Omnivore - Eating at 1 a.m. at Mama's Cocina Latina

Taco Cabana is sold and reborn


As the un-scoopable Tomorrow's News Today reported recently, the iconic late-night Taco Cabana has suddenly been sold and renamed Mama's Cocina Latina.

I've been unable to learn who the new owners are, but Mama's is not part of a chain. The change occurs shortly after Taco Cabana's parent company announced a public offer of $2 million in common stock.

They said it couldn't be done but I actually ordered the al pastor torta at Mama's Friday night about 1 a.m. That was after consuming a gigantic burger at Ann's Snack Bar around 2 p.m. I thought I wouldn't be hungry for 24 hours. I was wrong and the former Taco Cabana seemed like the only choice.

The menu hasn't changed much. My torta wasn't bad, but I'm not sure why that are calling its pork filling al pastor. There was no taste of pineapple and I did no see a rotisserie in the kitchen. Nor was the meat in any part caramelized and there wasn't a spot of orange to be found. It was more like shredded carnitas with grilled onions, some avocado, and a few jalapeno slices.

I was at least partly right about my hunger. I couldn't eat the bread and scraped the meat onto the plate and anointed it with one of the red sauces on the condiment bar. (The green sauce was like water.)

Whatever else I could say about Mama's, I was glad to see a Carmen-Miranda-like face on the sign out front.