Just $8 for a real, hand car wash? Yes, indeed. Okay, an SUV is $15. There's no big, high-tech, water-wasting machine. Just energetic guys at a family-run place. No fancy AC'ed waiting room, no copies of The New York Times, no Muzak. Skip the respadura (perfume spray). It's still a deal, and you can go to La Princessita nearby, get some fresh tortillas, then come back and sit on the benches and relax. Everyone working at Soto Car Wash is related or is related to someone who knows someone. Stopping by on Sunday, after attending one of the many churches in this Eastside neighborhood, is a local ritual — and the already busy place really bustles. Sometimes you can buy CDs of the latest in norteño, which may or may not be bootlegged. There's usually a taco truck parked nearby, which sells good horchata and outstanding al pastor tacos and a paleta vendor can be counted upon to swing by, peddling fruity ice pops on sticks. 2416 E. Fourth St., L.A.

—Kate Coe

LA Weekly