Hands down the best tacos I have ever eaten. Several foodie friends told us we need to try Guisados in Echo Park from Texas John back in Sydney to Our Friend, We’ll Call Him Nick just down the road in Silver Lake.
Saying we went in with high hopes and expectations would be an understatement…
Undeterred by the long queue and wanting to celebrate our first Cinco De Mayo in Los Angeles we waited patiently in line for about twenty minutes before ordering. The kitchen is set up so you can see the cooks prepare everything before you. Including a gun of a woman making fresh tortillas in a matter of seconds, surely she was breaking some kind of Guinness record. I was glad to see that despite it’s fabulous reputation it wasn’t chock full of pretenders to the throne and hipsters from the lake.
We were unable to decide on which three tacos we wished to order, so we texted Our Friend, We’ll Call Him Nick to see what he recommended…he said eat everything. So we each ordered The Sampler for $7.50; 6 mini tacos of various slow cook concoctions. Everything was just incredible we ate the same flavour at the same time to share our opinions. However because we had so many variations all at once I can’t remember each flavour exactly but I’ll mention the standouts.
The King Pin by unanimous decision was the Cochinita Pibil, shredded pork cooked in a sweet stew, garnished with pickled red onions and habeneros. Sweet, a little spicy and uniquely balanced it was a real flavour kick in the gut. We ate this one in the middle of the Sampler when our taste buds were getting meshed so it shows how fabulous it was. I also loved the Mole Pablano, shredded chicken, topped with sour cream, queso freso, dried chillies and red onion, strong bold flavours but not too much that people who haven’t tried Mexican food before won’t like.
The Steak Picado was quite interesting it actually tasted more Indian in it’s flavours, like if Vindaloo and Madras got kinky this would be their love child, albeit served in a soft tortilla blanket rather than on a bed of basmati.
Not wanting to line up again and afraid the mini tacos wouldn’t be enough we ordered one extra regular sized Taco each. His Lordship ordered the Chorizo for $2.75 and I ordered the Pescado (Fish) for $3.00. The grilled fish taco was incredible, lightly seasoned and fresh in all it’s flavours with cabbage, avocado/ cilantro cream, chile arbol, and pico de gallo it was a nice departure from the really saucy tacos eaten earlier.
We were fortunate enough to chat with Owner Armando. A friendly chap who went to each table to make sure everyone was satisfied with their meals. Hearing we were from Australia and this was our first visit he really wanted to make it special. He brought us his favourite dishes to try, the Quesadilla con Chorizo and the Taco Chuleta en Chile Verde. Just incredible the Quesadilla was wonderfully balanced with queso panela, grilled – think Mexican version of Halloumi, but not as thick, with chorizo and mild chipotle sour cream. The Pork Taco was actually made from diced pork chop, diced and slow cooked served with black beans and green serrano chilli with a little sour cream to balance the heat. Loved it all. It was great to see he loves his business and is genuinely please when people appreciate and scoff his food down.
Although you need to q curb side, there is dining options available both inside and outback in their fairy lit courtyard with ample seating and heating. Whilst street parking is available nearby (aim for post 7) there is also limited parking available near their mural covered courtyard. We will be back, breakfast, this Sunday from 9am perhaps…
Guisados is open 7 days a week, from 10.30 am til late in the evening most days, the only exclusion being Sunday where they open earlier at 9 am for breakfast but close at 5pm. Address: 1261 W Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026