Eat Drink Style Stepping Into the Colorful, Tasteful World of Mexico - Mexico City

Stepping into Mexico

It's 3:17 pm on any given day.

A Mexican man with a cowboy hat has his arms interlocked with his mother's, as they walk to church.

A taco truck is surrounded by herds of hungry construction workers and covered with fluorescent poster boards and chicken scratch – patiently waiting for their $1.25 delicacies from all parts of the cow and pig.

Four Mexican children wearing Catholic school uniforms hold both of their backpack straps as they await the bus. Taking pictures of each other with their silver cellphones.

A teen-aged Mexican girl hooks shiny new piñatas across the front entrance of her parent's gift shop with a pole.

A weary, sweaty Mexican man yields two heavy bags of oranges and paces up and down the corner of a busy boulevard.

An older Mexican woman dispenses fresh tamarindo and horchata juice from large plastic barrels resting on milk crates into styrofoam cups for $1 each.

A group of Mexican guys pull up to the intersection in an '88 Honda Civic, pumping the latest regatón beats.

On any given day, this is the life in Mexico. But it's also happening where we live. Here, in Los Angeles.

Ever since moving to the Silver Lake area, I drive through the Pico/Union and Koreatown area to get to work. If you weren't a native Angeleno or familiar with those areas, one might experience a sudden time travel to our Southern neighbor of Mexico. And that is the beauty of Los Angeles... large representations of many ethnicities. There is a close relation between Mexico and Los Angeles. You see it in forms of music, art, businesses, jobs and of course, food. There is the old adage: you can take a person out of their country, but you can't take the country out of them. It's so true. And for this Christmas break, J & I wanted to see just where the Latino part of LA stems from.

The first part of our trip took place in the Yucatan/Quintana Roo side of Mexico, by the Caribbean. To make a long story short: powdery sand, turquoise water, underwater caves, expensive taxi rides, expensive touristy food, fantastic seafood soup (caldo de mariscos) and lastly, the loss of our Nikon D70 (including the 450 photos we took), which was stolen from my backpack while on a bus ride to Cancun. But all of that changed once we stepped foot into Mexico City. With the purchase of a new Canon SD750 point and shoot digital camera, it was time to make up for what we lost. I think the majority of this posting can be done with minimal explanation , so enjoy the silence. My goal was to really demonstrate the vibrancy of this beautiful city.

Casa Comtesse Dining Room View

Casa Comtesse in Condesa Area
Not bad for a listing on This was not a hostel, but more so, someone's house. There are only 3 rooms in this 2-story condo. Full access to kitchen, food, alcohol and washer/dryer. All for only $50 a night. Even Crazy Gideon would be taken back by this deal. The guy running this is a French national and is totally cool. We didn't get to meet him, but his demeanor was well understood in his many check up emails. The Condesa area is almost synonymous with NYC's East Village. There are plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars in this area.

Casa Comtesse Hallway

Casa Comtesse Dining Room

Casa Comtesse Bathroom View

Casa Comtesse Balcony View

Casa Comtesse Balcony View

Condesa DF Hotel

Condesa DF Hotel
A few blocks away from Casa Comtesse is the ultra-stylish Condesa DF Hotel. J & I walked over here on New Year's Eve for a drink at the bar. Unfortunately, we did not make the "Rico Suave" list. Oh well, next time.

Condesa DF Hotel

Condesa DF Hotel

Condesa DF Hotel

Mexico City Metro

Should I Spend 2 Pesos or Walk?
At 2 pesos per subway ride (that's 20 cents!), Mexico City has the cheapest method of transportation. Even cheaper than those stupid carousel/car rides outside of supermarkets which really don't get you anywhere but a free ride to Dorkland.

