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Mexican Food: Chefs' Specials
We asked local chefs to share their favorite Mexican restaurants (and trucks and stands)
I love My Taco in Highland Park for its lamb, potato tacos, chili verde, chili rojo, chili relleno, and the plato de carne asada. If you get to know George, the chef, who trained at the Cordon Bleu and under Octavio Becerra at Palate, he might just make you a plate of grilled chicken-thigh fries with queso fundido, jalapeño, cilantro, and red onion. My Taco is renowned for its carne asada fries, and George’s new version is a bit lighter, more vibrant, and more colorful, and somehow it seems healthy.
-Michael Cimarusti, chef and owner, Providence
Personally, I don’t think about going out for Mexican food only because I eat it so much at our restaurants, but I do love going to Central Market and getting the tongue tacos and the gorditas. They are messy and full of the fillings. The meat is cooked perfectly, so I have to say it makes eating them pretty damn easy. If I had to pick a taco truck, I like the one at the corner of Olympic and La Brea late at night. I love how over the last two years I’ve seen that truck take advantage of the taco truck craze. They now have big lightbulbs out front and a pretty big crowd there at midnight. It’s very exciting to see how this craze has encouraged business for all trucks, not just the gourmet ones.
-Susan Feniger, co-chef and co-owner, Border Grill
The Rose Avenue taco truck in Venice. I like the carnitas tacos. I love that this is so close to my home and has authentic Mexican food.
– David Myers, chef and owner, Comme Ca, Pizzeria Ortica, and Sona
The tacos de cochinita pibil at Paco’s Tacos are always a favorite. The pork is slow roasted with chiles and authentic spices. The flavors are utterly Mexican.
-Richard Sandoval, chef and owner, Zengo and La Sandia
When Karen and I were opening Hatfield’s on Beverly, we were at the restaurant supply store and we were starving! The salesman recommended that we try King Taco. While ordering our tacos, I asked what “molleja” was, and the reply was, “it’s beef,” so we ordered two. Once we started eating them, we recognized that they were crispy veal sweetbreads—and really good. Now it’s my favorite taco in town!
-Quinn Hatfield, chef and owner, Hatfield’s