A few feet away from the Echo Park Avenue exit off the 101 Freeway, the aroma of grilled carna asada and pungent chorizo filled the Friday night air near a blue canopy propped up against a chain link fence that runs along Bellevue Avenue. The roar of the freeway coming from the other side of the fence served as a background to the sounds of sizzling meat, a cleaver pounding away at a plastic cutting board and the voices of men, women and children ordering $1.25 tacos. Welcome to La Movidita, a weekend Angeleno Heights pop-up taco stand that has been dubbed The Bellevue Steakhouse by its fans on Yelp. In fact, a customer created a Bellevue Steakhouse sign and menu that hangs from the fence next to a bag of napkins and plates.
“People really love this place,” said Carlos, a Friday-night regular who brought his two sons and wife. On Friday, he worked on foam plate packed with four tacos, a combination of al pastor and carne asada. “We have been following them every where they go.”
Behind the grill and under the blue canopy, owner Juan Carlos Mora has been at his current location on Bellevue for about three years, where Mora sets up shortly after 6 p.m. on Friday through Sunday, serving up tacos of carne asada, chorizo, cabeza, al pastor, lengua and the most popular, suadero. La Movidita was named after a lonchera or food truck Mora owned about a decade ago. He sold the truck but kept selling tacos, hauling equipment in a Ford Aerostar van. Mora has operated from several locations over the years, including a garage across the street and, according to his customers, spots near Echo Park Lake and on Beverly Boulevard. But no matter where he goes, Mora’s customers have followed him on the street, and, now, online via Yelp.
The Bellevue Steakhouse tacos are even better than two other Echo Park street food favorites: the Arizas and Taco Zone trucks, according to customers. Said one man on Yelp:
I‘d like to keep this place to myself but I really like the honest, kind people who run the stand and I’d love to see them steal some business away from the trucks. But don’t go for that reason. Go because they are the best damn tacos you will ever eat.