Taste

Chinatown tacos: Taquito Street and the Taco Stand open up on Spring Mountain

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A variety of street tacos at the Taco Stand
Photo: Wade Vandervort

The Las Vegas Chinatown District has always been known for a wide array of Asian eateries—not just Chinese food—and in recent years, non-Asian hot spots like Sparrow + Wolf and Partage have brought even more diverse dining to Spring Mountain Road.

One restaurant style that hasn’t traditionally thrived along this stretch is the taco shop, but that appears to be changing. The clubby Más Por Favor opened in January, and two more taquerias have arrived since April.

On the second story of the Pacific Asian Plaza center, the family behind the Taquito Street food truck has set up shop with a restaurant of the same name. Co-owner Jesse Chavez says the place was almost ready to open when COVID-19 shuttered dine-in business in March.

“We realized we had two options, stay at home or try to ramp up the business,” he says. “We opened about two months ago, and it felt safe because we were just doing deliveries at the time and we were in there cooking with the doors closed.”

His family comprises restaurant industry veterans, but this is their first time working together and owning and operating their own business. After moving to Las Vegas from Florida three years ago, they broke through serving tacos and burritos from the truck at farmers markets and festival events, and they’re taking the same simple approach with Taquito Street’s restaurant menu.

Carne asada fries and bacon-wrapped XL Burrito at Taquito Street

“We’re definitely not a traditional Mexican restaurant,” Chavez says. “We’re a taqueria. Whatever you get to enjoy out on the streets is what we want to put together on the plate.”

Taking the lead are tasty tacos of carne asada ($2.35), al pastor and chorizo ($2.25) topped with onions and cilantro. Chicken, seafood and traditional cuts like suadero (beef near the flank), tripe and buche (pork stomach) are also available, and fans of crispy cheese can go for the pionero ($9.75) with their favorite meat.

Taquito Street’s XL burritos ($12.99-$15.99) have been among the most popular menu items, loaded with refried beans, cheese, pico de gallo, grilled onions and your protein of choice. The kitchen took it to the next level by wrapping these behemoths in bacon.

“People are going crazy for it,” Chavez says. “All of a sudden, we have bloggers reaching out and taking pictures of it and building a following.”

Closer to the Strip, friendly San Diego transplant the Taco Stand made its debut June 15 at the Lotus, next door to Sushi Kame. Like Taqueria Street, the Taco Stand feels like an urban taco shop that you’d dip into while roaming bars and shops, even if pedestrian traffic isn’t really a thing on Spring Mountain Road.

Fresh handmade tortillas are the foundation for the tacos here, which focus on carne asada ($3.79), al pastor ($2.99), pollo asado ($2.99) and seafood options. Nopal (cactus) tacos come with melted cheese, cilantro sauce, tomato and avocado ($2.99), and the Taco Stand also offers Sonora-style tacos ($4.89) with a flour tortilla filled with steak, cheese, beans, guac, onions, cilantro and salsa.

Rounding out its offerings is the steak and fries-filled California burrito ($8.59), a surf-and-turf burrito with steak and shrimp ($9.69), quesadillas, fries topped nacho-style, elotes ($3.50) and breakfast burritos.

It’s a good time to be a taco lover in Las Vegas.

THE TACO STAND 3616 Spring Mountain Road, 702-268-8762. Daily, 11 a.m.-midnight.

TAQUITO STREET 5115 Spring Mountain Road #234, 702-504-3050. Tuesday-Sunday, 2-8 p.m.

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An award-winning writer who has been documenting life in Las Vegas for more than 20 years, Brock Radke covers entertainment ...

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