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Taco Task Force:LA's Best Fish Taco

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Here is the report with pics for our Baja fish taco challenge.
http://streetgourmetla.blogspot.com/2...

The Taco Task Force was first and foremost assembled in the spirit of adventure and fun. I talked with several blogger friends that I thought would engender a broad range of experiences. Cathy Danh, Josh Lurie, Javier Cabral, Matthew Kang, and myself would take on the LA taco scene to give another perspective on “tacoing” in Los Angeles.

The very popular taco blogs had already turned on foodies and bloggers alike to the local taco trucks, stands, and taquerias. I had gone to many of these places in recent years to find out that they weren’t very good, nor did many resemble what I’d encountered traveling throughout Mexico. There was a complete lack of criteria, baseline, or understanding of what makes a great taco. It was more or less, ” I like this place, the tacos are good, I give it 3.5 tacos(stars)”, with no explanation why it deserved the score. The result was a comprehensive list of mediocre to bad tacos.
There are solid regional and authentic tacos in LA, and there are also taco places that make tacos unique to Los Angeles, the result of Mexican-American cultures coming together.

The main reason tacos tend to be inferior in the US is the lack of ingredients, inadequate sources of proteins, and most importantly the lack of skilled taqueros (tacoers). Skilled taqueros don’t immigrate to the US, they are more employable in Mexico where stand owners hire these taco professionals. The taco trucks in LA( there are hardly any trucks in Mexico at all) are run by people who know how to make tacos, but usually they come from another line of work. They lack knife skills, don’t know how to select quality ingredients, don’t know cuts of meat, have only basic salsa making skills, lack creativity, and don’t have specialist skills like proper cooking on a vertical spit.They are also handcuffed by Angelinos' demands for the $1 taco,making Costco,Smart 'N Final, and other relatively inexpensive sources the supplier of taco ingredients.

Using the fish tacos at world famous El Fenix in Ensenada as a basline, which we all had the pleasure of trying, we raced across town one Sunday to sample fish tacos at five different locations in Los Angeles: Tacos Baja(East LA), Tacos El Nazo(), Senor Fish(Eagle Rock), Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada(Silver Lake), and newcomer, Ricky’s Fish Tacos(Silver Lake).

The Baja fish taco was born out of tempura technique brought by Japanese fisherman, battered fish with tailored salsas, a special cream made with mayonnaise and milk, fresh cabbage, pico de gallo, and a corn tortilla. Salsas vary, pure mayo can be used instead of the Baja style crema, and pickled cabbage is sometimes used as an alternative to fresh cabbage. These are the standard dressings. In Baja, your lard fried fish is handed to you on a warm tortilla, and you finish the job yourself.
Our judging criteria that day would be the quality of fish, authenticity, condiments, flavor, and cooking technique. The system needs a little work, but at the end of the day, or days, our results were unanimous in ranking the five locations. In that sense, the scoring worked out.

We carefully chose fish of the most popular and well known Baja fish taco places in town and ranked them as the best five Baja fish tacos in LA.

The Results
Our second stop of the day, coming in at number 5.
Taco Nazo

Taco Nazo is a local chain founded by Tony and Telma Garcia in 1978. It is well liked by many in the foodies communities and was largely selected based on its reputation on the various discussion boards.

I don’t know if this place used to be very good, or if it has remained as such all along, but this was truly a disappointing experience. For all of El Taconazo's bravado, he's suffers from performance anxiety

Despite the Hussong's cantina sticker in the background,Taco Nazo's signature item only has a base appearance of a Baja fish taco.

The condiment bar was not fresh or well kept, and the plated taco that we received had no lively vegetables to complement the fish. The chiles gueros were curiously over seasoned with pepper, not the usual pico de gallo overwhelming the elegant flavor of the blond chile.

