The restaurant Guisados is on a lot of lists. Jonathan Gold has it on his 101 Best Restaurants in LA. And most notably, it has been on Dianderthal’s To Eat list (saved as a Note on my iPhone) for well over a year. So how pleased was I when, leaving an LA meeting near Dodger Stadium during the work day, I Yelped! some nearby restaurants to pick up lunch before heading back to my LBC office and saw that Guisados was right around the block from me. I was so excited that, parking across from Guisados on busy Cesar Chavez, I almost forgot to look both ways before jaywalking.
Once safely across, I could see this was my kind of place – minimalist and simple (think In ‘N’ Out). They do tacos and they do them well and that’s pretty much it. But a wide arrangement of tacos – one for every kind of Los Angeleno (or Long Beachian). I’m partial to seafood tacos so once I reached the counter, I asked for a pescado and a camarones; and to mix things up a bit, I also ordered a chicken mole poblano.
Waiting for my plate, I took a few minutes to enjoy their outdoor patio, a sweet little haven tucked into the hillside with a waterfall and plenty of shade. Before I had a chance to start daydreaming, pretending I was in some wonderful foodie writer’s retreat rather than on my lunch break 25 minutes from work as I sipped on my cool limon agua fresca, my tacos arrived.
My three (not so) little guys were more than enough for lunch – I was full after just one. But when I return to Guisados again, I’ll surely force down several as I’ll be ordering an all-pescado taco plate – and I won’t be able to stop at one. Not that there was anything wrong with the other two tacos – the camarones taco was limy and bright with perfectly cooked shrimp; and the not overly sweet mole poblano was tasty and satisfying. But the flavor in that pescado taco was layered and delicate and tangy and textured and balanced – it may be the best fish taco I’ve ever tried (and I’ve eaten a lot of fish tacos).
So the next time you’re at a game, skip the Dodger Dog and slip out during the bottom of the 8th while the parking is still plentiful and the line isn’t stretched down the block. Pescado for everyone!
2100 Cesar Chavez and other locations