I’ll admit to being a bit out of the loop. I was not familiar with the makeshift taco stand on a desolate stretch of South Broadway. Yes, it’s buzzing with activity during daylight, but in the wee after hours, it’s barren except for homeless folks with pushcarts. In fact, I was sure I must have been on the wrong street as I passed one locked storefront after another. Well, I wasn’t lost.
The green lawn chairs I had seen in photos suddenly appeared as did the King of Late Night munchies busy at the grill chopping meat and flipping tortillas in sync to the rhythm of James Brown. So who is this maestro of tacos that cures the hunger pangs of night owls until 3:00am? Not Carlos, Eduardo or Juan. It’s Ben McMillan, a restaurant veteran on a mission to introduce Angelenos to the pleasures of street food.
When I asked Ben “why tacos” the answer was simple: “everyone loves tacos.” He knew better than to compete with traditional and established vendors, but he also felt non-traditionalists were getting a bit too fancy for what he had in mind. Ben experimented with family recipes and comfort food ingredients and fed them to friends and neighbors until White Boy Tacos was born.
So what’s in a White Boy Taco? The Rooster Cogburn has Seagram’s marinated steak, red, green and yellow peppers, hash browns and cilantro topped with homemade Srilacha aioli. The Manuel Uribe is filled with slow-cooked BBQ pork, hickory smoked bacon, coleslaw and queso fresco. There is also Donald Duck and chili marinated tofu and newly added burritos and quesadillas. And he delivers. And he is also a big advocate for DTLA’s homeless. Just purchase a lottery ticket from White Boy, then give it to a homeless person who can then redeem the ticket for a taco. You feel good and someone gets fed. It’s a win-win.
What’s in the future for White Boy? Well, if Ben has his way, more grills, another location, and a vibrant street food culture.
White Boy Tacos
740 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90014