From FoodGps(TTF scorekeeper) B=Bill(me),C=Cathy,J=Javier,JSH=Josh
Grade of Key Ingredient:JSH 1.5, C 2.5, J 2.5, B 2.5 AVERAGE 2.25/5
Condiment:JSH 1.5, C 2.5, J 2.5, B 2 AVERAGE 2.125/5
Authenticity:JSH 2.5, C 2, J 2, B 2.5 AVERAGE 2.25/5
Overall Flavor:JSH 1.5, C 3.5, J 2.5, B 1.5 AVERAGE = 2.25/5
Cooking:JSH 1.5, C 2.5, J 2, B 2 AVERAGE 2/5

OVERALL FISH TACO SCORE: 2.175/5

The flavor of this pollack was non-existent, indistinguishable from the shrimp. We actually had to take them apart to see which was which. The texture was strange, not the familiar crispy outside and tender inside.The pre-made taco was also shrouded by a mound of lackluster toppings, perhaps by design?

The 3rd stop we made together that afternoon, and number 4 on our list.
Senor Fish
Another place that I gather used to be better has a winning concept. A cartoonish mascot, and an attractive ready for franchising kind of motif have made this place a destination for years, along with their California themed menu. Lots of grilled tacos,seafood burritos, and quesadillas.

The salsa bar was very strong, with many simple but well kept items.Somebody takes good care of this station.

Where this taco lost me was in the batter,which was lacking the Baja flavor and texture.It was mushy and bland, not a proper package for an otherwise nice tasting cod.

Grade of Key Ingredient:JSH 3.5 C 4, J 3.5, B 3 AVERAGE 3.5/5
Condiment:JSH 4, C 4, J 4.5, B 4 AVERAGE 4.125/5
Authenticity:JSH 2.5, C 2, J 2, B 2 AVERAGE 2.125/5
Overall Flavor:JSH 3.5, C 3, B 2, J 3 AVERAGE 2.875/5
Cooking:JSH 3, C 2.5, B 2.5, J 3 AVERAGE 2.75/5

OVERALL FISH TACO SCORE: 3.075/5

Our last stop on our Sunday run due to the no show by Ricky's Fish Tacos, and number 3 on our countdown:
Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada

Of all the stops we made together, and apart, BFTIE brings the most authentic Baja sensation upon delivery. A warm tortilla wrapped around crispy fried fish is handed to you to do as you will.Could this be the real deal?

I eagerly walked to the salsa bar, which is very La Salsa, a salsa bar.I mean, just put the stuff on a counter, but, alright.The salsas? Mango was everywhere except on one of the salsas. This adulterating component is more Cabo than Ensenada.Not to mention the salsas themselves were watery and lacking in balance. Old 'n runny tomato sauce with mango, dude.The housemade crema from the dispenser was just fine, and another pleasing touch, though.

The fish is stand alone good, loaded with flavor, and the cooking station made me feel like I was at a taqueria near la quinta in Ensenada.

The tortilla was hard, though, which was just fine for miss Cathy Danh, but it was a distraction to the overall taco.

With a salsa bar makeover, Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada could really up its game. Think dried chile or roasted chile based salsas and perhaps a nice pico de gallo, oh, and a more pliable tortilla.

Grade of Key Ingredient:JSH 4.5, J 4.5, C 3.5, B 3.5 AVERAGE 4/5
Condiment:JSH 3.5 B 2.5, C 3.5, J 4 AVERAGE 3.375/5
Authenticity:JSH 2.5 J 2.5, B 3.5, C 3.5 AVERAGE 3/5
Overall Flavor:JSH 4, C 3, J 4, B 3.5 AVERAGE 3.875
Cooking:JSH 3.5, C 3, J 3, B 3 AVERAGE 3.125/5

OVERALL FISH TACO SCORE: 3.475/5

Our first stop of the day for the christening of the Taco Task Force, was the still relevant, Tacos Baja, formerly known as Tacos Baja Ensenada.Monday through Friday this is the best fish taco in town and number 2 Baja fish taco on our hitlist.

Tacos Baja

Tacos Baja has been a favorite of mine for years, ever since moving to LA and reading about them in the various articles praising the virtues of its fish tacos. I hadn't been in while since I'd been down to Ensenada so many times this past year enjoying the genuine articles.It was great to know they still got it.

