Dear Mr. Gold:

I was wondering if you have any recommendations for tacos de sesos in Echo Park or surrounding neighborhoods. It seems brains are more difficult to come by than they were in the past.

–Nicole, Echo Park

Dear Nicole:

Sesos aren't my thing, I guess. I used to eat them, but then I spent a couple of days in a neuropathology dissection room. Brain scientists, it turns out, are not so hot on the idea of eating brains. I'm not especially scared of microbes, but BSE, an irreversible protein disorder that turns your cerebral cortex into a Brillo pad, may be too great a price to pay for a taco. I know I'm a hypocrite on this. I love the brain-and-artichoke fritters you can sometimes get as an antipasto in Rome; I like the superspicy Pakistani-style brains masala at Shahnawaz in Lakewood; and the brains-filled ravioli in brown butter at Mozza are delicious.

I even occasionally crave the brain soup with bulls balls I once had at the La Brea Nicaraguan restaurant El Nido. It's just the bland, squishy richness of unadorned gray matter on a tortilla that gets to me. But when I did eat tacos de sesos, my go-to places were King Taco, El Taurino on Hoover, the wonderful El Gallo Giro chain, and the Roast to Go stand in the Grand Central Market, all or none of which may serve brains at the moment. Deep End Diner Eddie Lin, who lives for these things, recommends the tacos de sesos at Carnitas Michoacan in Reseda.

Carnitas Michoacan: 18507 Victory Blvd., Reseda; (818) 343-0203.

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