East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Los Pescuezitos: a culture symbol of East L.A.

The “Santa Rita” taco truck located on 3900 block of 1st Street or as everyone calls it, “Los Pescuezitos,” has for a very long time been a cultural symbol of East L.A.

The taco truck is located in an empty lot on the corner of 1st Street and Dickerson Avenue. The lot’s walls are painted with beautiful murals and some graffiti which is a big part of Mexican culture. Aside from serving traditional Mexican food like tacos and burritos, the spot has become a weekly, if not, daily part of the average East L.A. resident’s life.

Every weekend, the Santa Rita taco truck is flooded with customers ready to feast. They’re most famous for their “pescuezitos” or chicken necks, which is where the taco truck’s nickname comes from. The necks are served with a side of fresh salsa, cucumber, cilantro, onions, and tortillas which give you the choice of eating them as tacos or right off the bone.

But pescuezitos isn’t the only thing the Santa Rita taco truck sells. They also sell tortas, tacos, and burritos. You have a choice of chicken, steak, al pastor, chorizo, and lengua. The spot also sells their very own “agua de pina” which is pineapple water as well as “agua de Jamaica” which is Hibiscus punch to wash down all the delicious food.

Because of its convenience, the taco truck mostly serves locals from the area. It’s open until 3 a.m., so it attracts mostly workers that are up early in the morning. But it doesn’t only serve workers, it’s also very welcoming towards families.

The business invested in an outdoor sitting area where families can enjoy their food peacefully. There is also other vendors in the spot which sell anything from traditional Mexican candy to “chips with chamoy” so you can see why it’s also a place for kids.

If this place were to disappear it would let people who regularly enjoy this delicious food down and also take many good relationships that have been built at the spot. People would no longer be able to take their families to enjoy the delicious “pescuezitos”.

I still remember the first time I tried the famous “pescuezitos” when I was about 11 years old. My parents took me to the place and upon arriving I saw many people lined up ordering, others waiting for their food, and many more eating; the smell of the tacos and grease filled the air.

At first I was a bit skeptical about trying this new food, especially because it wasn’t very pleasing to the eye. But as soon as I took a bite, it was a whole new experience. The chewiness of the meat combined with the crunchiness of the skin created an explosion of flavors that went so well together. The grease from the necks wasn’t too much but it was enough to add even more flavor.

The choice of drink I went with was agua de pina and I do not regret it one bit. It tasted very sweet but not artificially sweet, it was that naturally flavored sweet.

I could see why so many people loved the Santa Rita taco truck and why it has become such a big part of the community.