Their popular condiment bar showcases those delicious chiles gueros, properly dusted with pico de gallo(seasoned chile salt)after roasting and doused with lime.These special items are the mark of a great taco joint, you should get something on the house that is part of the folklore.

The catfish taco comes fully dressed, not in the Baja tradition, but all the components are solid. The fish is tasty and the batter nicely seasoned. The texture is as it should be, crispy light batter around a flaky fish.

I would love to see Tacos Baja create a couple of other salsas and expand upon their condiments,but the Taco Task Force unanimously agreed this was the best taco on our run that fine Los Angeles Sunday afternoon.

Grade of Key Ingredient:JSH 4, B 4, J 3.5, C 3.5 AVERAGE 3.75/5
Condiment:JSH 2.5, B, 2.5, J 3, C 4 AVERAGE 3/5
Authenticity:JSH 3.5, B 3.5, J 2.5, C 2 AVERAGE 2.875/5
Overall Flavor:JSH 3, B 3.5, J 3.5, C 4 AVERAGE 3.5/5
Cooking:JSH 4.5, B, 4, J 4.5, C, 4.5 AVERAGE 4.375/5

OVERALL FISH TACO SCORE: 3.5/5

Well, our master plan was foiled that day, Ricky was away.Thanks to some twitter stalking by the other members of the Taco Task Force, including the entreaties of Cathy Danh to please come out and taco, we finally all were able to taste the number 1 Baja fish taco north of the border.

Ricky's Fish Tacos

Ricky Pina has altered the Baja fish taco universe in LA, ever since he showed up with his little cart and rainbow umbrella.

I initially heard about him on chowhound and questioned why someone from Ensenada would serve up a fully dressed fish taco, and not let the customer plate.But, I was definitely with Scooby Doo-like curiosity to get out there and try them myself.

Ricky uses a quality basa(genetically a catfish but from Vietnam)that looks as fresh as it tastes. These tacos are made to order, something that doesn't even happen all the time in Ensenada.

The pico de gallo is vibrant, the mustard accented batter is made from imported Mexican wheat flour,the cabbage is fresh and razor thin, and the homemade crema is a veritable blend of mayo and 1% milk.

The fish are dipped in batter, fried in the good stuff, and carefully assembled by the master taquero. Ricky's reasoning for plating the tacos is to maintain the hygiene of his little stand. He would have more items if he had space, but what he carries is stellar. These are delicious fish tacos, and despite not being made from dogfish or angel fish as they are in Baja, you really don't miss a thing. His frying technique and the perfect consistency of the batter deliver satisfaction.

The one thing missing from every other place we went was balance. All elements were present here to produce a choice fish taco.

Grade of Key Ingredient:JSH 4, J 5, C 4.5, B 3.5 AVERAGE 4.25/5
Condiment:JSH 4.5 B 4, C 4.5, J 4.5 AVERAGE 4.375/5
Authenticity:JSH 3.5 J 5, B 4, C 4 AVERAGE 4.125/5
Overall Flavor:JSH 4, C 4.5, J 5, B 4 AVERAGE 4.625/5
Cooking:JSH 4.5, C 4.5, J 5, B 4.5 AVERAGE 4.625/5

OVERALL FISH TACO SCORE: 4.4/5

We are still refining our scoring system, but our group was unanimous in ranking and there was no scoring consultations. I don't think Best Fish Tacos was that close to Tacos Baja, but this is a work in progess.

Having trekked through LA in search of the best, I conclude that I have no reason to go back to Taco Nazo, Senor Fish, nor Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada.The only unpleasant experience was Taco Nazo, but they did have beer as a consolation.

Tacos Baja is still a great place to go during the week, but weekends are made for Ricky's Fish Tacos, the best Baja fish tacos in town by a knockout.

Ricky's Fish Tacos

Tacos Baja
5385 Whittier Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 887-1980‎

Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada
1650 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 466-5552

Senor Fish
Eagle Rock
4803 Eagle Rock Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041
(323) 257-7167

Taco Nazo
9516 Garvey Ave
South El Monte
CA 91733

 
 
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  1. I would love to hear of any other places that should have been included, we did our best to pick a list of the most known and loved.

