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Hottest Taco Joint in LA

Hello LA hounds!
I am from Toronto and am helping curate a large Canada vs USA taco throwdown in October as part of a Food Network sponsored event. I would like to know what are the top/ hottest taco joints in LA to reach out to for this job. Looking forward to tasting their goods!


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  1. Tacos Punta Cabras, for one

    1. Some of the board's favorites include Ricky's Fish Tacos, Guisados, Tacos Punta Cabras, Leo's Taco Truck, Mariscos Jalisco, but everyone has their own favorite, so you're liable to get a huge list.

      We just had a really fantastic taco-centric food festival called Tacolandia. You can read about some of our experiences here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/906589. A list of the participating restaurants are here: http://microapp.laweekly.com/tacoland....

      3 Replies
      1. re: PeterCC

        If you threw in Mexicali, possibly Coni Seafood and maybe Kogi for good measure I'd say this list pretty much sums it up.

        1. re: PeterCC

          I would (generally) skip Leo's. The reason being, it's main claim to fame is the trompo (vertical rotisserie) with al pastor. The guy who makes those tacos is not there all the time. He's usually there on weekends, but I've seen him at odd nights when I've drove by. The truck is on the n/w corner of La Brea/Venice is there like clockwork, but many times not the guy making those particular tacos. From my past experience, the other dishes from Leo's are not especially memorable.

          1. re: Feed_me

            conclusion: only go to Leo's on weekend nights.

        2. Ricky's Fish Tacos. Only open weekend lunches. Check his twitter for hours. These are great tacos!

          1. I have not been yet but the new Petty Cash on Beverly Blvd is supposed to be very good.

            1. Guisado's,
              Guerrila Tacos
              El Coraloense
              Cacao Mexicatessen
              Rocio's Mole

              Some of these folks are more available than others for a north-of-the-border pop-up, since they are pop-up themslves (Guerrila). You can also reach out to the Guelaguetza family who is part of Taste of Mexico: http://thetasteofmexico.org/ , they love doing these type of PR events.

              1. Mexicali should be in everyone's top 3 list. When they make their oyster tacos, look out Ricky and Jalisco! They are constantly trying new stuff! Fish taco coming soon!

                9 Replies
                1. re: Burger Boy

                  You know I took some out of towners to Mexicali and it was their least favorite of the 3 taco stops we went to.

                    1. re: Burger Boy

                      the run for that night was mexicali/guisados/chiquis, with guisados taking the horchata/tortilla rounds but chiquis being the overall winner (lack of pineapple and all)

                      i love mexicali's nachos but I'm actually no longer a fan of the carne asada tacos.

                      nachos/vampiro only for this 'hound

                    2. re: ns1

                      I am not a fan of Mexicali either. I have had much better tacos elsewhere.

                        1. re: mc michael

                          good ahi tacos at Mexicali Taco Co. ?

                          I only thought they had meat tacos.

                          And in that case, I'll have to make a return visit.

                          1. re: kevin

                            My bad. Thinking of Mexicali in Studio City.

                        2. re: jgilbert1000

                          What are some of the other places?

                      1. La Otra Escuela Taqueria on Beverly Blvd in mid-city/weho area is awesome. Lots of taco variety, BYOB policy, and their freshly made chips are to die for. Don't miss the short rib taco. I can't wait to go back.

                        1. It gets pretty hot waiting on line at Tito's. :P

                          15 Replies
                          1. re: mc michael

                            The only thing better than a Tito's taco is two! Authentic 1960's era LA-Mexican :D

                            1. re: AAQjr

                              this looks like a good option, thanks!

                                1. re: mc michael

                                  People like to bag on Tito's, but they must be doing something right. Not my thing for sure, but they're always busy, and it's not just gringos eating there.

                                  1. re: PeterCC

                                    I think they get an appealing flavor mix out of the macerated meat, cheddar cheese and the salsa. It's not like a real taco, but it's tasty.

                                  2. re: mc michael

                                    i love tito's. i don't care what anyone thinks. they're bomb dot com

                                    1. re: beaubourne


                                      bomb dot com ???

                                      am i missing something here ?

                                      1. re: kevin

                                        It's just what the hep kids say these days...

                                        1. re: PeterCC

                                          dang, i'm not even that old, i guess i missed the boat on that one.

                                          i'll wait for the fad to pass hopefully. and catch the next gravy train.

                                            1. re: mc michael

                                              Well, to a "chow hound" that might not be a bad fit... (g)

                                    1. El Chato is incredible, especially for Al Pastor. Guisados is also pretty knockout

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: young_chower

                                        I think my biggest problem with Guisados is you buy the sampler plate and when you're done you have no idea wtf you just ate.

                                        1. re: ns1

                                          no idea ?

                                          does it all just taste like the same crap ?

                                          btw, is el chato the one on olympic near la brea ?

                                          1. re: ns1

                                            ? That's weird, every time I've ordered it the server describes each one. At the very least, they'll name them and you can read the description up on the board.

                                            1. re: ns1

                                              The sampler plate includes the top five items on the wall menu, but you can ask for specific items. If they don't explain, which they will gladly do, you can extrapolate.

                                              1. re: Ogawak

                                                I've also never had them refuse when I ask if I can choose my own sampler plate. They still point out which is which when its ready.