It’s not hard to find a decent taco in LA – there are around 6 million Mexican Americans living in Greater Los Angeles, after all – but why settle for a decent taco when you could have an amazing taco? Guisados in East LA deals solely in the latter: improbably delicious, homemade corn tortillas piled with densely flavoured stewed meats or crisply battered fish, and topped with slivers of fresh avocado, drizzles of sour cream and strands of sweet red onion.
Housed in a canteen-style corner cafe, Guisados’ short menu is as no-frills as its decor, but I was still overwhelmed by the unfamiliar descriptions marker penned onto the whiteboard behind the counter. Chicarron, Calabacitas, Chuleta, oh my. Luckily, Guisados take the guesswork out of the equation by offering a mini taco sampler which delivers six, McVities Digestive-sized tacos, each served with a different dollop of whatever filling they’re cooking up that day.
On the Friday afternoon that I visited, that selection that included rich, chocolatey mole poblano, an unctuous bistek en salsa roja, and a fiery cochinita pibil. My untrained eye was unable to distinguish the fillings on sight alone, but each taco delivered a double mouthful of distinct, perfectly balanced flavours, fresh, chewy taco, and painfully tender meat. It’s too early to gauge whether Guisados offers the best tacos in LA, but it’s also hard to imagine finding anything better. Watch this space.