    6 Replies
    1. re: streetgourmetla

      I love Via Mar on Fig + 52 in Highland Park. On Wednesdays, there's a 2 for 1 fish taco special. I would say it's definitely better than Sr. Fish.

      1. re: hg2

        That's great to know. How does it stack up against BFTIE or Tacos Baja?

        1. re: hg2

          We tried Via Mar recently and were happy to find the place right near where my Brother lives.. and were delighted as they made the fish and shrimp tacos absolutely to order (Sometimes TBE does them ahead of time, but their thicker batter it doesn't effect it too much) and the taco was HUGE!!

          http://www.flickr.com/photos/dommichu...

          Sadly the batter was a bit too soft. It didn't have the fresh CRUNCH that TBE or Ricky's has. It's really an excellent choice in the area, but I don't think would break the top two...

          --Dommy!

          1. re: Dommy

            hey dommy! please have a gander over here, your help is needed: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3317...

          2. re: hg2

            Pretty tasty!!

            2 lobster tacos, 1 shrimp, 1 scallop, and 1 shrimp tostada, two large drinks for $21.

            Surprised how "meaty" these were. The red smoky sauce on them could be a tad overpowering. I think if get it on the side next time.

            The tostada was simple shrimp -- shrimp tomatoes cilantro and a touch of lime.

             
             
             
          3. re: streetgourmetla

            I recently went to Chichen-Itza (in the Mercado La Paloma 3655 S Grand Ave #C6
            Los Angeles, CA 90007 near USC) and they had fish tacos. The manager said they were serving them every Friday. I was not able to try them, but had high hopes as all of the food there is excellent. Maybe someone else will be able to before I go there again and report back to the Board?

            -----
            Mercado La Paloma
            3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

          4. I like the Baja approach: fry the fish in lard, and let you decide whether or not to drown it with mayonnaise and milk, e.g. But we can't always get down there, so your detailed report on Los Angeles places is a very useful start to what I hope is a long discussion. Thanks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Harry Nile

              Yes, it is such a big part of the experience. But, I must say, Ricky does a fine job of plating his tacos, you can see the care he takes with every one of his babies.

            2. I wish I could add to your list but you hit em all! While I'm not as harsh on some of the others, RFT's has become a new weekend ritual snack. One fish, one shrimp prepared in front of me by a 'master taquero' who is delightful is an almost perfect afternoon treat! The only improvement would be if Ricky's grandma came on board and made fresh tortillas!!!

              6 Replies
              1. re: sel

                I also profess my love for RFT... there is something about the batter... it's thinner than Taco's Baja and has this CRUNCH... just out of this world...

                I've had lots of other fish tacos... but none that made me think "Bah... TBE is so much better..." that was until Ricky's

                --Dommy!

                1. re: Dommy

                  TBE and RFT's currently are the only two that I drive out of my way for. TBE does have tasty horchata and the chili guerros that I always eat too many of so it's more than the tacos that define the two place. But on weekend afternoons it's gonna be RFT's!!!

                  1. re: Dommy

                    It's the batter Dommy. Ricky goes the extra mile using wheat flour from baja, he says the stuff here isn't the same.

                    Sure makes a difference when it's a real taquero, not a hired hand.Real taqueros couldn't stomach sending out tacos like these other places do.

                    1. re: streetgourmetla

                      I know... that is up till Ricky's everyone else has just failed from my re-igniting the flame of my childhood trips to Rosarito...

                      And thanks so much for telling me about the flour... it makes me want to sing his praises even more... And sadly he's totally right, there is so much still MISSING here... We recently had Cochinita Pibil for Christmas and was being constantly asked as to WHY it tasted so good... I had to put up this picture to send a friend so that she'd have the address for when she goes to Merida next (luckily we have family who travel there often and always bring us back TONS of stuff...)

                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/dommichu...

                      We are going to take a walking trip to TJ soon and I gotta start putting together a list of stuff to get and manage to sling back into the states with me... LOL!!

