It's no secret that San Francisco is home to America's Best Burrito, but a recent trip to Los Angeles proved that our neighbor to the south takes its Mexican food just as seriously. Here are five must-eat tacos for the next time you find yourself in the City of Angels.
Guisados is Spanish for "stews," and the restaurant specializes in just that. There are over 14 different guisados, served on handmade tortillas, with options that'll satisfy both carnivore and vegetarian alike. To try a little bit of everything order the taco sampler, which includes six mini tacos of their most popular braises. The mole was by far the best: creamy in texture, nutty, slightly sweet, and subtly spicy in taste. There are three locations throughout Los Angeles, but go to the OG in East LA for the most authentic experience. // 2100 E Cesar Chavez Ave, Los Angeles, guisados.co
Fried Shrimp Tacos at Mariscos Jalisco
If you can try only one taco on this list, make it the fried shrimp taco from Mariscos Jalisco, a truck located on a seemingly suspect stretch of Olympic Blvd in Boyle Heights. A mixture of shrimp, vegetables, and spices are stuffed inside a taco, deep fried, then topped with a spicy salsa roja and slices of avocado. The contrast of crispiness from the fried tortilla and the soft shrimp center is more than a revelation; it's beyond divine. // 3040 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, facebook.com/mariscosjalisco
Carnitas Tacos at Los Cinco Puntos
Los Cinco Puntos is like the La Palma Mexicatessan of Los Angeles: a Mexican grocery upon entrance, a taqueria on the side, and a crew of abuelitas in the back visibly making tortillas by hand from bowls of fresh masa. Get the carnitas, and pair with the habanero salsa. // 3300 Cesar Chavez Ave, Los Angeles, los5puntos.com
Fish tacos at Ricky's Fish Tacos
Ricky's serves up some of the best fish tacos we've ever had. Catfish is beer-battered, fried in lard, placed in a tortilla, then topped with a cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, and your choice of salsas (go with the crema and salsa verde if you need the heat; salsa roja does not belong on a fish taco). It's served from a food truck, so be sure to follow him on Twitter to find the exact location. // twitter.com/rickysfishtacos
Al Pastor Tacos @ Leo's Tacos.
The OG Leo's Tacos truck is located in the parking lot of a 76 gas station. Whatever weird potential health hazard this may cause is well worth the risk: the al pastor is pure magic. Go at night on the weekend, which is when they bring out a big rotating spit of marinated pork and slice to order. It's simultaneously crispy and juicy at once. The taco is topped with a thin slice of pineapple, which adds a sweet contrast, and is best paired with the avocado salsa. // 1515 La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, leostacotruck.com