Archive for 'Mexican'

Mexciali Taco & Co Might Be The Biggest Lunch Opening of 2012


Last year Mexicali Taco & Co. shocked the world by defeating Mariscos Jalisco in the finals of LA Taco’s Taco Madness 2011.  Ok, maybe “shock the world” is a bit of an overstatement.  But the shrimp taco dorado from the Mariscos Jalisco truck is one of the single greatest tacos I have ever eaten. And the whole thing is deep fried.  Could a simple carne asada taco (even one covered in garlic and cheese that’s been melted quesadilla style) compete with a taco that was good enough to dispatch Ricky’s Fish Tacos in the semi finals!? Sadly, Mexicali Taco wasn’t open for lunch. And tracking down their makeshift, late night, outdoor set up on 1st & Beaudry was just not realistic for those of us who do our DTLA food exploring during the day.

So when I heard that they were finally opening a brick and mortar location, and that location would have regular business hours (aka open for lunch!) I got pretty excited. In fact, for fans of lunch, yesterday’s grand opening could be the biggest of 2012.

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Where To Find California Burritos in Los Angeles


What do falafel sandwiches, chicken parm sandwiches, gyro pitas, and burritos all have in common? Answer: They are all made infinitely better when stuffed with french fries. Don’t agree? Then you’re probably a communist. (Or a far less disgusting eater than I.) But in California, the king of the french fry stuffed lunch has got to be the California Burrito, a San Diego creation that is essentially carne asada fries, wrapped in a giant tortilla. Or as I like to call it, a nugget of deliciousness.  I’ve never actually had a California burrito in San Diego, but that’s probably a good thing. Because it means that I can enjoy these 3 (presumably more mediocre) versions available right here in Los Angeles.

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Hollywood & Highland Doesn’t Deserve Komida’s Tacos


Say what you want about Yamashiro, the crazy almost 100 year old Japanese palace turned restaurant perched on a “Mountain” just above Franklin Ave. in Hollywood, but their chef makes some freakin’ delicious tacos. Previously only available at the Yamashiro Farmers Market and various special events around town, it’s Japanese inspired finger food featuring fillings like miso cod and hoisin duck confit served alongside their now famous wasabi guacamole. Think Kogi, if Kogi tacos were Japanese, more refined, smaller and more expensive. Ok, so maybe not like Kogi at all.

I’ve always been a big fan. So when they announced that they were going to be spinning the tacos off into their own brick and mortar location called Komida I was pretty damn excited. Yamashiro tacos, available everyday for lunch? Awesome! As long as they don’t do something stupid like put it in some shitty mall in the most touristy part of the city, we’re golden.

What’s that you say?  Hollywood and Whaaaaa?  Fuck.

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All Lunch Spots Should Have a Guisados Style Sampler Platter


Obviously we here at ML believe that lunch is the most important decision you’ll make today, and I often get asked how I decide where to go. I can’t divulge all of the complex algorithms that determine whether a place is worthy of being called a Midtown Lunch, but there are a few menu items that are guaranteed to get me excited (spoiler: putting avocado on a chicken sandwich, which an improvement, is not one of them). Topping a burger with a runny egg will guarantee you a looksee. In fact, topping anything with a runny egg is good thing in my book. Putting french fries or onion rings in places where they don’t belong also brings me a lot of joy (i.e. inside falafel pitas, or stuffed into burritos). And of course, there is the all you can eat buffet- which could be the greatest form of lunchtime eating ever invented. I am a very forgiving eater when faced with the prospect of all you can eat.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “You, are a fat bastard Zach. Of course you like the all you can eat buffet!” But to be completely honest it is way more about variety than quantity. Which is why I was super excited by the $7 sampler platter being served at Guisados in Boyle Heights.

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El Jacalito Brings Oaxacan Home Cooking to Culver West


Last month’s lunch at the Bill Esparza approved Gish Bac on Washington near Crenshaw gave me a serious craving for mole.  Ordering mole in L.A. is always a crapshoot, but Gish Bac’s red and black versions are everything you hope for when you go all in on a new place.  Thick, complex, fragrant… it’s the kind of sauce that sticks with you for awhile, giving you hope that greatness might, just might, be found in any old Oaxacan place in any part of the city.  And it was that optimism that brought me into El Jacalito, a tiny little joint on Washington near Centinela in Culver City.

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Barbacoa-less Gish Bac Still Makes a Great Weekday Lunch


L.A. Times’ “The Find” column has sussed out some pretty amazing lunches over the past few months. In March it was all over the completely under-appreciated Flavors of Belize on La Brea. Then came Koreatown jokbal in April. Chimu was the big June discovery. And this month the streak continues with Gish Bac, a Oaxacan restaurant in Mid City uncovered by Bill Esparza, L.A.’s resident food expert of all things south of the border. And for me, when Bill says go eat something you know it’s going to be good.  (Cases in point: Mariscos Jalisco, Ricky’s Fish Tacos, and Mariscos Chente.)

A big portion of the article focused on their weekend only barbacoa, but it also had high praise for their 30+ ingredient house-made mole negro. So when I saw that nothing on their lunch menu was over $10, I rushed right over to check it out.

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Getting the Best For Less at La Cevicheria

La Cevicheria

Ever since Profiled Lunch’er Sara recommended La Cevicheria back in August of last year it’s been on my list of places to hit up.  It took me a year to finally do so because for some reason I had gotten it into my head that despite its Mid City location (on Pico just East of Crenshaw) lunch at this Guatemalan ceviche specialist was going to end up costing more than $10, my self imposed lunchtime limit (what can I say, I’m a cheap bastard.)  And sure enough the specialty of the house, which features blood clams highly recommended by The Guru himself, is a whopping $15.   But it is actually far easier than I expected to get a lunch for under $10, without sacrificing the best dishes La Cevicheria has to offer.

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