Palacio Nacional en Mexico City

Palacio Postal in Mexico City

Mexican Buildings

Kids Playing in Mexico City

Mexico City Buildings

Green Volkswagen Beetle Taxi

White Volkswagen Beetle in Mexico City

Man Dragging Bag in Mexico City

Mexico City Buildings

Street Art in Mexico City

Market in Mexico City

Street Art in Mexico City

Street Art in Mexico City

Street Art in Mexico City

Baby Doll in Mexico City

Strawberry Caipirinha

Shrimp Empanada

Cohiba Cigarettes - Made in Cuba

Montecristo Cuban Cigars

Juice Jugos Jugo

Mexican Waitress

Mexican Butter Mantequilla

Neveria Roxy Ice Cream shop in Mexico City

Taco Guy in Mexico City

Fresh Chicken in Mexico City

Blue Tacos

Quesadillas in Mexico City

Red Tables & Chairs in Mexico City

Tacos al Pastor

Salsa Roja & Salsa Verde

Pastor Torta

Tacos al Pastor

Taco Bistec with Nopales

Tacos al Pastor

Pollo ala Brasa

Mexican Baker Bread Lady

Mexican Coca Cola Bottles

Next up, my favorite part of the trip: Oaxaca.

Eat Drink Style Mammoth Snow, Food and Sounds. Chili and French Onion Soup Recipe.

After a 2.5 year hiatus, I finally went back up to Mammoth for a little R&R for New Years. Only my friends will know why I’ve been absent for so long and we’ll leave it at that. I know they’re laughing right now. Good times right? My friend L picked me up and we headed up the 14 & 395 freeway for one of California’s finest resorts. Places like Mammoth really make California the place to be. We have great food, a good music scene, tolerable beaches, lush vineyards, snow, silicone, collagen and plastic. Only a 4.5 hour drive, Mammoth was the perfect escape for the fourteen of us. We arrived around 2 am and immediately cracked open the liquor for a night of debauchery. What else can you do in a cabin? Board games? Hell no.

While the liquor flowed, I immediately jumped into my favorite part of any house – the kitchen. The bathroom is second. After spending $150 on my yellow Le Creuset pot, I had to make as much use of it as I could. Soups and stews immediately come to mind when stuck in a cold, snowy environment, like Mammoth. I decided to quickly make a Chili with ground beef because after all it was 2 am and I didn’t have all night to braise Osso Buco veal shanks. No beans. When you have fourteen hungry snowboarders couped up in a warm, three-bedroom condo, sleeping side-by-side, it would be to everyone’s best interest to skip on the beans. God knows what would have happened if a match was lit.

For the chili, I browned 4 lbs. of ground beef with olive oil, a little bit of butter and S&P on medium heat. I threw in a few pieces of bacon, one whole diced onion, 1 bellpepper, 2 minced garlic cloves and four large cans of whole peeled tomatoes from Trader Joe’s, and brought it to a simmer. I then added cumin, oregano, garlic salt and chili powder. I used water to balance out the acidity from the tomatoes. After about 45 minutes, it was ready to go. My favorite chili is from Wienerschnitzel’s and I find it easier to cook a dish when you have a recipe to follow. Wienerschniztel’s is heavy on cumin, and although I dumped a grip in to the pot, I was far from having the same taste. Oh well.

I’m sorry for the constant referencing of flatulence, but I really think elevation plays a big part in it. I had no beans in the chili and yet everyone still… well you could imagine the night. Just imagine the horns section of a high school band – tuba, trumpet, trombone and whatever Kenny G plays in an off-rhythm, 6-hour symphony.

It was 8 am, and the concert was finally over – time to ride the frosted mountains of Mammoth. It was beautiful… like perfectly, buttered and pureed mashed potatoes. I was a little bit concerned that I would be heading back to the bunny slopes after the first run because of my 2.5 years of inactivity. I actually did okay and gained my confidence back.

