What It's Like to Eat Street Tacos at Le Taco

When Scotch and Sausage was dismantled earlier this year and turned into the upscale taqueria Le Taco, we sent Nick Rallo to try the burger, because that's what Nick does. The restaurant served a torta version of your typical burger experience topped with carnitas. Nick liked the burger. Thanks be to Nick.

But since Le Taco is a taqueria, I thought we should look at the tacos, which I did during a recent lunch. Here's what happened.

Le Taco looks a lot like Scotch at Sausage used to. The same communal tables remain, the same bar sits at the back of the main dining room and the same patios await customers who want to enjoy their tacos with a breeze. Changes are limited to fabrics and accessories and other finishing touches. Hybrid cactuses stand at attention, and sugar skull pottery fills the case where art used to sit. It's enough to pull off the upscale taco aesthetic.

If you avoid horchata because it's often excessively sweet, you should give the version here a try. My waiter told me it's made right in the kitchen from rice, which is nice because most taquerias use premade mixes loaded with sugar. This version was lighter and topped with an angry shake of cinnamon. I liked it.

I liked my papas frites, too, but they left me with some sadness. Scotch and Sausage used to serve these crazy thrice-fried potatoes that spent some time in the freezer between those bubble baths. They were at once mushy, impossibly crunchy and wholly delicious. These fries are mostly just fries. They come with Sriracha and wasabi dipping sauces.

Then came the tacos. They offer a lot of fancy tacos with Asian ingredients and exotic topings, but I ordered three of their street style versions with pork, carne asada and chicken confit. The pork and steak were pretty innocuous — tiny bits of lightly seasoned meat with a pleasantly chewy texture. The chicken was a little more boring and did little to evoke the rich, submerged-in-fat cooking flavors of a traditional confit. All were a little dry, which may be desirable if you're a healthy eater. I like when my tacos drip with fat passion.

I also like sauces with some personality. The tacos are served with a side of Valentina hot sauce, which isn't very spicy but has bold acidic flavors that completely drowned out my taco fillings. I used the rest of my Sriracha sauce instead.

When my check came, I had to scratch my head a little. With a tip just shy of 20 percent the total came to $25. That's a lot of money for three tacos, fries and a horchata. Le Taco adds a lot of style and the comforts of a full-service restaurant to your typical taco experience, but the most important thing is the tacos themselves. These guys came up a little short.

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