                      --Dommy!

                      1. re: Dommy

                        Go to the Mercado Hidalgo.

                        Yeah, Ricky's dedication to making great food, right, is what is missing in so many of the trucks and stands. If only we had carne asada and al pastor stands with the same commitment!

                  2. re: sel

                    You got that right sel, he's as nice and friendly as they come. Lucky us.

                  3. So how and where exactly do I find Ricky's cart?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mc michael

                      Twitter where else but twitter! :)

                      http://twitter.com/RickysFishTacos

                      He mainly sticks to the sunset junction area...

                      One thing to note for newbsies he dishes out the tacos one at a time, taqueria style... so depending on the crowd, it might be a wait... but so worth it to get a fresh fish taco everytime...

                      --Dommy!

                      1. re: mc michael

                        As Dommy! suggested, Twitter is the best way to find RFT's and most of the new food trucks, but Ricky usually sets up on weekend afternoons only at 4006 SANTA MONICA BLVD in front of a cell phone store, look for the colorful umbrella and in my experience the short line of customers on the S side of the street.

                      2. I've been to 4/5 on your list and agree on all accounts, RFT > *

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ns1

                          Glad to be able to take at least one for the team. See you all at Ricky's one of these times I'm sure.

                          1. re: streetgourmetla

                            You know what's funny, I randomly ran into Rameniac @RFT's when they were still in front of the laundromat

                        2. Thanks to oro3030 for putting this place on the map.One of the best finds of 2009.

                          1. Taco Nazo was at the top of my short list, so I'm drooling in anticipation to try the best on your list. Am hoping to apply your group's criteria to some trucks we frequent in ELA some day too. Great work.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: pharmnerd

                              Great pharmnerd! We could use some more taco awareness and real critique out there.Looking forward to your reports.

                            2. I'm not going to arm-wrestle anyone over their evaluation of Señor Fish, but I do think you should have gone to the one in South Pas instead. The SoPa location has all the ambient charm of a gas station, unlike the very cute setup on Eagle Rock, but I've thought the tacos there have always been noticeably better.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Will Owen

                                Both Nazo and Sr. Fish are mini-chains so we had to pick one. Sounds like a quality control issue, I sort of expect any type of chain to be fairly uniformed throughout their restaurants.

                                How is the S. Pasadena fish taco better, and is it that different?

                                1. re: streetgourmetla

                                  Just seems to be seasoned a bit nicer, maybe cooked hotter or something. Not really sure. The flavors just seem to be a bit fresher, a little more intense. Or maybe it's just that the room in SoPa is so ugly I'm paying attention only to the food, instead of the fake bird noises coming from the oak tree on Eagle Rock's deck...

                              2. Thanks so much for the list, my GF has made the new years resolution to try new foods and I'm using it to get her to some of my favorite street food places in the city, this definitely added to the list.

                                @streetgourmetla - could really use your input on this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/678671

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: dreadpirateroberts

                                  Great way to start the new year, dreadpirateroberts. Feliz ano!

                                2. FWIW, Mariscos Chente has also joined the fish/shrimp taco bandwagon. From what I remember, I enjoyed them more than the ones at Tacos Baja Ensenada or Best Fish Taco in Ensenada.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: losfelizhound

                                    REALLY!! Do they offer these at Lunch?

                                    --Dommy!

                                    1. re: Dommy

                                      Yes, he now has Baja style fish and shrimp tacos in addition to gobernadores, and marlin.

                                      1. re: Dommy

                                        I think he offers it all day, SGLA is right - fish, shrimp gobernador and I guess marlin. In addition, they also offer sopes.

                                        1. re: losfelizhound

                                          The new menu items are up on a whiteboard. He has fish and shrimp tacos, but gobernador, is the gem. Sauteed shrimp with cheese, peppers, onions, and green beans. The cheese leaks out gets that chicharron de queso texture on the outside. The taco is finished on the grill.