We broke for lunch at Canyon Lodge at around 12:30 to regain some energy expended from dodging snobby skiers who think they own the mountain and snowboarders lounging on the mountain like they were at a beach in Hawaii. I thought about bringing my chili in Tupperware and packing it in my backpack, but in case I were to eat shit, it wouldn’t have been good. I’d look like I was a Taiwanese, shaved ice topped off with some red chili. Even Bourdain would say that’s gross. We all know how ridiculously expensive lodge food could be, but man, after a few runs, EVERYTHING smells good and looks good. Over to my left, I could hear the sizzling of fresh hamburgers and hot dogs. I didn’t feel like a burger though. Over to my right, was a bar. Hmm. Beer for lunch? That actually sounds appetizing. I was kinda full from the instant oatmeal I had for breakfast. Naw. I didn’t want to have to pull over into the forest for a quick watering while on the trail. I went in to the crowded cafeteria and considered my options:

Grilled food. No.
Soups and salad. No.
Pizza. Mmm, that sounds good. $5 a slice? No thanks.
Mexican food. No, not after last night’s 6-hour symphony.
Chinese food. Okay, fine.

I got three egg rolls for $4 with a side of fried rice for $3. How Asian can I be? I can’t even stay away from rice for ONE WHOLE WEEKEND haha. Well it turns out that maybe I should’ve gone for the big, juicy hamburger. The “Chinese” food I ordered made Panda Inn taste like haute cuisine.

We got back from snowboarding at around 4 pm and we were all worn out. We had gone to the top of the mountain where the 40-90 mph winds blew needle-like snow into your face. Ouch. My lips were chapped and cheeks were stone cold, and the only thing to warm us up would be a group of hot chicks and a hot bowl of soup. For dinner, we decided to have beef/turkey spaghetti and French Onion soup.

I sliced six, large onions on medium heat till they were caramelized with two cloves of smashed garlic and four sprigs of thyme. The hardest and most crucial part in making FOS is the caramelization of the onions. Caramelization is the oxidation of the sugars in the onion – the result is a brown, nutty color and sweet taste to the onion. This takes 15-20 minutes and requires constant attention so that the onions are not burnt. Once they've reached the caramelized state, I added about 3/4 of a bottle of Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon. Yeah, here I go again with the $2 buck chuck haha. Who cares. I simmered the onions and wine for about 10 minutes so the tannins (alcoholic acids) would evaporate and then added six cans of beef broth. Threw in another four sprigs of thyme and simmered it for about ninety minutes. Add S&P, garlic, oregano and dried thyme to achieve the desired taste. I forgot to use Worcestershire Sauce to give it that acidic kick but I think the FOS tasted okay. I also baked a few croutons using a La Brea Bakery baguette, olive oil, garlic and thyme, for dipping. Cheese was not used because the soup wouldn’t have been hot enough to melt the cheese. Restaurants usually throw the bowl of FOS into the oven with the cheese and crouton submerged in the soup, making the soup gooey and yummy.

As the night went on, I could hear the sounds of sobs and sniffles as the girls and one guy (AK) soaked up all the Kleenex tissues watching The Notebook, the clanking of beer bottles and glasses as us guys played card games for drinks and the ever so loud sound of the 'symphony'.

Good snow. Good friends. Good food. Definitely good times.

Eat Drink Style Kitchen Etiquette 101

In a coordinate effort with Daily Gluttony, I've posted a touchy subject regarding kitchen etiquette. I know this sign was made intentionally for me haha. Atleast three times a week, i'll be nuking some kind of stir fry that employs a little soy sauce and fish sauce. Yes, I feel bad but what can i do about it. I like the food. I can't eat 'safe' food all the time because it gets boring.

Another funny thing is when my coworkers marvel at my lunch, giving me the fake:

"Oh what is that? it looks so good!"

"Yeah right, you want some?"

"Uhhh. No I'm okay. I have my sandwich and salad. Thanks. "

Anyone else out there get funny looks? Or signs made ESPECIALLY for you?

Would this disgusting fruit cake be acceptable?????

