Located in Koreatown just two miles from the University of Southern California, this casual Mexican café often has visitors lining up outside the door for signature dishes like the burrito de carne asada, stuffed with tender grilled steak, and the tacos al pastor featuring marinated, slow-cooked pork. Marked by colorful murals on the exterior, El Taurino is equally vibrant inside, where simple wooden furniture is brightened by adobe-hued walls, lush plants, and arches trimmed with royal blue tiles. On weekends, homemade barbacoa estilo Texcoco (oven-steamed lamb) draws an even larger crowd than usual.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.