Doesn’t matter if it’s on a paper plate in a supermarket parking lot or on hand-thrown ceramic in a high-style dining room, Los Angeles Chowhounds love a good fish taco. If the pescado and tortilla are fresh and the salsa’s full of flavor, no drive is too long—especially for one of these eight ‘hound favorites, listed in alphabetical order:
1. BEST FISH TACO IN ENSENADA
1650 N. Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles
The $1.50 fish tacos and serve-yourself salsa counter at this thatch-roofed shack in Los Feliz draw crowds from all over. Radish relish, mango salsa, spicy guacamole, and pineapple salsa are just some of the options heaped high in large bowls over ice. Take your plate outside to dine on the comfy patio.
2. MARISCOS LA BUCANA — CLOSED
11016 Concert Street, El Monte
Some places skimp on fish and go heavy on slaw, but Mariscos La Bucana’s tacos are stuffed to the gills with fried chunks of fish. Wash them down with a killer michelada.
3. MUDDY LEEK — CLOSED
8631 Washington Boulevard, Culver City
The fish taco plate is offered only at lunch—two tacos with the day’s catch (California white bass, say, or Mexican white shrimp), pickled cabbage, and house-made guac. Also on the plate: rice, beans, and nopalito salad.
4. RICKY’S FISH TACOS
1100 N. Main Street, Los Angeles
No phone available
Ricky Piña’s weekend pop-up stand shuffled from Silver Lake to Chinatown (and rumors have circulated about a food truck). That’s just fine for fans, who’d follow him anywhere for one of his well-battered fish tacos. Lobster and shrimp tacos are usually on offer, too.
5. TACO NAZO
It all began with one lunch truck in 1978. Now, with six locations east of downtown LA, Taco Nazo has a fish taco empire. Double-stacked tortillas hold a wonderfully sloppy load of battered pollack, pico de gallo, and crema. Ask for a fork.
6. TACOS BAJA ENSENADA
5385 Whittier Boulevard, Los Angeles
Ensenada-style tacos are the thing at this tiny chain. There’s a unique accompaniment on the salsa bar: roasted whole yellow chiles dusted in red chile powder. (Note: Two unrelated taquerias operate under the name Tacos Baja in Whittier and Glendora.)
7. TACOS PUNTA CABRAS — CLOSED
2311 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica
This newish kitchen is run by Supper Liberation Front chefs Daniel Snukal and Josh Gil—their batter for soft, flaky wild-caught cod is some of the thinnest around. Some ‘hounds recommend adding the fantastic lemon-habanero salsa to turn up the heat.
8. TAQUERIA LOS ANAYA
4651 W. Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles
Family-run Los Anaya is a standout on this quiet stretch of Adams Boulevard. The battered and fried swordfish tacos are great, but the kitchen will grill your fish if you want something lighter. Another hit: the Veracruz-style tilapia plate on the specials menu.
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This article was updated on November 30, 2017 to reflect restaurant closures.