Eat Drink Style ED&BM's New Years Fullfillable and/or Unfulfillable Wishes

The new year has arrived and so has everyone’s long lists of resolutions that might prove to be fulfillable – yet mostly unfulfillable. Of all the bad habits I have -- gluttonizing, drinking and smoking won’t even make it past the first week of my ‘temporary resolution period’. So might as well try to stick with something I can improve: anything related to food. Here are my resolutions for 2006. And I don’t think it’ll be too hard to follow through with them since they orbit the our food universe. God, I’m such a food perv.

Explore and cook more ethnic cuisines.
Almost every day of the week, you can find me sitting on my dining table with the Food Network on, eating some kind of stir-fry, rice and soup noodle dish within the Asian culinary realm. Tofu, papaya salad, fried rice, pad kee mow, Chinese beef noodle soup, etc. Frankly, I’m tired of it because it’s just too easy and fast to cook. And I think my roommate would appreciate a day or two each week of fresh air devoid of fish sauce, kimchee and shrimp paste. I’ve become really interested in Middle Eastern food (Persian, Armenian), Indian and of course, South American (Brazilian, Peruvian). Initially, I had been hesitant about eating Indian food because of lamb/mutton but love it now. Reading all the wonderful reviews about places like Mario’s Peruvian and Café Brazil has really whet my appetite for South American food as well. Time to save up some cash for all the new spices and spice rack. Personally, I don’t think I have the room to fit it in my kitchen.

Buy more cookbooks for research and motivation.
Some people deem cookbooks merely as instructional guides. Not for me. These precious gems should inspire and stimulate you. A lot of work has been put into perfecting a dish that may require no more than five ingredients. Why not four ingredients? Why not six? Because food is good in its simplest form. Mealcentric has written a great posting on how food has been bastardized by ‘trendy’ ingredients just to cause a commotion. Sure Vietnamese spring rolls are good, but do you really need to add Alaskan lobster into the filling and shave truffles on top of it? As good as it may sound, we’re dismissing the foundation of the dish: spring rolls. What I love about cookbooks is that you can try making a dish and adding your own twist to it to call it your own. Currently, there are a good 20 cookbooks on my Amazon wish list and I’m hoping to get as many of them as possible this year. Look at how many books J of Kuiadore has. They’ve played a huge role in her passionate pursuit for perfection and immaculate presentation of her dishes. J definitely inspires me. Looks like I’ll be going to Ikea very soon for a bookshelf and spice rack. Spiceflügenak rack: $79. Presentation is crucial and you can learn an awful lot from your culinary textbook. It's amazing how you can make a dish of macaroni and cheese look great with the addition of a parsley sprig and tiny, Canadian bacon cubes (brunoised). When your eyes become stimulated, so does your stomach. Ever heard the saying ‘Your eyes can be bigger than your stomach’?

Improve presentation and photography of my food.
God I cannot stand my photos. I shoot my photos on a reddish/brown dining table I got off Craig’s List with a standard, GE light bulb that emits vanilla/cream colored light, causing all my photos to look extremely red. I have to use Photoshop to adjust the color curves all the time. So annoying. I noticed a lot of people are fortunate enough to have abundant light coming into their houses. This may be the reason why my rent is so damn low in West LA -- because I have ZERO light coming into my batcave! Nor can I shoot my food on a weekend afternoon because, as most of you know, I’m busy on the weekends working. I’d love to have more fancy silverware to shoot on but I actually like my white dishes. It’s a canvas… all it needs is some paint on it. I’ll probably start out resolution #3 by buying a white light bulb and checking out more photos from Kuiadore, Delicious Days and Nordlijus.

