For the Love of Tacos…


Amor y Tacos is the brand new venture from Chef Thomas Ortega of Ortega 120 in Redondo Beach which has garnered much success since its opening. Thomas Ortega returns to his childhood city with his brazen approach to traditional Mexican food and with a full house on a Tuesday night, patrons could not be happier.  If you are familiar with the decor of Ortega 120, you will find a similar approach here. If not, imagine a brief love affair with Quentin Tarantino that translates to a simple theme of eye-catching artwork adorning the walls.

The menu only adds to the ambiance with a flair for the culinary dramatic. Case in point, the South East Dog which is a take on the traditional Dodger Dog served at the stadium. However, this beauty is made with short rib chile Colorado, queso fresco and chicharrón  which puts the actual Dodger Dog to shame. If only stadium food can taste this good, I would have attended more games. One upside is that you are able to bring your own food into the stadium, something I learned during this fine evening so all is not lost.

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The Dodger Dog isn’t the only item on the menu that Chef Ortega has re-created. Have you heard of that somewhat unknown item on the Taco Bell menu, the Doritos Locos Taco, than this next one is for you. Behold, the Doritos Chilaquiles, a bowl of deliciousness that is sure to put a smile on your face and a warmth in your stomach. You might be thinking to yourself, “Doritos are sooo last year…” but don’t knock it until you have feasted on this amazing dish.  If you are familiar with the traditional dish, this is a must try. Just remember, everything is better with cheddar.

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Did you think that the creativity stopped there? Think again, because another gem on the menu comes in the form of Mole Tots. You can forget about those soggy, flavorless tater tots you consumed in your high school cafeteria. If this dish was served at the next global conference, we could very well see world peace in our near future. Fan of mole sauce? Chef Ortega has you covered. These crispy tots are smothered in a 21-ingredient mole sauce which rivals the best. Want the recipe to the sauce? Chef Ortega would have to kill you, Tarantino-style.

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Being familiar with the tacos at Ortega and loving them very much, I was anticipating the same approach. Little did I know that the restaurant that used to reside at this location was an old school Chinese joint named King Dragon. Other than the usual offerings of delicious tacos was an aptly named King Dragon taco that pays homage to the former restaurant. Caramelized roasted Duck, cucumber and kimchi on a scallion tortilla is the best tribute and it tastes even better.

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Circle Cerritos on your map because your next dining destination should be at Amor y Tacos.

Amor y Tacos
13333 South St
Cerritos, CA 90703
Phone number (562) 860-2667


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