Colonia Taco Lounge — Party Trays

taco party

When we were thinking of what food to serve at Robin’s 1st birthday party, we primary wanted things that 1.) tasted good, 2.) was low effort, and 3.) most people would like.  After shooting around some options and finding pros and cons of each, I suddenly thought of Colonia Taco Lounge. Will and I already loved their food, but the question was whether or not their stuff would travel well and whether or not they would do party trays.

The answer is yes and yes.

Some taco fillings at Colonia are better suited to making the trip in a party tray from the restaurant to the park than others.  Luckily, the folks at Colonia took the stress out of deciding which fillings traveled better than others by giving us a suggested list of things to pick from. We chose the tesmole (chicken and mole), pork & pumpkin, huitlacoche, chayote, and a tray of guacamole and chips. The trays also included their delicious house-made tortilla. The total turned out to be $200 not including tip.

We were told that each tray would feed 15-20 people, so we expected four trays (plus a tray of guacamole) to feed at least 60 people. Well, their food was so good that the two meat trays were gone in a short amount of time and the vegetarian trays (huitlacoche and chayote) were also very popular.

I was happy with our decision to get the party trays from Colonia because it meant we didn’t have the stress of cooking or making food for our guests at the party, and we got to eat delicious food.  The restaurant also went out of their way to accommodate us by having a person at the restaurant on a day when they were closed (Labor day) so that we could pick up the food. A-plus!

I would have taken a picture of the food, but I was too busy eating and by the time I was done, there was not much to take pictures of.

Colonia Taco Lounge
13030 Valley Blvd
La Puente, CA 91746

Tacolandia 2014

The Good

The LA Weekly comped my 2 tickets in hopes that I would write about it. Which I am doing right now.

One of the first tacos I had this Saturday was the bacalao/octopus/seafood salad taco from La Guerrerense of Ensanada. It was so good that I went back to get a second helping. It was so good that both times, I devoured it before taking a picture it. The only bad thing is that I’d have to go to Mexico or wait till next year to try their taco again.

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Eggslut’s pork and quail egg taco was perfect:  Crispy, flavorful pork underneath a perfectly fried quail egg and a pile of thin-sliced pickles and herbs. I don’t know what that puree under the pork was, but it was tasty.  Like their GCM location, the Eggslut tent also had a long, winding line in front of it.  I hope this taco makes an appearance on the GCM menu soon.

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The surprise of the day was that there was a vegetarian taco stand that was super nice about leaving off the dairy to make a vegan taco. The second surprise was that their taco was really good. Taco Maria’s mushroom chorizo taco with house-made chips on top were so good I almost thought Will got a meat taco by mistake.  The best part was that because their taco was vegetarian, there wasn’t that much of a line for it, so it was easy to get seconds.  People who avoided that tent because it was vegetarian missed out, but more tacos for us!

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Thanks to a tip from a friend, I got in line for a smelt taco from Corazón y Miel. It was artfully plated and tasted as good as it looked. The smelt was full of eggs that popped delightfully between my teeth. This was a different take on a fish taco that I enjoyed.

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I had another octopus taco which I believe was from Picca.  It was good, but its flavors were nowhere near as good as the one from La Guerrerense. I thought the flavors of Picca’s was a bit muddied and not as bright as what I would expect from them. What a great problem to have: one tasty octopus taco was not as delicious as another one.

 

The Bad

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I really wanted to like the fish taco at Pez Cantina. They had an impressive array of house-made condiments for the fish taco. But no amount of condiment could disguise an over-cooked piece of fish.  The batter was nice and crispy, but the fish itself was dry, hard, and tasteless.  Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by fish tacos from Taco Baja Ensenada, but this one was just not worth the line.

 

The Ugly

The line to get into the event was pretty slow.  Considering most people had printed tickets or tickets on their phone, I would expect the line to get processed pretty quickly, but that wasn’t the case. But that line was nowhere near as bad as the line for drinks.

Whoever decided that alcohol and bottles of water would be bought at the same measly handful of locations needs to re-think that plan.  Those lines snaked through several food lines, adding to a lot of confusion. If I were one of the people who bought drink tickets with their ticket and I had to stand in a 30-minute line for a $5 crappy beer or sticky sour mix cocktail, I’d be pretty angry.  I didn’t have drink tickets and I’m still angry about that.

From what I hear about the tequila garden, it was similarly disappointing.  I get that the Weekly has to make money off of an event like this, but having big soulless tequila vendors and Spearmint Rhino stands in the festival clashed with the better curated food vendors.

Tacos at Colonia Taco Lounge

I visited Colonia Taco Lounge for lunch and was met with a disappointment: the cauliflower taco I was intent on ordering was out!  Luckily, there were still plenty of tacos to choose from on the board and I was still pretty happy with my three choices.

Colonial Taco Lounge

Campion: This taco was ridiculously good. Crispy bacon, crumbly, rich cheese, and creamy, ripe avocado.  The slices of green onion were a surprise and added a great accent to the taco by cutting down on the richness.

 

Colonial Taco Lounge

Doraditos: Potato and cheese taco that’s fried till crisp, then topped with lightly-dressed lettuce, a cream sauce, and more cheese. What’s not to like about this one? It comes from the kitchen hot and crispy so be careful not to burn your mouth on it.

 

Colonial Taco LoungeChayote: A spicy stew of chayote, tomatoes, corn, and onions.  This taco had quite a kick.  By default, it’s vegetarian, but cheese can be left off for vegans.

I convinced Will to go with me the next day to try some more tacos and scored this second time. Cauliflower tacos!

 

Colonia taco lounge

Cauliflower: These are a great vegetarian (not vegan because the batter has butter!) alternative to the fish taco.  Strangely, this was served on a flour tortilla instead of a corn one.  The batter was crispy while the cauliflower inside still had a firm and satisfying texture.  The cream sauce and corn brought this to a whole other level.

 

Colonia taco lounge

Lengua/tongue: This was tender and spicy.  It was good but didn’t stand out from the other tongue tacos I’ve had.

 

I had high hopes for Colonia Taco Lounge and it did not disappoint. The corn tortillas are flavorful. The taco fillings are satisfying. The michelada is thirst-quenching with the right amount of kick. The only thing I don’t like about this place is it’s too far from my house.

 

Colonia Taco Lounge

13030 E. Valley Blvd
La Puente, CA 91746

(626) 363-4691