Cook for as many friends as possible.
In addition to cooking, I like cooking for people during the week. For Christmas, I cooked a few dinners for friends as a present – which they really enjoyed. One of my biggest fears is cooking for more than four people because of my limited kitchen space but I think I can overcome it if I just sit down and plan things out better. A good cook can toss spices here and there, but he must know the cooking times of every ingredient so that they can all be plated at one time. Ok, it takes about 8-10 minutes to grill asparagus in the oven so I should start with the chicken because it takes 15-18 minutes in the oven to make it perfectly juicy. I prefer cooking at home versus a restaurant because first and foremost, it is MUCH healthier. Secondly, home cooked food means more to people. Thirdly, I can play anything I want from my iPod and avoid the Muzak you probably here at restaurants. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to the same restaurant, only to hear the SAME, EXACT music playing. The employees must go nuts. And finally, I can get completely wasted during dinner and just pass the fuck out. No chance of DUI there haha.

Meet the food bloggers.
The past six months have been really great. I’ve learned a lot about food outside of my own culture, and kitchen for that matter. Made it a point to try something different every time I go to a restaurant, instead of sticking with something safe. Since I started writing, Chicken Gizzard yakitori sounds way more comforting to me than say, a steak. You have all made me exhume my writing hand after reading all of your blogs. You guys can truly write and I admire that. I still cannot stand reading the food reviews in LA Times and LA Weekly. It seemed like it was a medium for self-absorbed writers to show off how many SAT words they’ve learned since going to Princeton Review classes. I appreciate eloquent writing, but only if there’s a reason for its usage. Most people do not speak like that – its not English. Shit like "Per our conversation..." Food is sustenance for life and I love reading about its connection to things that matter to you. Why is it that a simple bowl of Chinese porridge can make me happy and make me wanna call my mom? What I’m saying is that it’d be nice to meet everyone over a nice dinner someday.

Happy New Year to everyone. Thanks for reading.

Eat Drink Style Maggi Christmas & Mexico

Nothing says 'Christmas' to me more than receiving a fine bottle of my most favorite sauce in the world – Maggi Sauce. J's mom gave me what I thought was a wine bottle in a bag. But upon lifting it out, I saw the red (usually yellow) cap I've become all too familiar with. This one is from Germany! And you know what, it tastes totally different than the U.S. version. Now I can add this German edition to my collection of Maggi sauce from the U.S., Switzerland, Poland (thanks Erik) and the Phillipines. Woohoo. If you guys know of any other foreign editions, please let me know where I can find them. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all that have laid eyes on this site. Thank you for your support and a year of solid readership. I couldn't be more happy. J & I are off to Mexico!!!

And I've got this bathing suit in 5 different neon colors, ready to go.

Eat Drink Style Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada, Tacos Baja Ensenada & Siete Mares - An Analysis on A Few Los Angeles Fish Taco Joints

Here at the eatdrinknbmerry laboratories, we strive for accuracy in gastronomical studies and never stop searching for the tastiest, palate-pleasing food. While most people are too quick to voice opinions on food without really trying any other place with the same type of food, we find it important to provide our take on as many places as possible. Saying bold things like "hands down", "the best in (insert geographical area)" and mean things like "you've got no f_____ tastebuds" can often lead to some pretty heated discussions that could trigger off another LA riot – those are simply unnecessary. People have the right to like what they like right?

At eatdrinknbmerry laboratories, we try to break down food to its simple components. Well not too much, otherwise we wouldn't have anything to eat.
We are human, too, and enjoy stuffing our faces.

And if necessary, we will dig deep... really deep, and get into it.

In this latest experiment, Case Study #32168, we focus on the fish tacos of Los Angeles and try to find the best ones, without having to drive the 48,328 miles to Ensenada, where fish tacos were born. We first decided to study fish tacos after a friendly recommendation to The Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada, in Los Feliz. I, myself, have driven by many times on the way to Yuca's and have been taken back by the bold name. But after the first time I decided to stop by, I'm up to a dozen visits. I can honestly say, I'm hooked. Instead of writing a post solely on BFTIE, we researched the local favorites on Chowhound and gave them a shot. Here is our report.