                                          They also have albondigas de camaron(shrimp albondigas), and seafood soup(fish, shrimp, or mixto:shrimp, octopus, and fish)

                                           
                                           
                                           
                                          1. re: streetgourmetla

                                            if you don't mind me asking, is there any place in the l.a. area that serves chicharron de queso? i've seen it on a t.v. program or two and it looks keen.

                                            hanx.

                                            1. re: linus

                                              No one I know has it on their menu here, last time I saw it was in DF. The La Casita guys might do it, as long as they're in the kitchen, It's delicious.

                                              1. re: linus

                                                Loteria Grill serves it regularly and has it on their menu...

                                                --Dommy!

                                                1. re: Dommy

                                                  That's right, forgot I saw that looking online a while back. Very chilango, chicharron de queso.

                                      2. We split some general discussion of what constitutes a proper fish taco to the General Topics board: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/680035

                                        1. It's been a while since I've had a proper fish taco (last time was about 3 years ago at a roadside stand in Ensenada) so we decided to check out Ricky's stand over the weekend.

                                          My Lovely Tasting Assistant (LTA) and I ordered 5 fish tacos and 1 shrimp. We chatted with Ricky just a bit-- said that in Ensenada they use shark for the fish tacos. (Surprising to hear since your info is usually spot on, streetgourmetla-- no mention of dogfish or angel fish).

                                          My most vibrant memories of those glorious tacos we had in Ensenada are as follows:
                                          1. *AMAZING* crunch. Even minutes after sitting under a mound of cabbage and crema, there was an outstanding resiliency and resistance to moisture.
                                          2. Very distinct fish flavor-- not too strong, not too mild. Goldilocks.
                                          3. Tender fish texture, but not overly so.
                                          4. No salsa... just cabbage and crema (though my memory could be fuzzy on this point)

                                          So, with those criteria in mind, here's my impression of Ricky's:
                                          1. Mild crunch. A little soft. Did not stand up to the moisture of the crema, pica de gallo,
                                          etc.
                                          2. Neutral, almost non-existent fish flavor. It was more of a texture vehicle rather than a flavor delivery vehicle. N.B. the shrimp taco was great-- distinct shrimp flavor, crunchy exterior and well cooked interior.
                                          3. Texture of the fish was too soft.... gossamer-like. Odd.
                                          4. I don't usually dress my fish tacos with anything other than cabbage and crema, but I had to go back for some roasted pepper salsa just to give it some flavor. That helped a lot.

                                          So in a nutshell, I was rather disappointed. As of right now, if I were in the area I'd go back for the shrimp taco, but wouldn't go out of my way for the fish.

                                          Mr Taster

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                            "These are delicious fish tacos, and despite not being made from dogfish or angel fish as they are in Baja."

                                            cazon(dog fish), and angelito(little angel), are small sharks caught in Baja. Can't get them here so they all use catfish or basa.

                                            1. re: streetgourmetla

                                              Well there ya go :)

                                              What do you make of the rest of my experience?

                                              Mr Taster

                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                Well, seems it didn't live up to your Baja experience. You say it disappointed, but was it good, bad or just not what you expected? He's very consistent, too, so I believe what you had is what I've had the times I've, and that's a superb taco de pescado.

                                                We found nothing wrong with anything he's doing at all, it's a delicious taco, and where I wouldn't normally bother having these tacos in town, I will head over to Ricky's. There are so many other things for me to hit in Ensenada, or when I travel through Baja that the fact that we have Ricky is a relief.

                                                It's the best in town, and basa is not cazon, but it does the trick.

                                                No salsa? Come on? It's part of the ritual.

                                                1. re: streetgourmetla

                                                  >> You say it disappointed, but was it good, bad or just not what you expected?

                                                  Well, it certainly wasn't bad. It was fine-- not the sort of thing you bite into and proclaim to the heavens "BY GOD, I MUST INGEST THESE VICTUAL WONDERS WITH EXTREME REGULARITY!" As I said, the shrimp taco had a greater and more appealing contrast of textures and flavors, while the fish left me wanting something more.

                                                  Your description sounds like Ricky's is essentially the Vito's of the LA fish taco scene. In LA, Vito's pizza stands out as superb. In my home state of New Jersey, he would blend right in.

