But I was never a big fan. Even by KFC standards it was a lousy location. Still, I figured it would always be there. So I was surprised one day to drive past and see that it was gone. A few weeks later I noticed a sign in the window: "Mexican Food Coming Soon."
I'm not going to lie - I had very low expectations for the place. Even when it opened and there were lines out the door, it didn't mean much to me. Sierra Madre has supported another Mexican restaurant for almost seven years; I have eaten there four times and feel comfortable calling it the worst Mexican restaurant I have ever been to in Southern California.
But a friend of mine - whose opinion of Mexican food I value more than anyone I know - tried it a couple of months ago and told me it was very good. So I decided to give a try one day when it was convenient. Over the weekend Elizabeth and I stopped by my parents' house to do some things. We decided tacos sounded good.
One of the best fish tacos I have ever had, and I got it in Sierra Madre. No matter how many times I write it, it still amazes me.
"You guys will be going there within the next few days, right?" I asked my mom.
"I'm sure," she said.
As it turned out, I would be going there within the next few hours.
"How long ago did you ask me about Taco Fiesta?" my dad inquired later in the afternoon, with a tone in his voice that I could tell indicated hunger.
"Two and a half hours ago," I said. "Do you want some now."
He said only if someone else wanted something, but we were all full. Still, he's my dad and it's only three blocks away, so I said I would be glad to go back. He requested four machaca (shredded beef) tacos with cilantro and no onions.
I didn't get a taste of them but I was able to take a couple of photographs and they looked good. Perhaps next time I will try one... but I'm guessing my next trip to Taco Fiesta will consist of two fish tacos and maybe one al pastor if I'm still hungry. Or maybe just a third fish taco.
By the way, it was a different girl working than had been earlier in the day. I told her about not receiving my chips and started to show her the receipt but she quickly said "No problem, I'll give you some right now."
They are friendly, it is clean inside, and the food is delicious. This is different from the KFC in every way, and that is a very good thing.