Tacos Baja Ensenada East Los Angeles

Subject #1: Tacos Baja Ensenada, East Los Angeles

I've heard and read about this fish taco joint in the East LA proper. It's supposedly one of the better places in LA. I drove from Silver Lake to East LA by street just to check out all the restaurants around there. We were like kids in a toy store, pointing and pondering about how good the food must be over here. We arrive at TBE, which looks like it was a hamburger joint in its previous life. We walk in and the first thing we see is the ceviche bar and salsa station. I take a look at the ceviche and my eyes grow large. Whoa. So many kinds of seafood for ceviche and cocteles. No. Not this time, we had to research the fish tacos. We order 2 fish ($1.45 each) and 2 shrimp ($1.95 each) tacos but the cashier directs our attention to the combos. What?! Two fish tacos, rice, beans and a drink for $4.50. Awesome. How do you guys live?

Tacos Baja Ensenada Chilis with Chile

While waiting, J and I started to get our fish taco condiments: salsa and limes. But I noticed some boiled yellow peppers rained on with chile spice. Afraid it would be too spicy, I took a small lick and oh man, so good. Reminded me of that mexican candy I used to eat, called Lucas – which was basically chile salt (a big seller for ice cream roach coaches). I ate two large yellow chiles. So tasty.

Tacos Baja Ensenada Fish Tacos

After a few minutes, we pick up our order and take in the smell of freshly fried batter. The taco itself is quite large. Large enough to have things falling out after one bite. First bite: CRUNCH. Very nice, loved the texture of the batter. Tasty and crunchy. But way too much batter for me. The crema sauce was very tasty and the proportion of salsa/cabbage to taco was a little more than packed. One of these combos is sure to get you full. FOR ONLY $4.50!

Tacos Baja Ensenada Shrimp Taco

By the time I finished the fish taco, I saw that my shrimp taco had gotten a little soggy from the cabbage, salsa and crema (cream) on top. I took a bite out of the shrimp and immediately frowned when the batter came off the shrimp completely. Soggy, but very tasty! I wish I had ordered these separately so that I could hear that delicious crunch in the taco.

Overall. Very tasty fish and shrimp tacos. I liked the shrimp over the fish. Tasty crema. Love the crunch in the batter, but after a few bites, the batter made me feel like crap. I highly recommend ordering one taco at a time if you're into texture. The rice is VERY tasty here. It's loaded up with caldo de pollo (chicken bouillon cubes) and butter. I'd definitely be back here if I'm in the East LA area. But from the Silver Lake area, it's just too far. Also, on Wednesdays, it's $1 fish taco days. I'm not complaining about that!!!

Some debates on Tacos Baja Ensenada here and here. And by my gluttonous friend.

El Siete Mares Silver Lake

Subject #2: El Siete Mares, Silver Lake

Instead of eating at the El Siete Mares (The Seven Seas) restaurant, we went for the take-out side next door, called El Siete Mares Playita (Little Beach). This is a favorite for the residents of Silver Lake, Echo Park, Los Feliz and Atwater Village... with another 22 locations all over SoCal.

We ordered 2 fish ($2.29 each) and 2 shrimp ($3.29 each) tacos. Much pricier. These better be good I thought to myself. I hear the bell ring and the cashier signals me to pick up the order. I did a double take, as these tacos were huge. Tacos that were roided up like the MLB... daring you to finish both of them in under 10 mins. The tacos actually laughed at me. No wonder they were so expensive, it was filled with at least 3 big pieces of battered fish/5-6 shrimps, piled with cabbage and salsa. No joke, these were massive.

El Siete Mares Fish Taco

To an ant, this would be Mt. Everest. The fish taco was very tasty but the proportion of fish and cabbage to tortilla was just way off. Some major imbalance going on. I can understand that there are the more-for-your-money eaters and the taste-for-your-money eaters out there, but this was just ridiculous. I took out 2 pieces of fried fish and set them on the side so that I could enjoy my fish taco in a NORMAL manner.

El Siete Mares Shrimp Taco

Now time for the shrimp. Shrimp taco was still hot when I bit ito it, and the batter was quite light. It had excellent crunch and was very tasty.

