In the world of LA Weekly’s Tacolandia food event, everything you eat is a taco. Tacolandia’s all-you-can-eat street tacos and a good selection of booze are like the average guy’s ideal food event. The rules are pretty simple…You buy a ticket online, you show up, you get in line, you grab a taco or beer, you eat, and you repeat at the next booth. However, when you’re Foodie like me, you gotta have a game plan to find and eat only the good stuff. As it turned out, the good stuff was from Baja California by way of Tijuana and Ensenada, Mexico.
Food Adventurers like Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain would approve of Ensenada-based Chef Javier Placentia’s (Finca Altozano) creation called Dickhead Tacos made with not-so-popular beef parts including the pizzle from a bull. Stewed Birria-style along with Beef Tongue and Beef Cheek, the Beef Pizzle was miraculously tender, juicy, and flavorful. I absolutely loved this as all three combined meats tasted a lot like Lamb Birria.
Another taco favorite of mine was La Guerrerense from Ensenada, Mexico; a food purveyor of seafood and artisan salsas made from family recipes. Their street taco was mixed seafood one with bits of octopus, uni, and couple different fish topped with a dab of different salsas. I liked the approach of this taco, because each bite was uniquely different.
Another fascinating taco that I enjoyed eating was the Smoked Salmon Taco from Tijuana-based Taco Kokopelli. I’ve read about these guys on the internet and had always wanted to visit them. They have a very unconventional take on tacos, which is usually the stuff that I crave for. The Smoked Salmon had the texture of uni and the tortilla was more like a grilled cracker. There was no other taco at Tacolandia that compared to this brilliant masterpiece AND It was this taco that convinced me that I have an overdue trip to Tijuana. Would you believe that a good portion of my childhood summer vacations was usually spent in Baja California eating seafood? It’s true.
So after spending the entire day at Tacolandia eating my way through each booth and attempting to drink every cocktail on the list, I made my own votes for the best taco. Although the judging panel gave their overall vote to L.A. based taco truck Mariscos Jaliscos (who, by the way, makes a pretty damn good fried Shrimp Taco), I felt that the overall winners were the folks from Baja California i.e. Finca Altozano, La Guerrerense, and Tacos Kokopelli. Their outstanding tacos, like fine wine, are the very things that a
Foodie connoisseur of good food would appreciate.