The Great Los Angeles Taco Tour
Let’s just get this out of the way – Los Angeles has the best tacos in the country. Problem is, LA has a dizzying surplus of amazing tacos – from restaurants to street vendors to food trucks, you can’t throw a rock without hitting some top notch al pastor. So if you’re visiting or you’re just a townie looking to experience some of the best that the city has to offer, this taco tour is just for you.
But take heed, taco tourist! You might want to eat your tacos outside of your Uber driver’s car – it’s going to get messy.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that’s why we’re starting with Homestate, the peerless makers of the best breakfast taco in LA. Chorizo or brisket with eggs on a freshly made corn tortilla? A thousand times yes. The style is undeniably Tex-Mex, but we’re OK with claiming it as one of our own. Also, if you’ve just stumbled out of bed, they have Austin’s famous Cuvee coffee to help you get your taco tour started.
If you were looking for the Mexican equivalent to the Jewish Deli, then look no further than Eagle Rock’s Cacao Mexicatessen. Sure, you can pick up some of their homemade salsas or tortillas from the deli case, and you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but the duck carnitas taco is something to write home about. Vegetarian options include an equally good zucchini and squash taco topped with a queso greco and pumpkin seeds. Of course, you shouldn’t hesitate to order it alongside a spicy Mexican hot chocolate.
Ricky’s Fish Tacos
Delongpre and Virgil, behind the Vons. Remember this mantra and you will find the single best fish taco you will ever eat. This is high praise to be sure, but Ricky’s Ensenada style fish tacos are as iconic as an In-N-Out animal style double double. The shrimp tacos are also fantastic, but keeps your eyes on the prize – you’re here for a perfectly cooked piece of fried fish topped with cabbage and a pico de gallo with a slight kick. Don’t forget to order some aguas frescas to wash it all down.
Danny Trejo of Machete and Desperado fame recently opened up his own taco shop, Trejo’s Tacos. You can’t miss it because his face is plastered right on the sign. It would be easy to write this off as another bored celebrity dabbling in the culinary arts, but the asada and fried chicken tacos alone are worth the visit. While it veers slightly gourmet, there are plenty of vegan options like black pepper tofu and rainbow cauliflower. He’s even got his own kombucha on tap, which…yeah, that’s pretty Hollywood. But it’s really, really good.
This is the perfect way to end your LA taco tour, because like Vanessa Williams says, you need to save the best for last. You’re going to pay a lot more than you normally would for one of taco wizard Wes Avila’s majestic creations, but can you really put a price on perfection? LA Timesfood critic and drool enabler, Jonathan Gold, raves about Guerrilla Tacos and while the menu is constantly changing from week to week it is consistently fantastic. Don’t be afraid to try everything on the menu as the ingredients are locally sourced, beyond fresh, and seasonal. Make sure to check their twitter handle regularly as their truck is constantly on the move.
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