Well, I never would have thought that the first place I would hit up after a 9 month layoff would be a place in Thousand Oaks. Maybe that's just a testament to the sad state of affairs this blog is currently in. But baby steps dammit! baby steps...
Should I just reintroduce myself?
My name is Rob, I live in Newbury Park, California. I am the owner of three children and have loved eating tacos since at least 1982-1983; or whenever it was the Lakers got swept by the Sixers in the finals. I started this blog 2 years ago (I think??) with the sole purpose of cataloging taquerias and places that sell tacos strictly in the Ventura County with hopes of finding awesome tasting tacos.
Anyway- Thousand Oaks is a place I have ties to; it was my first entrance into the Ventura County. My parents moved me and my sister there from the San Fernando Valley when I was 12. Needless to say, I always thought that Thousand Oaks had a horrible Mexican Food scene. However, in the last 2-3 years they have really turned things around.
What with new entries including: the amazing Esablos Meat Market, the mostly okay Siesta Market , the fantastic Loteria Grill and the utterly bourgeois Sabor (I'm still not going there, please stop asking) there are now some solid options when it comes Mexican food around those parts.
And with that there is now this place: Badass Tacos. There's no actual sign that states this as the name of course. Nope, just the use of the unfortunate neon sign above (Hello my Caucasian/Suburban friends! "Street Tacos" here!!).
The set up is this: They put up some tents, a grill, a rotisserie (for the Al Pastor) and a table for salsa's and such all in front of the Thousand Oaks Meat Locker on Thousand Oaks blvd. Plus, there's a lady there selling some Mexican pastries too. It has the look and feel of a backyard cook out.
I ended up ordering 4 tacos: Carne Asada, Pastor, Pollo and one called Cochinita. Plus a nice cold horchata.
All the tacos came plain; I had to top them myself with cilantro, onions and salsa. They have 3 salsas available: Verde, Verde/Avocado and Roasted Roja. All quite tasty but nothing mouth blisteringly spicy.
The pollo: I still don't know why so many dudes try and pull off the whole grilled chicken breast thing. Just too dry. The safer play would have been to go for the Chicken Tinga (shredded & spicy). But alas, Badass tacos throws their hat into the ring with mixed results; still too dry but a very nice spice rub that produces a spicy flavor. I ordered it for my daughter but she only ate half. I doused the rest with the avocado salsa and it turned out pretty good. Nice try guys, solid flavor, even better with all the fixings on top but chicken breast is just not on my list of favorite things to eat. Give it a try if that's your thing.
Carne Asada: Very flavorful and tender. It didn't have any crispy bits really or any chard parts but the flavor was bold and mouth feel almost velvety. Excellent.
Al Pastor: This one was awesome with the cuts of pineapple on top. Very traditional in taste yet mellow in the typical Pastor spice rub department. Much like the asada, very tender, very good.
Cochinita: This one was the stand out: Tender, moist and shredded with a mellow pork flavor and just hints of crispy bits through out. I guess this would be considered Carnitas really, but its just different enough to be its own taco. Almost on the side of pulled pork but not quite, in its own sub-genre...
Tortillas were just okay; I wish they were much hotter and maybe slightly dipped in some grease or stew and then thrown on the grill. But what the hell do I know? I'm just a guy that runs (not really) a half ass blog.
Give this place a try though, they know what they're doing and it shows. Also there are other interesting options on the menu that I will come back and try. Remember that they're open only from Thursday to Sunday 6:00-11:30 pm. 4/5 stars.
2684 East Thousand Oaks Boulevard
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362