                                                  So are both the pico de gallo and the blended salsas traditional toppings for fish tacos? Seriously, in Ensenada I remember those suckers being so delicious unadorned that I feared the stronger flavors would overwhelm the balance. (I ascribe to the same philosophy when I order from Langer's. A pox on the #19!). With Ricky's tacos, I needed that extra zetz, as it simply fell flat on my tongue.

                                                  Mr Taster

                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                    Every stand has their salsa, or salsas. Pico de gallo should be handy, condiments matter, they should be strong.But, in Ensenada, you would be handed fish in a tortilla to do what you want. Salsa(fresh, cooked, or just dry chiles), crema, mayo, cabbage(fresh or pickled).

                                                    Condiment items are the taqueros call.One of my stands in Ensenada has 7 incredible salsas. Ricky has a limited space, but all the stuff is great.

                                                    I've never had euphoria over a fish taco, maybe a tostada of sea urchin covered with pismo clam.But, you need the salsa, hermano.It's a fish taco, and not too shy to have condiment party. It's not an oyster.

                                                    1. re: streetgourmetla

                                                      Funny, I actually prefer my oysters "Boston style" with a dab of cocktail sauce.

                                                      Mr Taster

                                                    2. re: Mr Taster

                                                      Generally Mexican food is served unadorned... and then YOU add the salsas and other ingredients to taste... Hence dishes like Pozole where the parts often overwhelm the sum...

                                                      http://twitpic.com/wh5pb

                                                      1. re: Dommy

                                                        Oh dang it, Dommy... now you've made me want that, and my wife has the car tonight :)

                                                        Mr Taster

                                            2. Tough "work," streetgourmetla...great post!

                                              Finally, we found Ricky! He is such a cheerful guy and he made our afternoon snack lots of fun! First, we tried his fish taco...YUM! The portion is very generous and I like that the customer can dress the taco to his/her tastes with cabbage, salsas and crema. The shrimp taco was also really good, but I think the fish taco is the winner here.

                                              I remain a Tacos Baja (on Whittier Boulevard) fan...still my first choice! I think it is something about the way they build their fish taco. I could not duplicate that. But Ricky's is a close second! Everyone there is so friendly and the fish is delicious!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: liu

                                                Well, it wasn't easy, Liu. That's great,man. Tacos Baja is still an excellent choice here in LA. Glad you found Sr. Ricky.

                                                1. re: streetgourmetla

                                                  To those of you who still wish to try Ricky's tacos, be aware that there is no signage. Just look into the large garden area at the Sunset Junction (near Intelligentsia and the adjacent cheese shop) for people leisurely eating their way through the afternoon...and for Ricky who is having the best time of all!

                                                  Usually, I think he is in this location until about 4:00pm, but on the day we were there, he said he was staying until 5:00pm. I don't know if he holds to a strict schedule.

                                                  1. re: liu

                                                    I love Ricky's but his hours can be very irregular. On several occasions I've gone a half hour later than he tweeted that he'd be open, only to find other people waiting. :(

                                              2. RFT is actually better now than before.

                                                Since they got a griddle setup, your tortillas are now lightly grilled. Also batter is much more flavorful.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: ns1

                                                  I'm there!
                                                  Thanks, ns1, for this update. I am anxious to try his fare at his new location.

                                                  1. re: liu

                                                    It's totally different now.

                                                    2 canopies, 2 fryers, fish (2.50), shrimp (3), aguas (1 free refill), a few tables/chairs, 2 guys helping him out (at least on Friday's)

                                                    One thing that's undeniable: goddamn those tacos are good.

                                                    Hospital is nearby so it's a pretty decent lunch time rush. Also parking is much, much improved.

                                                2. I'm too lazy to read through all the posts again so I am not sure if it has been mentioned here, but they have really good Fish Tacos at La Bufadora (I have been to the one in Irwindale - I know there is another one somewhere). Those roasted chiles they have are the best!!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: WildSwede

                                                    http://tacoslabufadora.com/

                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                      Thanky!