JAVIER CABRAL·AUGUST 16, 2021FEATUREDTACOS
It’s been great to witness the rise of the flour tortilla in Los Angeles. What was once the misunderstood counterpart of the corn tortilla has reached a critical point in L.A.’s Taco Life: We now have regional styles within the flour tortilla institution.
There are taqueros and taqueras in Los Angeles who are currently offering tortillas to suit your precise needs. Do you shamelessly prefer a thicker flour tortilla because it reminds you of the life-changing taco you had in Rosarito? Are you a homesick Texan and find joy in bready tortillas because that’s what you grew up with? Are you a taco snob who will not eat anything besides a paper-thin Sonoran-style flour tortilla? In Los Angeles, there is a deliciously chewy flour tortilla waiting for you.
After all, some tacos just taste better on a flour tortilla—straight up.
Those specific tacos are the existential tortilla question that has plagued humankind since we first started wrapping bugs and pieces of grilled game meat with flattened disks of processed grain. Ask anyone in Sonora what the proper tortilla for carne asada is, and they will vehemently respond with “de harina, a huevo.” But ask that that same question to a Tijuanense and they will be much laxer in their answer because they know that intangible pleasure of an asada quesadilla at El Poblano on Boulevard Diaz Ordaz in the community of La Mesa, but their heart will tell them a handmade corn tortilla—rolled up tightly and slicked with guacamole. In Mexico, beyond the romanticizing of any taco-style, a taco’s tortilla is defined by the region where it originated. This is why a fish taco in Ensenada is made with a Maseca-based corn tortilla (favoring convenience and cost for tourists). In La Paz, all fish tacos are served on a flour tortilla (wheat is easier to grow and access in a desert landscape).
The reality is that there are no rules for tacos. It is subjective and often, on a case-by-case basis, subject to your antojo (craving). So let your antojo guide you through L.A. TACO’s flour tortilla map.
sonoratown flour tortilla Sonoratown’s flour tortillas. Photo via Sonoratown.SONORATOWNFlour tortilla style: San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora
Jenn Feltham and Teo Diaz pioneered and led L.A.’s flour tortilla resurgence since they first opened in 2016. Since then, their thin Sonoran-style flour tortillas made in the style of San Luis Rio Colorado have only gotten better. Part of that has to do with what Feltham ironically calls “the stupidest supply chain ever” of sourcing and self-importing bags of Bonfil flour from Mexico a couple of times a month. Still, the most significant part is the commitment that Sonoratown has to continually work to replicate those flour tortillas approximately 295 miles away from Sonoratown in downtown L.A.