Mexican Delight: The Top 5 Tacos in Los Angeles

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This was one of our more difficult pieces to write. Los Angeles is a treasure trove of good eats, and the thing you find almost as often as a donut shop is a taco joint. If you want to start a good argument with basically anyone in town, you can do one of two things: proclaim that you’re a Celtics fan or have an opinion about the best taco in town. If you want to sound like less of an idiot, memorize this list:

5 Mariscos Jalisco

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Mariscos Jalisco’s best item, hands down, is the tacos dorados de Cameron. What is that, you ask, because you don’t speak Spanish? It’s a monster shrimp-stuffed fried taco served standing up in a small bathtub of delicious salsa. That thing is pretty damn scary looking when you first see it but you’ll probably end up eating three or four of them. Being able to speak Spanish is helpful (in L.A. in general, really) but if you’re an unseasoned gringo the owner will help you translate the menu. Did I mention that it’s only open during the day and it’s a truck? That’s right. A truck.

4 Tacos Baja Ensenada

Okay, technically this is kind of pushing it for best in Los Angeles, as it is out east past the 710, but if you like fish tacos you need to make the trek. If it’s your first trip, order the #1 so you can get your feet wet: 2 fish tacos, side of beans, side of rice, and a soda for about $6. Better yet, head out there on Wednesday for 99 cent fish taco day. The line is usually out the door and the place isn’t terribly big but it’s worth it, plus the line moves quickly.

3 King Taco

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Moving away from the first two entries that were a bit fish-centric, King Taco delivers the meat and in a great way. The tacos, the sopas, the burritos – it all works like a charm at King Taco. The red sauce is incredible, but so is the green. I honestly can’t think of a thing at this place I wouldn’t recommend. Hell, I even tried the buche and it was amazing! Buche is pig’s esophagus, by the way. Yeah, King Taco does it that good. They’re also open until at least 3AM (5:30 AM on the big nights) so get down there.

2 Tito’s Tacos

This is the place that’s going to generate a lot of controversy, and that’s good, because we love controversy. There’s a long-standing discussion, nay, argument over whether or not Tito’s Tacos is good. Naysayers will complain that it is cash only (they provide an ATM in case you were unaware on your first trip) and some will even debate the fact that their “cheese is extra” policy is a bit odd, but once you eat one of their tacos (or burritos) you’ll be hooked. Pay for the cheese and they pile it on. PILE it on. There’s often a line (read: ALWAYS a line) but it moves pretty quickly. It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it’s awesome.

1 Guisados

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Guisados name actually refers to the stewed meats and vegetables that make their way into these delightful little tacos. In fact, one of the issues with Guisados is that there are just so darn many of them to choose from. If it’s your first time, get the sampler platter. It’s six different tacos, each of them seemingly better than the last. Rest easy, you small stomached patrons, the six tacos are mini-sized. Guisados hand makes their own tortillas, too, and they are divine. The regular-sized tacos are just as good.

That’s our list! Take it, leave it, print it, roll it up, smoke it, shred it, lacquer it, whatever you want. If you have a differing opinion, no matter how wrong it might be, by all means send it along so we can ridicule you. Who knows? Maybe you’ll have a place that we aren’t aware of but let’s be honest – you won’t.

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