When I travelled to Japan, the food was like none other. Every restaurant I chose was better than the last. Sushi, ramen, tsukemen, udon, tonkatsu: there was a restaurant for everything, but there wasn’t a restaurant for everything. The secret behind Japanese excellence is specializing in one dish and doing it as perfectly as anyone could. I was reminded of the food from my recent trip in the place I least expected: the old railroads of Slauson Avenue in South Los Angeles, 10 minutes from USC. In a random truck slightly down the street from taco ancient Tacos Los Poblanos, newcomer Teddy's Red Tacos serves up the perfect birria de res. 

What is Birria de Res?

Teddy’s puts this traditional Jalisciense dish in a myriad of wrappings for possibly the juiciest, most flavorful plate I have had the fortune to stumble across. Because there is no choice of meat, the options on the menu are only which type of tortilla style you would like the staff to prepare: taco, tostada, mulita or quesadilla filled with the birria. What makes ordering even easier for the indecisive explorer is the deluxe plate. For the wonderful price of $10, you get all four options filled with the delicious pulled steak.

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to talk to the owner, entrepreneur and chef behind it all, Teddy Vasquez. He learned how to cook his birria recipe from a friend at a young age and this truck was where he first put it to use. He explained that the secret to his success was a great recipe, a social media presence, and above all, the willingness to go the extra mile for his customers. I can even attest to this as every time I’ve been; he was super kind to everyone, even in his high stress, busy environment. I am even now an example of how his customer service and dedication to the happiness of his diners have had them constantly spreading the word and wanting to return.

After three years of business, Teddy’s has taken off, exploding on social media and getting features in LA Taco, Eater LA, and even the Los Angeles Times (I’m in the background of their video!). Teddy is a humble entrepreneur, a joy to talk to, and his success is certainly well deserved.