Friday, October 21, 2016

A taste of Vietnam with your potato taco

Potato tacos at Xoia./Valentina Silva

By Valentina Silva

I love potato tacos. A lot of people don’t, and I blame the overwhelming amount of bad potato tacos (soggy, bland, and uninspired) for misrepresenting the entire category. Perhaps my appreciation comes from the fact that I usually make mine at home, giving them an Indian twist with Chef Raghavan Iyer’s smoky yellow dal recipe. This way, I get to bypass most restaurant versions, though I am guilty of pigging out on the greasy bombs they serve over at El Atacaor #11 after a few drinks and under the cloak of night.

There is one potato taco that recently came onto my radar that actually gives its brethren a good name: the Mashed Curry Potatoes and Carrot Taco at Xoia Vietnamese Eats in Echo Park. This one gets it right for so many reasons. For one, the filling is flavorful thanks to the sweetness of the carrots and, of course, the savory curry, which really pops. The crunch factor is also spot on. The filling of a potato taco is unavoidably mushy, so a certain amount of crunch is necessary—the crispy tortilla and shreds of red cabbage are perfect for the task.

The finishing touches don’t miss, either. Vietnamese coriander, which is similar to cilantro, and a house-made sauce of Oaxacan crema, coconut milk and Sriracha add to the overall flavor. I think about these tacos a lot.

Not bad for $6.99.


Valentina Silva writes about food and restaurants. You can also find Valentina’s reviews and stories on her blog, Eastside Food Bites.

Eastsider Advertising


  1. MORRION HOTEL “The Door!”

  2. Grahm Wellington

    Never found potato tacos appealing enough to try, but these sound good.

    I’ll probably get them to go though. Xoia has hit strike three on dine-in experience (wouldn’t say bad service, will say aloof) but the food is always excelent.

  3. Haven’t had this taco, sounds interesting… but I’ve got to say that this place otherwise makes some of the WORST Vietnamese food that I’ve ever had. I’ve always wondered how it remains open; maybe everyone is ordering the potato tacos?

  4. @Jonathan, Xoia is a very polarizing restaurant for some reason. I think some of their dishes are really good, but it is fusion, so it’s not “authentic” per se, which turns some people off. Have you had their banh mi? I think the carnitas one is particularly good.

  5. Xoia is mighty tasty, in my opinion.

    The Bun, cold vermicelli noodles, with crispy egg rolls is addicting!
    It’s the perfect light meal, particularly on a hot summer day.
    Topped with lemongrass pork or tofu, with the crispy egg rolls. – is quite good.

    As is the Banh Mi sandwich, particularly the half sandwich with soup lunch special.

    Much love for Xoia.

  6. Potato tacos are a latin thing as well . I have amazing family recipes for potato tacos that would defy these -for sure . Its not just about the potato but what you top ’em with . Sorry but the Xoia tacos are a little on the “ok” side , but nice try.

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *