100 Favorite Dishes

74: The Sea Urchin Tostada at La Guerrerense

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Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM
click to enlarge La Guerrerense's sea urchin tostada, in Ensenada - A. SCATTERGOOD
  • A. Scattergood
  • La Guerrerense's sea urchin tostada, in Ensenada

Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 4), we'll be counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.

74: Sea Urchin Tostada at La Guerrerense.

Sure, you can eat Sabina Bandera González's glorious seafood tostadas here in Los Angeles, at the L.A. Street Food Fest, say, where last weekend they won the top award. Or at last year's same event, where her sea urchin tostadas were named Best Original Dish. But Gonzalez's stunning creation is best appreciated while standing in the sun next to La Guerrerense, her street cart, on the actual Ensenada street where it has been parked for much of the last half-century. If your idea of fun is driving across the border with Bill Esparza (maybe Andre Guerrero is driving; maybe Evan Kleiman is riding shotgun), then chances are you're among the initiated.

"Many say it's the best street cart in the world," Anthony Bourdain said on the Baja edition of his No Reservations show, and he'd probably know. All we know is that one of those sea urchin tostadas, with a few slices of raw Pismo clam and some perfectly ripe avocado, dosed with hot sauce and lemon and liberally covered with spoonfuls of González's homemade salsas -- the chile de arbol sauce, the peanut sauce, or chilitos de mi jardin -- was worth a recent drive to Ensenada. Yes, we made a few notable stops along the way (the truly remarkable Mision 19 in Tijuana, for one), but the 24-hour road trip was pretty much for this tostada.

A drive through L.A. traffic in Friday night rush hour traffic, down through the lovely environs of Orange County, over the border and all that means, then 100 km further down the Baja coast for some mashed fish on a fried tortilla? Oh, God, yes.

Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.

100: Lukshon's Dan Dan Noodles

99: Cemita de Milanesa at Cemitas Poblanos Elviritas #1

98: Chichen Itza's Cochinita Pibil

97: Tsukemen at Tsujita L.A.

96: La Cevicheria's Bloody Clam Ceviche

95: Duck Shawarma at Momed

94: Peruvian Chicken at Pollo a la Brasa

93: Squash Blossom Quesadilla at Antojitos Carmen

92: Thai Boat Noodles at Pa-Ord

91: Baco Mercat's Bazole

90: Furikake Kettle Corn at A-Frame

89: Live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns at Providence

88: Fried Pig Tails at Night + Market

87: Egg Salad Sandwich at Euro Pane

86: Galbi Jjim at Soban

85: Truffle Honey-Laced Fried Chicken at Manhattan Beach Post

84: Mool Naeng Myun at Yu Chic Naeng Myun

83: Chicken Vampiro at Mexicali Taco & Co

82: Sooo Cali Dog at Dog Haus

81: White Anchovy, Tomato and Fresno Chile Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza

80: Shu Mai at Elite Restaurant

79: Tandoori Chicken at Al-Watan

78: Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding at The Hungry Cat

77: Agedashi Tofu at Izakaya Bincho

76: Pork Chop at Salt's Cure

75: Porcetto at Sotto

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