Let’s talk about the best taco in Los Angeles. I know it’s dangerous territory I’m treading on here, but I feel confident in my choice. I may not look like a taco aficionado, but I’ve actually got some cred when it comes to Mexican cuisine. For starters, I have been vetted by my Mexican fiancé. Also, not to brag, but my spice threshold is no joke for a gringa. I like my tacos spicy, and my preferred fillings are the really tender cuts of meat that shine in Mexican preparations, like lengua and cabeza. A year ago, I would have sworn that El Chato, the truck you can find late nights at Olympic and La Brea, had the best taco in town. And they do serve truly delicious tacos for $1 apiece. Those perfectly charred little salty scraps of cheap cuts of meat “con todo” topped with a few slivers of habanero-soaked onion are nearly untouchable. But there’s more to a taco than the filling, and it’s really the sum of the parts in Guisados tacos that create a true symphony in your mouth. The foundation of the taco is the corn tortilla, which Guisados hand makes fresh daily. Their tortillas are thick and chewy and savory, delicious enough to eat by themselves. That’s a rare delight. The fillings rotate, and the day’s wares are displayed on the chalkboard. One of my favorite things about Guisados is the 6 mini-taco sampler platter, which I invariably opt for. I always want to try everything, but some mainstays that are definitely winners are the steak in salsa roja and the cochinita pibil. The cochinita pibil can be ordered on a spice scale from 1-10+, with 10+ being a blow-your-face-off pile of habanero, arbol and serrano chiles atop shredded pork smothered in habanero salsa. I like to order mine (mini sized) at an 8 or 9, which is still sufficiently crazy spicy. I also love the veggie tacos, especially the mushroom. Beautiful vegetarian tacos like these are not to be found at any of LA’s great taco trucks.

Every Guisados taco has great flavor, so you can’t really go wrong. Unless, of course, you neglect to order a quesadilla. A Guisados quesadilla is a simple thing, just a folded over corn tortilla with a thick slice of chewy, salty cheese inside and a squirt of some sort of orange colored sauce. It’s not a traditional quesadilla—the cheese is grilled, not melted—but it’s simply divine.

In a city that boasts the best Mexican food in the United States, of course there is no one taco that is worth forsaking all others. But Guisados serves a really formidable, crave-able taco that I keep returning for, despite the distance from SaMo to Boyle Heights.


If you read any food publications at all, I don’t have to tell you that Jitlada is the hottest Thai in town. It has only been four years since chef/owner Jazz Singsanong took over the E Hollywood restaurant, but in that short time she has received accolade upon accolade from Gourmet, LA Weekly, Food Network—you name it. Even though it’s hidden away in a strip mall in Thai town, you will probably have to wait for a table on a random Tuesday night. It’s populated with an unlikely crowd of Hollywood hotties and homeless people that come in off of Sunset Blvd. Oh yeah, and the food is ridiculously good. It’s not your average Pad See Ew and sweet curry, it’s blow-your-face-off spicy, made-to-order authentic Southern Thai cuisine, and you can actually taste the love coming out of the kitchen. Yes, that sounds crazy, but each of the hundred some odd dishes on the menu is a family recipe that is carefully made as you order it. Those signs that say “be patient for our best dishes” aren’t joking. If you don’t die of starvation and longing for the next table’s food before yours comes, you will be generously rewarded. I don’t want to tell you what to order because there are so many gems, it would be hard to go wrong. Plus I don’t know if, like my boyfriend, you’re the kind of person who goes for fish kidney curry and frog leg stew, or if, like me, you crave glass noodle soup and green curry noodles. Either way, you are in for some serious flavor and in all likelihood, it’s not the flavor profile you’re used to. The sauces are complex, spicy, sweet, sour, sometimes fishy in a good way. Go with a group so you can taste lots of different things, because you won’t be able to decide. Also, it’s a bit on the pricy side for Thai—there are dishes on the menu that alone exceed our $20 budget, but there are definitely good options for less, including the glass noodle soup with ground chicken and veggies for $9.95. It sounds boring, but the flavor is wonderful and deep. Don't miss the Morning Glory Salad, it is strange and wonderful. Pictured is the Crying Tiger Beef, featured by chef Curtis Stone on “Best Thing I Ever Ate,” also for $9.95.