Dish Diaries: Vegan food stand Pacha Tacos’ food packs a flavorful punch


Natalie Miranda

Three vegan tacos, wrapped in blue corn tortillas, in a to-go box from Pacha Taco on Oct. 4, 2020, in Sun Valley, Calif.

Monserrat Solis, Assistant Culture Editor

It’s not surprising when a new taco stand pops up on my corner, but when a vegan stand emerges — oh, I’m there.

Daily Sundial journalist Monserrat Solis holds a vegan calamari taco wrapped in a blue corn tortilla from Pacha Taco on National Taco Day on Oct. 4, 2020, in Sun Valley, California. (Natalie Miranda)

Pacha Taco followed me on Instagram a few days before National Taco Day, a beautiful day where tacos in every shape and form are celebrated. They promised their audience a new form of tacos tackling traditional meat Asada tacos with 100% vegan substitutions. Seeing as I am a flexitarian, a diet consisting of eating vegetarian and plant-based whenever possible, I gravitate toward any new vegan hotspots.

Pacha Taco was started by the Zentero family. Igor Zentero, the founder and chef, wanted to start a business because of the positive feedback he received from friends and family after he started experimenting and creating new vegan dishes.

At first glance, what was a small tent placed in front of Arminta Street Elementary School in Sun Valley offered street tacos that packed a flavorful punch. Their menu was small with four items: Bolivian Sopa de Mani, tacos de asada, chorizo con papa and calamari – all of which were wrapped in blue corn tortillas.

A to-go container of sopa de mani, a peanut soup, from Pacha Taco on Oct. 4, 2020, in Sun Valley. Pacha Taco, a new food stand, serves 100% vegan dishes. (Natalie Miranda)

I was pleasantly surprised when I tried their tacos.

Asada tacos are a staple in all taquerías and Pacha Taco has it too — with a twist. Their version of the traditional dish consisted of soy asada marinated with a mushroom-onion gravy concoction and a homemade vegetable stock topped with a tomato and corn pico de gallo. Like every taquería, this taco can’t go wrong and will satisfy any eater.

An assortment of vegan tacos — tacos de asada, left, chorizo con papa and calamari — from Pacha Taco in Sun Valley, Calif. on Oct. 4, 2020. (Natalie Miranda)

The chorizo con papa taco was soy-marinated with guajillo chili mixed with fried potatoes topped with a creamy avocado sauce and golden brown crunchy onion crisps that added a diverse texture to an otherwise boring taco.

The star of the show was the fried hearts of palm, disguised as calamari, fried-to-order with a jicama coleslaw adding a sweet contrast to the jalapeño aji sauce and seaweed crisps. The addition of crispy onion crisps, seaweed crisps and jicama coleslaw is what I enjoyed from the tacos — a nontraditional topping to what I grew up eating.

Pacha Taco is new to the street food scene but their tacos speak for themselves: a combination of traditional and non-traditional flavors to satisfy anyone craving street tacos on a meatless diet.

Pacha Tacos is located on Beck Avenue and Strathern Street in Sun Valley. Their hours are posted on their Instagram, @Pachataco.