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New Fish Taco Stand in Silver Lake

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I just had some fish tacos from a guy who has a mini-stand set up in front of the laundromat across from the Casbah Cafe on Sunset and Hyperion. He is selling fish and shrimp tacos, Ensenada-style for $2.50.

They are the first fish tacos I've had in LA that compare favorably to the Tacos al Fenix stand in Ensenada, which is my gold standard. Incidentally, his name is Ricardo and he is from Ensenada.

He is planning on being there Thursday through Saturday in the Evenings and Sunday in the late afternoon/evening.

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  1. OK,I'm interested.I know Tacos El Fenix, definitely among the few elite stands in Ensenada.But, do tell more.Type of fish?Condiments?Cooking technique?Does he use a comal de acero(metal comal with a well for frying)?Interesting salsas? My favorite in Ensenada just kills with 6-7 amazing original salsas.El Fenix has two that are perfect.Both cook their fish crispy out, tender in, and heavenly flavor.

    DImelo.

    11 Replies
    1. re: streetgourmetla

      so it's basically a stand/ or roach coach of some sort. sounds good. how does it compare to the best fish tacos in ensanda, the only fish taco and shrimp taco shop, on hillhurst in los feliz. so far those are my favorite in the area. and the casbah stand at 2.50 per taco is a bit pricier than the joint on hillhurst at 1.50 per taco.

      1. re: streetgourmetla

        Very good questions. This is a very minimalist operation to be sure with just one guy.
        A stand would be a generous term. More of a wheel-less cart. Literally a deep fryer (not a comal de acero like some I have seen) and a couple of coolers for tortillas and drinks.
        I can't speak to the type of fish but it comes out crispy and tender and the batter is not over-doughy but not too light either. He battered the fish and cooked them to order.
        He also prepped the tacos with salsas himself. There is the cabbage, a spicy pico de gallo type salsa, the avocado salsa in a squirt bottle and the white sauce.
        he didn't have the green salsa from Al Fenix that I love but the tacos still tasted great and everything seemed really fresh. I didn't try the shrimp but I will next time.

        What's your favorite in Ensenada besides Al Fenix?

        1. re: oro3030

          This is the only problem I have with this operation and a place like Tacos Baja Ensenada.I want to be handed a tortilla with only a dreamy piece of fried fish in it and nothing else.I then want some crafted salsas, crema, mayo, pico de gallo, cabbage, pickled onions, and chile de arbol at my disposal to make my own customized Ensenada taco.Is that too much to ask?Oh, and I want them for 80 cents each, the current price in Ensenada at today's exchange rate.But, $2.50 is fine if they are good. My spot is by the bus station past the tourist area, farther than El Fenix.It's a mission.

          1. re: streetgourmetla

            Don't you enjoy a chef presenting you with the food the way he thinks it should be presented and you can maybe add some salsa. I love the places in East LA, never been to baja. It is like the Counter, I dont want to build my own burger, I want a flavor combination that the chef thinks is his best. Do you go to Spago and create a dish. I digress. The fish taco place on Hillhurst is sort of nasty, the salsas are never cold, the ice is always melted in the condiment holding tray. I would feel safer if instead of standing around and talking the employees or the owners would clean the condiment area and keep the creme and salsa on ice! How do these guys pass inspection from the health dept? Maybe the health department comes when the open and the condiment area is clean and everything is on ice.

            1. re: Burger Boy

              The fish taco experience in Baja, from Tijuana to Cabo is a warm tortilla and tender fish handed to you, nothing else. In general, this is the taco ritual. Some locals in Ensenada, home of the Baja fish taco, put only mayo, others just crema, some both.

              The restaurant is a different convention than a Mexican taco stand, surely you don't need an explanation here.So, I won't get into the Spago, taco stand thing.But,I will compare my experience at Tacos Baja Ensenada, or Ricardo's stand to the 100+ times I've had fish tacos in Ensenada, Tijuana, Loreto, San Quintin, etc.

              A good stand never has nasty condiments, that's a bad stand.

              I like TBE, and am eager to try Ricardo's stand, but am curious why, if he's from Ensenada. that he wouldn't do it like they do there.You've never been?OK, get yourself down there, and check it out.I went two weekends ago and had another sublime fish taco.Oro3030, being a El Fenix disciple knows what I'm talkin' about.

              You know and love the places in East Los, right? "Taco de asada....con todo?" Onion and cilantro is dealt with asada in tortilla.You pick from some salsas, grab a chile torado and some radishes.Maybe extra cilantro and onion?That's what your experience in Eastlos should be, at the more traditional places.The good ones will have fresh and delicious condiments.Any self-respecting taquero takes pride in his condiments.

