Los Angeles’s Guerilla Tacos elevates the Mexican pocket food to spectacular
Guerilla tactics include keeping on the move so folks don’t always know where you are. As a food truck, Guerilla Tacos certainly accomplishes that, setting up outside various Los Angeles-area coffee shop locations (such as Blue Bottle and Blacktop) each week.
But it throws me a curve when the truck is at a special event some six miles from where I’m expecting it to be. Still, I can be persistent in pursuit of search of good road food and soon track this roaming restaurant down.
Another guerrilla strategy is throwing people for a loop. And owner/”professional cocinero” Wes Avila definitely achieves this with taco takes on his daily menu you won’t find anywhere else—a blend of influences from his travels to places like France, Spain, Costa Rica and Mexico.
Guerilla Tacos sets up outside various Los Angeles coffee shops
Take my steaming hot delicacy of thinly sliced summer squash with runny guajillo chile, cashews, queso (Mexican cheese) and herbs. It’s a strange combination that works spectacularly well. Other wide-eyed customers are tackling a cauliflower taco with Medjool dates ($5) or, get this, blue crab and potato with sun gold tomato. For larger appetites, there’s a cheese and tomatillo torta ($11) and a sirloin burrito ($10).
What guerrilla manoeuvre will mad chef Wes spring on his unsuspecting followers next?
Check the website for daily locations in and around Los Angeles
Daily 10 am-2 pm
A feast for the eyes, and tastebuds: A sampler plate of tacos at Guisados in Los Angeles
I’m looking down a long list of tacos at Guisados, a gleaming corner joint on a colourful, noisy Latino street in Boyle Heights, east of downtown Los Angeles. There are 15 choices in all, many featuring Guisados’ signature braised meats.
I ask the server a bunch of questions, essentially dithering, till she suggests the sampler, featuring six mini tacos. Perfect. In one fell swoop, I can try nearly half the menu, without breaking the bank or bursting my stomach lining.
Time to dig in
The braising in various sauces results in rich, flavourful mouthfuls of chicken, pork and beef goodness. They’re all served on handmade corn tortillas, made from fresh-ground masa.
My highlights are a chicken mole poblano and a Cochinta Pibil—shredded pork in a red achiote sauce with black beans and habanero chile. Noting the written warning, on the latter, to “proceed with caution”, I wisely dial down the heat rating to five out of 10. A house-made horchata is the perfect cool down for this little furnace blast.
2100 East Cesar E. Chavez Avenue (three other Los Angeles locations)
Monday to Saturday 10:30 am-8 pm, Sunday 9 am-5 pm