, where people use nicknames as a term of endearment, the popular nickname of "Enrique" is "Quique" or "Kike" (both pronounced "KEE-kay"). So you see, "Kike's Tacos" really means "Enrique's Tacos" (The Militant is sure there's another "Enrique's" or "Quiques" somewhere in town...).
And their tacos, they serve the popular carne asada, pastor and pollo varieties, but also serve chorizo, buche (fried pork stomach) and lengua (beef tongue) as well. A little on the greasy side, but sometimes you need that grease to be tasty. Best of all, they're all for the right price of $1 each! Can't beat that!
Kike's Tacos is there Sunday-Thursday from 8 p.m. to 12 midnight, and Friday and Saturday nights from 8 p.m. to around 2 a.m. Late night taco fix? Not much cash? Drop by Kike's sometime...just remember to pronounce it correctly.