Saturday, April 04, 2015

Mariscos Jalisco (Los Angeles, CA)

Mariscos Jalisco Truck
3040 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023
Sat 04/04/2015, 03:00p-04:05p

Following a Project by Project meeting at The Great Company's SEED Center in Downtown, a few of us wandered off to East LA for a Mexican cuisine crawl of sorts. Our first stop was one of LA's most decorated loncheras, Mariscos Jalisco. The truck is the work of one Raul Ortega, who hails from the town of San Juan de los Lagos in Jalisco. He started his taco career selling tacos de cabeza in San Juan's Plaza de Armas, but eventually moved to Boyle Heights in 1983. After taking up residence in the apartment complex across the street from the current location of the truck (where he still lives), Ortega began peddling his beef head tacos on the side while working other jobs. This led to his own lonchera, and later Mariscos Jalisco, which debuted in 2002.

Mariscos Jalisco Seating Area
Originally, patrons were forced to sit and eat on a ledge beside the truck. However, these days, Ortega occupies the former digs of AC Behringer, a wholesale supplier of building materials and machinery. It's a much more comfortable sitting situation than before.

2015 Cigar City Florida Man
We BYOB'd it, natch, and I got things going with the 2015 Cigar City Florida Man double IPA, of which a mere 3,000 bottles were released back in March. It was a laudable effort, super juicy and grapefruit-y on the nose; taste-wise, I found it surprisingly subtle in terms of hoppiness, with a strong malt underpinning the main focal point for me.

Tostada Mixta
Tostada Mixta [$5.75]
The mixed ceviche is definitely something that you want. Lovely texture and freshness on both the octopus and the shrimp, all over a tart, acidic base of ceviche de pescado. Nice crunch from the tostada to boot. Superb.

Tacos de Camaron
Tacos de Camaron [$2.00]
And here we see the signature tacos dorados de camaron, the dish that put Mariscos Jalisco on the map. Interestingly, the tacos are actually not the creation of Ortega (who's more of a ceviche guy). Rather, they were invented by a family friend from his hometown, one who originally worked at Mariscos 4 Vientos down the street. He eventually left 4 Vientos for Mariscos Jalisco, and brought his tacos with him; the rest is history. I'd tasted them before at events, but this was my first time having the tacos at the actual truck. They didn't disappoint, with their lush, spicy, gloriously shrimp-y stuffing melding perfectly with the crunchy shell, the avocado imparting a creaminess to the experience and the salsa the requisite amount of piquancy. It's a combination that just works, over and over again.

2013 Logsdon Cerasus
My next bottle was the 2013 Logsdon Cerasus, a barrel-aged Flanders red with both sweet and sour Oregon cherries added. This was delish, with the beer's soft, tart, oak-y qualities beautifully complemented but not dominated by overarching notes of the fruit.

Tostada de Aguachile
Tostada de Aguachile [$3.50]
Ortega's aguachiles come out a blazing red, not your typical green. The dish was far spicier than I'd expected as well, but all that heat did somehow work with the well-textured shrimp, and the slices of avocado up top did help even things out.

Campechana [$7.00]
Up next was a mixed seafood cocktail of sorts. The actual mariscos were distinct and on point, and I appreciated the tanginess of the onion. However, the overall presentation went overly sweet, overly ketchup-y, with the seafood masked somewhat.

Tostada Ceviche de Pescado
Tostada Ceviche de Pescado [$3.00]
The good ol' standard ceviche certainly satisfied with its delectable shards of fish and bright, zippy flavors, the avocado adding a much appreciated luxuriousness to the dish. Some lovely textures here too.

Monkish Brewing Crux
Our last beer brought out the Monkish Brewing Crux, a Belgian-style golden ale brewed with elderflowers. Think light, hoppy, yeasty, fizzy, and refreshing, with a restrained elderflower presence.

Poseidon [$7.75]
The Poseidon was an impressive looking plate, basically amounting to a Tostada Mixta topped with Aguachile. Quite satisfying, and I will say that the ceviche on the bottom did help in tempering the considerable heat present.

Peinados [$8.50]
Last up were oysters, briny, crisp specimens smartly amped up by the brightness of the chopped veggies while the octopus/shrimp offered up a welcomed textural element.

Overall, a strong showing from Ortega and his crew. The signature shrimp tacos were spot on of course (a must-try), but the rest of the food delivered as well. If you haven't been already, this place should be on your short list for both food trucks and mariscos in LA, especially with the comfortable, convenient seating now.


Anonymous The Offalo said...

You gotta branch out more! Next you're gonna say you've never been to Ricky's Fish Tacos or Carnitas El Momo. ;-)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 6:27:00 PM  

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