Fish Taco Food Fight: Los Feliz vs. Silverlake

Comments (0)


Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge Fish tacos at Best Fish Taco in Ensenada. - WHYSARAH/FLICKR
  • whysarah/flickr
  • Fish tacos at Best Fish Taco in Ensenada.

The ideal fish taco is a time-sensitive collision of hissing-hot battered fish, a shell puffed up around mild, sweet flesh; a tortilla or two; crunchy cabbage; and cool, slightly sour crema. It is time-sensitive because, if the diner doesn't scoop it up quickly and put it away, the crema melts, the tortilla becomes gummy, and the fish's shell deteriorates. There are many variables, the most precarious of which being the freshness of the fish itself. In our day, we've encountered plenty of specimens we would not feed to a cat.

Between half-hearted shopping and a show last weekend, we doubled up on fish tacos at two reasonably well-regarded institutions: Best Fish Taco in Ensenada, a local micro-chain based in Los Feliz, and just a five minute-drive away, El Siete Mares, a Silverlake stand with outdoor seating.

At the latter, the tacos ($1.50 apiece, just $1 on Tuesdays) come topped with a thatch of light green rabbit food over the curled up wands of fish. The salsa -- a roasted, medium-spicy concoction -- pairs well with chips, but we didn't bother adding any to the tacos. Just a glug of Tapatio and some lime. We ate well and enjoyed the setting: the whisk of cars, the sight of a small child with dirty feet clambering from table-top to table-top.

click to enlarge Fish tacos and chips from El Siete Mares. - A. SIMMONS
  • A. Simmons
  • Fish tacos and chips from El Siete Mares.

At Best Fish Taco in Ensenada, however, the tacos ($1.50 each as well) are smaller: tiny, potent nuggets of flavor nestled by twos or threes White Castle-style in cardboard containers. They arrive naked, just that blistered hunk of fish -- a darker golden, yet softer and juicier inside than that of El Siete Mares -- with not a solitary speck of avocado, cabbage, salsa, or crema in sight. You add those yourself from the bar, which is nice, we think.

There may be better fish tacos in the area, certainly the town, but between these two, Best Fish Taco in Ensenada takes the blue ribbon. And if you're YouTubin' in the slow train to work this morning, "Fishy Fishy," a parody of Kreyashawn's "Gucci Gucci" stomach virus-in-video form, stars the victor of this contest.

Related Location

Related Content

Now Trending


  • Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival
    The 3rd Annual Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival in Chinatown's central plaza brings together top L.A. chefs and restaurants to present their twists on fried chicken, along with desserts and drinks.
  • Ramen Yokocho Festival in Little Tokyo
    Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles became a ramen paradise over the weekend as part of the Japanese cultural festival Nisei Week. Everything was hot -- from the food, to the weather, to the scene. All photos by Danny Liao.
  • Pollo Loco at ChocoChicken
    ChocoChicken is a restaurant dedicated to chocolate-flavored chicken. It sounds like a joke. And when Adam Fleischman, founder of the Umami empire and monetary force behind many other L.A. restaurants, announced in January that he’d be opening a concept based not around mole but actual, yes, chocolate-flavored chicken, many of us treated it as a joke. It is not.