              1. re: streetgourmetla

                hey street, is he parked out there in the daytime or is this only a nightime thing. i might get there for a late lunch today, that sounds good to me.

                1. re: kevin

                  Hey Kevin, I haven't been.Just goin' on Oro3030's description and reference to El Fenix.I too, am very curious about this stand.The report up top says Thursdays at night, so maybe a real late lunch! I'm out for the rest of the week,so let me know how it was if you go.

                  1. re: streetgourmetla

                    I am just going by what Ricardo told me, that he would be there in the evening Thurs thru Sunday but I haven't confirmed that he actually has done that.

                    Vis-a-vis the condiment thing, I think it is just a question of space, I think he did the dressing out of functionality rather than a philosophical principle. He asked me at each step what I wanted and I am sure he would let you dress the taco yourself if you so desire. The condiments were good.
                    I want to reiterate that I haven't been back so maybe he is just a one-hit wonder.

                    1. re: oro3030

                      Great to know!

                      1. re: streetgourmetla

                        I just was at Ricardo's stand on Sunday. He said the fish was from Vietnam but I can't remember the type. It was incredibly tender inside and had a crispy and light outside. The cabbage was fresh and crispy. He had frech pico de gallo, crema, and a homemade salsa from a squeeze bottle. He said that he would love to have more salsas but that he is limited by the cart. It sounded like he would try to expand to a real stand if he is able to make enough money. As it currently stands I found his taco's better than El Nazo.

                2. re: streetgourmetla

                  I understand more of what you say. When I was refering to tacos in ELA I meant the fish alla Tacos Baja Ensenada and the other fish taco chain, I go to many regular taco stands, trucks and tables. I just remember the condiments bar area at The Best Fish Yacos in Baja Ensenada looking kind of gross and the ice had all melted so nothing was chilled, heck the cabbage was at room temp! Someday in the future I must get down the coast and try these. Thanks for the lesson. Ciao

        2. Is this guy legal or is he like those bacon wrapped hotdog sellers? license? inspected? sanitary? I find a lot of street food vendors gross as well as unfair to restaurants who have to comply with all the city B.S.

          3 Replies
          1. re: rednyellow

            Sounds to me like a fly by night operation.
            In front of a laundromat and operating out of a wheeless cart with a couple coolers for sodas and tortillas.

            1. re: rednyellow

              I am very comfortable eating cooked food off the streets, even cold stuff as long as it looks fresh and has a chill to it. U do understand about the unfairness to business like myself that operate within the law, permits, sales tax, property taxes etc.

              1. re: Burger Boy

                Yep, I do understand and sympathize with small businesses.

            2. Went there last night (Friday, 03/13/09). I checked twice, at 8:30 and 9:45 and he wasn't there. I even searched around that area and nothing. Vanished?

              5 Replies
              1. re: tchad

                Has anyone seen this stand again? I was looking forward to trying this place.

                1. re: Peripatetic

                  So was I!

                  FYI, I somehow didn't turn up this post on previous searches so started another discussion on Fish Tacos in LA, here...

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6153...

                  1. re: Peripatetic

                    He's very intermittent. I saw him another Sunday but I haven't seen him consistently. You just have to take the attitude that you'll try him if he's there but don't go out of your way to find him. Sorry for my original enthusiasm setting unmet expectations.

                    1. re: oro3030

                      No apology necessary. I'll keep checking!

                      1. re: oro3030

                        I finally made it to Ricardo's (aka Ricky's) yesterday and it was as advertised: better than BFTE and TBE. I think the fish is similar at both Ricky's and BFTE, but Ricky's basic salsa is better, and he also heats the tacos themselves to perfection. Highly recommended. Thank you oro3030 for breaking this story!

                        The only minus: fish tacos and coffee aren't the best pairing, but I can never visit Sunset Junction without an Intelligentsia fix, too.

                  2. Hey thats me your talking about! Glad you enjoyed my taco's! I am there almost every weekend for lunch times. Sometimes my other job keeps me from showing up! But I will try to be more consistant! I appreciate the comments and hope to see you all there! I will answer any questions you have! Oh by the way...I am from Ensenada.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Ricardo P.

                      Hi Ricardo, thanks for posting an update. I'm hoping to come by sometime soon.

                      You might consider using an online service like Twitter (http://twitter.com) to send updates about when you are there or not. You can send a message from a cell phone and it will get posted to your "feed" where everyone can find it. There are several other area food vendors doing the same, notably the much-talked-about Kogi BBQ truck: http://twitter.com/kogibbq/ and Bigmista's Barbecue: http://twitter.com/bigmista

                      Of course there are other services you could use, but Twitter might be the easiest.

                      1. re: Ricardo P.

                        BTW someone just started another thread about you!

                        It's here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/623881