ON THE CORNER of Pacific and 10th, there is a place that CantStayJose and I have been obsessing on. The meats are made in smaller quantities daily, so everything is constantly made fresh, at its best. The service is excellent and smiles are plentiful.
I had spotted this taqueria just because of the taco cart they had outside. Saw a few people waiting in line for their tacos as we drove by several times, but we were always on a mission for something else. One night as my taco co-pilot and I unsuccessfully tried to hunt down a taco stand we had heard about, we decided to come back to our side of town and check out MI PARIENTE.
We poked our heads in and had no clue as to what we were in for. Luck must have been with us yet AGAIN, because we were in for another huge discovery of taco delights.
As usual, my tactic is to first have Jose to infiltrate with his native tongue as to what they specialize in. Signs were good because instead of just saying "oh, asada and pollo is good" they started scooping little samples everything else they offered to try with a few tortilla chips. The pride this family run restaurant put into their food was immediately noticed. I knew we were about to get stoked.
Personally, as I've stated many times before, carne asada and pollo is fairly easy not to screw up and make decent. It's everything else that really makes a good taco. They had us sample their puerco de chile verde, al pastor, carnitas, lengua, cabeza and their amazing barbacoa.
Here's the Dad making our tacos:
His son Jesse, on the left (below), came outside to hang out and give us the scoop on MI PARIENTE. They've been open for a little over a year and completely family run and owned. This is why their food is so good and everyone is happy to serve you. Jesse went on to tell us that when they first started with just a taco stand outside (before taking over this spot and opening MI PARIENTE), they had lines a block and a half long.
CantStayJose says "this place is so fucking good. Most places just want you to order, pay, eat and go home. This place wants you to try EVERYTHING they make. They want you to be happy with what you order. They want you stay and keep eating."
Check out what Jose had. Two chile verdes and two barbacoas. It's $4.99 for 4 tacos plus a drink, so he chose a tamarindo flavored Jarritos.
I couldn't decide with what I wanted, so I went with one of the following: chile verde, al pastor, carnitas and barbacoa. My favorite, as is Jose's, is the barbacoa and al pastor:
Check them out. You won't be disappointed. I highly, HIGHLY recommend the barbacoa. They make it with whole, seedless green olives and it's KABOOM. their barbacoa is usually gone by evening, so make sure you get there early.
Just like I mentioned before, they make everything in smaller quantities so many meats may be gone if you go too close to closing time.
I love Long Beach.
I love tacos.
I can't wait to go back to eat with MI PARIENTE.
146 W. 10th St.
Long Beach, CA 90813