At first, the tacos at Revolutionario near USC look as if they could be just another one of L.A.'s modernist Mexican offerings: The barbacoa is cooked with tomatillos, the chicken is flecked with cilantro and the vegetables are coated in an aromatic red spice. But then you take a bite and realize that the barbacoa is marinated in pungent chermoula and the roasted cauliflower is tossed in ras el hanout. Once you realize that the garnish bar is decked out with kimchi curtido and red and green harissa, you'll realize this isn't your ordinary take on tacos. Revolutionario, which opened this year in the restaurant-needy neighborhood of West Adams, is the only place in L.A. serving North African tacos, the creation of French-Algerian chef Farid Zadi, who moved to Los Angeles 18 years ago. Trained in Southern France, where he was born to exiled Berber-Algerian parents, Zadi has an eye for cross-cultural culinary connections. The street foods of Mexico and North Africa (which surprisingly have a rich, symbiotic history) have given him plenty to work with. His tacos are one of the few L.A. food mash-ups that actually makes sense.
Credit: Sarah Bennett