I've been to a lot of odd taco shops on this journey. I've been to ones that don't open until 10PM, ones that are little more than a hole-in-the-wall kitchen with a couple of seats, one that's actually located in a landfill. El Rey is at least as strange as any of those. But not quite as in-your-face strange. More subtle, like a Jim Jarmusch movie.
El Rey is one of 4 businesses that occupy an industrial building in the middle of a sleepy, middle class urban neighborhood. There's a liquor store, a pizza joint, a barber shop, and El Rey. And I'm pretty sure there's no other business within a mile or so. Just this weird oasis of booze, food, and... barbery... surrounded by a bunch of houses.
And by all my standard criteria it should not be that good. The cook is a middle aged white guy. The carne asada is pre-cooked, sitting in a metal pan on the grill. They use only pico. The fries are not crispy. The tortilla is almost- almost- rubbery in texture. But somehow it works. Their California burrito is delicious. The fries are awesome. the whole thing is just great. I'd even say Top 10 for this one. Check it out.