Little Village’s Asian Cuisine Express serves exactly what you’d expect — a menu of Chinese, Japanese, and Thai dishes. But you’ll also see a sign on the door: “$1 Tacos al Pastor, Lunes Solo.” That's because it's also a taqueria. See the giant deep red cone of spit-cooked pork spinning behind the counter? It's Chicago’s best al pastor, ready to be sliced off the trompo and tucked into tortillas with pineapple, cilantro, and onions. The tacos aren’t just far superior to other al pastor around town — they’re on par with the ones at Mexico’s best spots.

The man behind the trompo is Iker Torres, who runs Taquizas los Primos, a taco catering company. After tasting his tacos at pop-ups, Asian Cuisine Express’s owners, Gregorio Gomez Galicia and Lucy Kinsley, tapped Torres to serve them at the restaurant. He marinates pork in adobada, a blend of spices and chiles, then stacks the meat on a specially built spit. When you order, he flips a switch, and a flame sears the meat as it twirls around. The whole process, from flip to plate, takes less than 60 seconds, including the time required to thinly slice the al pastor off the cone right into the tortilla before flicking a piece of pineapple on top. Tacos are $1.50, but as the sign notes, they’re just $1 on Mondays. And that’s good news — you’re going to want to eat as many as possible. 3823 W. 31st St., Little Village

Four More Restaurants Within Restaurants to Try

Jinsei Motto
Hiding within: CH Distillery

Even serious omakase fans don’t know about this new hidden gem. Tucked inside CH Distillery, Jinsei Motto offers both à la carte dining and 14-course omakase spreads. At $130 a person, it’s one of the better omakase deals in town. Book via Tock. 564 W. Randolph St., West Loop

The Study at Heritage
Hiding within: Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar

This fine dining experience beneath Heritage is like a rotating “class” in a cuisine, such as a recent menu that explored how German and Midwestern cuisines merged. The dinner is $200 and includes eight courses. Book via Tock. 2700 W. Chicago Ave., Humboldt Park

The Bamboo Room
Hiding within: Three Dots and a Dash

Located in the former private dining room of Three Dots and a Dash, the Bamboo Room is a ticketed cocktail experience featuring rare spirits and a different menu from the hopping tiki bar. It’s a must for fans of vintage rum. Book via Tock. 435 N. Clark St., Near North Side

Izakaya at Momotaro
Hiding within: Momotaro

Under the fanciness of Momotaro's upstairs is a dark, comfortable spot modeled on a traditional Japanese izakaya. Drink Japanese whiskey, munch on sushi and snacks, and impress your date by knowing about this spot. Book via OpenTable. 820 W. Lake St., West Loop