Tacos with an Asian Twist: Rakken Tacos in Commerce, CA

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Are you in the mood for some yummy food? Let’s taco ’bout it!

Guys, I love puns just as much as I love food. I just had to get that out of the way. Ok! Now let’s begin.

Rakken Tacos is a very unassuming restaurant in the middle of a strip mall in Commerce. I admit, I had no idea how far Commerce was when I volunteered to go to a tasting here. But let me tell you, it was worth the drive.

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Rakken Tacos
 2444 South Atlantic Boulevard, Commerce, CA 90040
www.rakkentacos.com

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Black Rose Tea

The décor is so cute. A large chalkboard with the menu items is the first thing you see when you walk in. There are beautifully stained wood trim, counter tops, and tableschalkboard As I approached the counter top, I was overwhelmed at what to try, so Ken, the owner, recommended that I have a little of everything. I did not argue. First, he encouraged me to try one of their teas, they are native to the east coast and are shipped in just for Rakken. They will soon have an exclusive west coast list of teas. I tried the black rose flavor. They are unsweetened, so it’s perfect for those who don’t want sugar overload. And there are no calories. Trust me; you’ll want to save that for the food.

After taking my order, Ken insisted I try the homemade jerky. His mother makes it especially for the restaurant. How cute is that? And it’s just as delicious. Not too tough and seasoned just right. I decided to look around while I waited for my order. A beautiful mural caught my eye at the other end of Rakken.

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Rakken’s custom mural

 

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Garlic Crab Fries

The rest of the walls were left simple, with the exception of the taco joint’s clever slogan on the adjoining wall that says, “Play hard. Eat harder.” Now for the food! First up, was the crab fries. Oh man, I could have easily filled up on these bad boys, but I showed restraint. Definitely a dish worth sharing.

I tried four different tacos. The Rakken al pastor taco, their namesake, had grilled Vietnamese lemongrass pork, sriracha mayo, onions and shiso leaves. The Pho taco had flank steak simmered in pho broth, onions, basil leaves with a hoisin-sriracha drizzle. Buttery shrimp taco had, you guessed it, buttery garlic shrimp with lemon and purple pickled onions. And lastly, but certainly not least, was the yuzu carne asada taco with marinated steak, Japanese citrus sauce, onions and shiso leaves.

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From left, clockwise: Al Pastor, Pho, Shrimp, Yuzu

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I have to say the Pho tacos were mine. It was such an interesting take on a taco and just the right amount of crunch. But, a close second was the butter shrimp taco. For dessert, I chose the Oreo churro with Vietnamese coffee drizzle. This is the stuff of angels. Rakken is a hip place and an easy drive from the east side of LA. I recommend making stopping here on your way to the casino, before a trip to the outlets, or just anytime you are hungry for a little something different.

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Pho Taco

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Oreo Churro

 

Christina B

Left to my own devices I would most certainly live off microwave dinners and cereal. My backyard has a lime tree, though. And I make killer margaritas with them. That’s gotta count for some domestic goddess points. Am I right? My lack of culinary skill in the kitchen doesn’t change the fact that I love to eat. I’ll try anything. I’ve even grubbed on a grasshopper. It was covered in chocolate, but it COUNTS. I’m adventurous, darnit! I love diving in and sampling new things from different cultures. Extra points if I’m in the country the food is native to. Bonus points, if it’s paired with wine. I’m excited to explore LA and see what this city of mine has to feed me. Maybe I’ll even learn how to cook along the way.

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