Last updated: 12:00 PM ET, Mon January 25 2016

Opinion Home | The Main Course

  • Gabe Zaldivar | January 25, 2016 12:00 PM ET

    Grubbing On Divine Tacos At Los Angeles' Guisados

    Grubbing On Divine Tacos At Los Angeles' Guisados

    Photos by Gabe Zaldivar

    It’s rather easy to overlook that taco as some trite conveyance to get a bunch of meat into your gaping maw without getting your hands too dirty. At Guisados, however, you can taste the care and love that is served with every delicious bite.

    Now it’s a shame and quite embarrassing that this Los Angeles native had only just sat down at the renowned Gusiados location in Boyle Heights.

    Anytime I’m in the area I usually skip over this section of Cesar E. Chavez Avenue for a more embedded locale know as El Tepeyac.

    READ MORE: 7 Must-Try Mexican Meals

    Now I have the misfortune of having to shuffle my routine, because Guisados is most definitely in the rotation of must-eat places.

    The name is taken from the term that means to stew or braise. And that is exactly what you are getting in every warm and inviting taco: meat that has been cooked over several hours and then dropped into a tortilla so that you can eat it in less than a few seconds.

    If you want to get an idea of what I’m talking about, Munchies recently profiled owners Armando De La Torre Sr. and Jr. who showed off their digs as well as that of the neighborhood.

    When you walk into the cozy restaurant you will be inundated with a few choices, most importantly with a selection of tacos.

    My suggestion is to go for the sampler, which gives you a nice helping of two mini tacos from each of the three major food groups.

    And by food groups, I am referring to pork, beef and chicken.

    The above is a small smattering that includes the steak picado, bistek en salsa roja, mole poblano, tinga, chicharron and cochinita pibil.

    There are far more selections including a daily special. And the actual tacos are far bigger. This is just one way of window-shopping while you eat, which is really the best kind of browsing.

    The big commodity here, aside from beautifully cooked meat, is the heat. You can try and kill every last vestige of your taste buds with the hellish chiles toreados or ramp up the spice level of the cochinita pibil.

    If you want a nice kick with the ability to carry on the rest of the day, I suggest going with a six level on the latter taco.

    But as you can see from the menu, this place is all about sampling, tasting and finding that gem that will bring you back again and again.

    READ MORE: 18 Super-Secret Menu Items From Around The Travel World

    It’s tucked away in a vibrant and chaotic part of town, which makes it seem like a bit of respite from the noise.

    The A/C might be a tad high, but that might be by design. Soon, you will be warmed by all the tacos you just devoured and slightly sweating from all the spice.

    You leave more than stuffed. You leave fulfilled, which is pretty good for a bunch of meat hugged by a loving tortilla.


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Gabe Zaldivar The Main Course

Gabe Zaldivar Born on the rough streets of suburban West Covina, I learned a great many things, some of which has proved useful: knowing the tell-tale sounds of an ice cream truck and crafting a world-class burrito come to mind. You have seen my work on Bleacher Report and possibly my mug on CNN. Perhaps, if you are into archaic modes of entertainment, you have also heard me on the radio. Pop culture is my beat. If it has to do with the intersection of travel, entertainment and pop culture, I'm your guy.
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