Overall: With combos priced at $6-8, it's totally understandable. Prices are higher, but quantities more than compensate for it. You don't NEED rice or beans b/c the portions are very large. Chips and salsa are the perfect compliment. El Siete Mares is good. As of now, I'd eat the shrimp taco at TBE and ESM again.

And now for Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada, in Los Feliz.

Best Fish Tacos In Ensenada Los Feliz

Subject #3: Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada, Los Feliz

I first came here on a friend's recommendation and have been eating here weekly. I've seen the same people here before too. This place is run by Joseph Cordova, who used to sell his tacos at at market in Atwater Village, and opened up BFTIE around July. Cordova speaks fluent Spanish, as does his mom, who usually works the cash register. They've got a eat-now-pay-later way there.

Best Fish Tacos In Ensenada Sign

Walking in, you'll see that this place has a simple set-up. You've got the lady in the front frying tacos over a small round fryer. You've got the drink fridge behind the cashier. You've got the salsa bar to the left with 4-5 kinds, ranging from wimpy to ring-of-fire hot. You've got scattered stools, tables and a counter top for those that like to stand and eat. And then you've got the 3-item menu: fish ($1.50), shrimp ($2.00) or drinks. Unfortunately, you cannot get a drink taco. Might be bad.

Here's why I like BFTIE, compared to the other place. You pay and walk up the frylady, and tell her your order. She cooks the tortillas to a nice crispiness, with slight burn spots and adds either 1.5 pcs of fish or 3-4 pcs of shrimp. Definitely a smaller portion, but balance is extremely important to me when eating tacos. Then, you walk up to the bar and style your own taco. You start with the avocado salsa, then the finely shredded cabbage, your choice of wimpy -> ring-of-fire hot salsa, a nice radish relish which is new to me and the big tub of crema with a spout. You are in complete control. This makes people blame themselves for making a shitty taco vs. pointing fingers at Joseph and his frylady. I make my tacos with the avocado salsa, tons of cabbage, salsa and just a lil' bit of crema. And they are wonderful.

Best Fish Tacos In Ensenada Fish Taco

Cordova is an ex-wholesale seafood guy, and his experience shows. He uses a type of farm-raised fish called basa, which is a type of catfish native to the Mekong Delta area. Because Joseph's batter is so light, you're actually able to taste the sweet flesh of the fish. It's not sandy/gritty tasting at all. The fish is fried perfectly. As you can see, I use the condiments sparingly, compared to TBE and ESM which gives you no option at all.

Best Fish Tacos In Ensenada Shrimp Taco

Every time I eat the shrimp tacos, I always wonder where he gets it. It has a great sweetness and crunch to it that makes me want to eat more and more. The batter tends to be a little heavier on the shrimp b/c of the shrimp's small mass, but you can definitely taste it. J and Immaeatchu cannot refrain from ordering shrimp only. I myself, actually like the fish better.

Best fish tacos in Ensenada? I'm not sure – never been. Best fish taco in Los Feliz area, for me yes. BFTIE is addicting – I think about them every week. I find that some of the best places to eat at are always the ones with a simple business plan. Serve two type of tacos, but make sure they are the best they can be. At BFTIE, they do not serve beer, but you can drink out in the patio. Just run up to Cap n' Cork up the street for some good beer. My only caveat with BFTIE is that it hurts my wallet. If you have 4 shrimp tacos, like J usually does... that's $8 with no sides or drinks. But sometimes, you just need to cut to the chase. Cordova used to be more strict on the 1 taco-order-at-a-time rule when he first opened, but is more lenient now. But why risk the chance of making your tacos soggy. Just get one at a time and chill out there with a beer. Also, BFTIE doesn't have a phone number. Memorize their schedule like I have, everyday from 11-8 and closed on Mondays. Read more about them on this Chowhound thread.

