Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Taco Loco – 4/5 Stars & 5/5 Stars

Taco Loco
$ Mexican, Seafood
640 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

I used to talk a lot about my nostalgia for Taco Loco. I am beginning to think nostalgia is best left for the dead, or to the places that don’t exist anymore. I was passing my old high school in Dana Point last week and didn’t care to see the high school. And then I realized, unless like something happened to it like if the site was a big empty dirt ditch, I’d want to see it. Like then the sugary nostalgia would conjure. “Hey, I think that’s where the ugly portables I spent half my day were or that fence that once caught on my raver jeans used to be when I skipped school!”

So yeah, I got Taco Loco last week. My ten-year update is that nothing has changed about this place at all. My first review of it from 2007 is virtually the same stuff that I’d write ten years later, but minus one star. That same spongy tofu mushroom burger wheat bread and the lightly grilled tofu is the exact same preparation and taste as it once been but it’s a ‘mind-blowing’ that satisfies my aging memory as much as my taste buds. The salsa has always been a bit too watery. It doesn’t give me the thrill to see that same boxy cash register, or the same exact receipts it dispenses, or the same kind of aloof hippies behind it.

The people change but the restaurant eerily hasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad it’s still here. It’s still casual and inexpensive. There is still magic in this place offering the only tofu mushroom burger I’ve ever tried on this planet. The food is good, but with the passing times, my nostalgia love feels like it’s turning to television fuzz. Do I want to be 17 again, forever?

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Previous review

Taco Loco is a sidewalk cafe with a few very excellent vegan options. These don’t include the other 80% of the menu like the Mahi Mahi burger, which my omnivore friends absolutely love.

I’ve eaten at Taco Loco for almost ten years. Taco Loco is quintessentially known for its delicious tofu mushroom burgers, tacos, and pasta. The beans, potato tacos, and “phish” burgers are also really good. The rice is bland.

The salsas vary, depending on which one you choose. If you like spicy salsa, ask for “chipotle” after the staff asks you “spicy, medium, or mild salsa?” They make it every morning. It’s like the hidden gem among their salsa options. The guacamole is excellent, too. The chips are okay but sometimes stale.

Wednesday is the day you can order the tofu mushroom pasta. I order a half order which is $5 instead of $8 and it’s very filling for small people with large appetites.

Taco Loco seating arrangement is situated on the sidewalk next to busy PCH. The sound of a car upon car upon car can be very irksome. The outside temperature can range from really hot in August to stark coldness in February. Remember to bring a jacket if you come here after 8 p.m. The heating lamps will only heat the person who is sitting directly underneath it!

Note to new vegans: if you order a tofu mushroom or a phish burger, ask for the burger to be plain. Otherwise, they’ll add mayonnaise!

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