Best Quesadilla: Tacos 1986
With the combination of their authentic Tijuana-style tacos and the infectious high energy of taquero Jorge Alvarez-Tostado, it’s no wonder that Tacos 1986 has become the local darling for street food. What started out as a taco stand in Hollywood has grown into a regular spot at Smorgasburg L.A. with long lines of patient eaters waiting for their tacos, mulitas and vampiros stuffed with adobada, asada, chicken and spicy mushrooms sautéed in a salsa of chilies and sesame seeds while being entertained in the process.
Which brings us to the best mushroom quesadilla in L.A. Tacos 1986 isn’t serving the heavy, pale frisbee version the size of your head that shows up on every other menu. A small hand-pressed corn tortilla is warmed on the grill and topped with a handful of jack cheese until it melts, then crowned with the silky spicy mushrooms, guacamole, onions and cilantro. TJ- style tacos aren’t served with cheese, which is what makes this version a manageable and sublime quesadilla. Finish it off with generous scoops of more salsa and radishes. You won’t be able to go back to the standard gringo interpretation again. The friendly warm welcome extends to their first brick and mortar which recently opened downtown. —Michele Stueven
Tacos 1986, 609 S. Spring St., downtown; (213) 988-7202 and Smorgasburg on Sundays, 777 S. Alameda St., downtown; tacos1986.com.