In conclusion, all the tacos I've tried were delicious. If you want to get full, go to El Siete Mares. I like their fried shrimp taco, but haven't had their ceviche/cocteles, which I hear is tasty. If you want one of the LA originals and are looking for the best value, go to Tacos Baja Ensenada in East Los Angeles. The rice and beans are very good. But if you want to try a different style of tacos and ONLY tacos.... with basa fish, sweet shrimp, and the option of customizing your own taco, go to Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada. Again, all the places made me happy. Click image for a larger view on the fish taco analysis. I threw in Rubio's for the hell of it. It's not bad there but it's not that good. It's kind of a place I would go to if I found myself stuck in a mall food court with only a mongolian bbq, philly cheese steak grill and chinese/japanese/korean fusion place to choose from.

When I have time, I will add El Taco Nazo and Senor Fish (Little Tokyo) to the posting. Thanks for reading.

Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada
1650 Hillhurst Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Tues - Sun 11 am - 8 pm

Tacos Baja Ensenada
5385 Whittier Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90022
(323) 887-1980

El Siete Mares (Playita)
3131 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 665-0865

Eat Drink Style Pollo A La Brasa, Koreatown - The Gateway to Chicken Heaven

Pollo A La Brasa Koreatown

IF I WAS A CHICKEN, this is how i would go out.

First, I'll take the LA bus to Koreatown (because i'm too small to operate a vehicle) and walk to Pollo A La Brasa on Western/8th. I'd walk straight into the kitchen and proceed to be stripped nude of my feathers, like i LIKE it. The cook would then toss me on the cutting board and give me a ride on the guillotine.

Secondly, I would be tossed into a big jacuzzi of delicious Peruvian-style spices like and rolled around, flipped around, massaged (feels good) like I'm on a beach in Cancun. I would say hello to all my other friends lying right next to me.


Then, I will have a stiff metal rod impaled through my body from what was once my starhole, through what was once my head and placed in a chamber filled with eucalyptus logs – rotating in an infinite prom-slow dance at at a nice toasty 700 degrees. Oh joy.

After that, i will be cut into 6 pieces and placed over the patron's choice of skin-on fries or vegetable rice. For $.50, they can get me in a very hot & bothered mood with the SUPER SPICY aji sauce made of lettuce, cilantro, garlic, mayo and serrano chilis. If they want a 1/4 of me, they will pay $5. If they want all of me, they will pay $9.75 for me. I whore myself to Angelenos at any cost.

If you dare drive with me, beware of the car in front of you. My body odor will drive you crazy. You'll be licking your fingers once you're through with me and crave me some more. I am pure seduction.

Living for a rightful cause, has never been so DELICIOUS. Will you seal my fate?

Pollo A La Brasa Koreatown Logs

The stack of Eucalyptus wood.

Pollo A La Brasa Koreatown

The interior of Pollo A La Brasa, which is designed with a nice
hole-in-the-wall decor. I didn't get to see much of it.

Pollo A La Brasa Rotisserie Oven

Wee! I'm the 4th one to the left on the 2nd rod.
I think.

Pollo A La Brasa Chicken

Resting in peace, juiciness and flavor.

Pollo A La Brasa Chicken

Pollo A La Brasa Chicken


Pollo A La Brasa Grilled Beef Hearts

I saw these guys on the way in. Apparently, they are beef hearts – 4 pieces per skewered, and they are huge. I recommend getting these cooked medium rare and eat them fast b/c they will dry up quickly. Served with one large grilled potato and a corn cob - add salt.

Pollo A La Brasa Aji Sauce

Aji sauce.

Pollo A La Brasa
764 S. Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90005

Pollo A La Brasa
16527 S Vermont Ave
Gardena, CA 90247

***There is also a place called Pollo La Brasa on Vine, up the street from Mario's Seafood & Peruvian. Not the same affiliation. Anyone try that place?

I've just added PALB to my list of very important numbers. And to my list of my favorite chicken joints – Pollo Campero and Mrs. Knott's Fried Chicken.

Read about J's meal here.