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This ‘Sonora-Style’ Trompo From Lennox Is Building a Street Taco Empire and Taking Over Los Angeles

There’s a brand new road taco stand quickly taking up Los Angeles, and it’s not doing it with the power of social media; it’s using the drive of a formidable brick-colored Sonora-style trompo de adobada.

In just over a year and a half, spouse and husband duo Mariana Yepes and Arturo Vasquez have taken Ricos Tacos Naomi from one taco stand on Nordoff and Woodman in Arleta to 14 stands all around the city. Mariana opened the valley location in 2018, but on January 28th, 2021, they started their growth with their second stand of their hometown of Lennox, California. These aren’t easy stands, either. From the trompo on one end to the meat jacuzzi on the other, they provide a glut of meats from suadero and buche to flame-grilled asada. Additionally, six of their locations present handmade tortillas. 

In the substratum of Naomi’s taco assembly line, there is a history of classic L.A. taquerías influencing Tacos Naomi. Mariana, from Obregon, Sonora, and Arturo, who is from Guatemala, first met and fell in love working facet by side in Kogi’s first taco truck. Arturo ultimately ended up at Roy Choi’s A-Frame restaurant in Culver City, while Mariana moved on to King Taco. Tacos Naomi’s red salsa is inspired by King Taco’s. 

Arturo Vasquez of Tacos Naomi, Photo by Memo Torres.
Photo by Memo Torres.
Photo by Memo Torres.

Most of the recipes for the meats and other salsas have been passed down by Mariana’s mother. But to make the adobada for the Trompo, Mariana received help from “Al Pastor Taquería Vista Hermosa” in Mercado Paloma, the place she also worked a bit. Although the trompo from Mercado Paloma is called al pastor and the unique chef is from Michoacán, Mariana, when asked, acknowledged her trompo is a Sonora-style adobada along with her own flavors. “Most trompos out there are very simple, just some chiles, salt, and pepper. Ours is a better marinade,” Arturo tells L.A. TACO. 

And in fact, the marinade on the spit even seems different. You can virtually taste the flavor of the adobada with your eyes alone because the trompo handler turns the spit together with his blade and slices delicately chard pork ribbons onto a tortilla in his left hand as he prepares taco after taco. It’s like watching a potter sculpt a terra-cotta pot made from flame-kissed pork. It doesn’t have any sharp notes, it’s not over-salted, and it doesn’t style like a richly painted bland pork. It’s earthy, seasoned nicely, and so well-balanced that it just tastes like a solid but gentle embrace after a protracted day.

Photo by Memo Torres.

Photo by Memo Torres.

Fourteen years after assembly inside Kogi’s Taco Truck, they now have fourteen trompos across the metropolis in taco stands named after their fourteen-year-old daughter, Dankary Naomi Yepes. From the Valley to the west facet to even so far as Thousand Palms by Coachella, this street taco power duo is having an unprecedented development price attributed to their nice salsas and a vigorously flavored trompo. No social media or influencer investments; just bomb tacos that folks maintain coming again for. 

Expansion this quick does come with its share of issues, although. This week, the town and about six cops threw away all their food at their original Valley location. In Lennox, the caravan of taco vehicles that park on Hawthorne Boulevard forced Tacos Naomi to move to the facet street on Lennox. With a growing operation in a metropolis getting filled with common taqueros, the taco turf struggle is ever-increasing, and this operation is the latest contender. It’s tough on the market, but may one of the best trompo win, and it appears like Naomi’s is profitable. 

Photo by Memo Torres.
Photo by Memo Torres.
Photo by Memo Torres.

You can find most of Tacos Naomi’s locations on their Instagram or linktree, although not all are listed. They operate from Tuesday through Sunday evenings, and you can spot them wearing a black or burgundy polo with their yellow logo printed on the again.

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