Slideshow: 21 Tacos We Really Love in Los Angeles

Carnitas Tacos at La Estrella Truck
Carnitas Tacos at La Estrella Truck
Carnitas is the best bet for first-timers looking for that wow factor. The meat is abundantly tender without becoming mushy and is elevated by the salsa verde. Read more here »

La Estrella: York and Ave 54, Los Angeles, CA 90042 (map

Fish and Shrimp Tacos at Ricky's Fish
Fish and Shrimp Tacos at Ricky's Fish
Working off an old Piña family recipe, Ricky's batter is crispy at the edges without shattering in your mouth. There's a thin veil of hot pepper heat coming from within the entire mixture. The white fish flakes off smoothly, offering up a large creamy interior just begging for a dab of salsa. If shrimp is more your style, Ricky's provides hefty portions. Read more here »

Ricky's Fish: 1400 North Virgil Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90027 (map

Weekends-Only Carnitas at the Tacos Los Guichos Trailer
Weekends-Only Carnitas at the Tacos Los Guichos Trailer
There's no beating the slow-cooked, deeply flavorful carnitas at Tacos Los Guichos. And for $9 a pound, you can afford to store some in your fridge for later. They'll even throw in a few hand-pressed tortillas, made fresh on the truck while you wait. This is pork done on another level with an impossibly well-cooked skin and the satisfyingly meaty bites that most people couldn't hope to achieve in their Dutch ovens after lots of practice. Read more here »

Tacos Los Guichos Trailer: Corner of Avalon and Slauson, Los Angeles 90003 (map

Shrimp Tacos at Mariscos Jalisco Truck
Shrimp Tacos at Mariscos Jalisco Truck
The shrimp tacos are of the dorados variety, meaning they're stuffed and fried until the tortilla crisps up into a delicious brown shell. The filling is a secret blend of shrimp and spices, browned at the open edges from its time in the fryer. The result is a thick, satisfying bite of fresh and well-seasoned shrimp, crispy-edged with a crunchy tortilla shell. Read more here »

Mariscos Jalisco Truck: 3040 E Olympic Blvd., East Los Angeles, CA (map

The Taco Tables Along Pico Boulevard
The Taco Tables Along Pico Boulevard
The taco table is a ubiquitous late-night sight along the avenues and corners of much of Los Angeles. Heading east from Western along Pico Blvd. towards downtown, the weekend streets are awash in tacos. Further down, King Taco and Tacos Tamix have cemented their location and legacy on the Pico-Union neighborhood. On the corner of Hobart and Pico, the telltale white string of lights points the way to an occasional table run by a couple of good-natured long time pals. Together, they chop and scrape and boil and serve all night long, occasionally checking in on the overflowing salsa bar atop a folding table. Read more here »

Along Pico Blvd.

Buche Tacos at El Chato Taco Truck
Buche Tacos at El Chato Taco Truck
The buche (that would be stomach) is soft and subtle, with little of the rubbery funkiness that can plague worse preparations. Paired with some mild salsa verde and a tong-ful from the menacing bowl of soaked habaneros and onions, the buche is a fast ride in a smooth car. Read more here »

El Chato Taco Truck: Southwest corner of Olympic and La Brea, Mid-City Los Angeles (map

$1 Tacos at Beto's Taco Truck
$1 Tacos at Beto's Taco Truck
Nothing fancy, but always reliable, Beto's tacos are consistently satisfying. Just off the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Redondo Boulevard and within earshot of the 10 freeway, Beto's packs a lot of flavor into $1, and they'll have half the line of the El Chato truck. Read more here »

Beto's Taco Truck: Corner of Redondo Blvd. / Washington Blvd., Mid-City; Los Angeles CA 90016 (map)

Chorizo Tacos at Taco Arizas
Chorizo Tacos at Taco Arizas
Large chunks of deeply red pork are tossed gently onto a scorching hot plancha, giving the meat just enough time to develop a hearty crust without losing those crucial juices. The smooth and warm flavors from the hot pepper seasonings aren't lost in translation; instead, they speak volumes with each bite, giving a complexity that only some diced white onions can help to unravel. Read more here »

Taco Arizas: Logan Street, just north of Sunset Blvd. Echo Park (map

Ground Beef and Pickle Tacos Dorados at Malo
Ground Beef and Pickle Tacos Dorados at Malo
The cheese is merely partner to the seasoned ground beef and pickle slices within. The moist, meaty undercarriage of each filled taco is a rush of salt and beef and tangy zip from crisp, vinegar-y pickle bits. Topped off with some warm, gooey fat from the melted yellow cheese, the whole thing tastes like a reinvention of the cheeseburger. Read more here »

Malo: 4326 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles 90029 (map

Duck Confit Tacos at Komida
Duck Confit Tacos at Komida
Piled on a single, sturdy homemade tortilla, the deep gamey flavors of the duck confit are accented by a fruity salsa garnish made of plum and nectarine. Toss in a little hoisin sauce and the result is a little umami, a little sweet. Top it with wasabi guacamole too. Read more here »

Komida: 1738 North Orange Drive, Hollywood, CA (map

Papa con Rajas and Tinga de Pollo Tacos at Loteria Grill
Papa con Rajas and Tinga de Pollo Tacos at Loteria Grill
Papa con rajas tacos come with creamy potato chunks mixed with poblano peppers. In the tinga de pollo taco, the moist chicken is stewed alongside ribboned slices of chipotle to deepen and mellow out their flavor, while a pureed fresh chipotle salsa brings home the heat. Read more here »

Loteria Grill: Fairfax Farmer's Market (map

Chorizo Tacos at La Canada Taqueria
Chorizo Tacos at La Canada Taqueria
Bubbling chorizo rests in its own juices until someone asks for a scoop. The long-simmering chorizo, given a final griddle kiss, is slightly spicy and wonderfully juicy in that fresh-out-of-the-casing, indulgently greasy way. The tortillas are of the classic commercial variety, but they spend so much time crisping up on the plancha alongside all the meats, they're nearly a meal unto themselves. Read more here »

La Canada Taqueria: 3131 W. Pico Blvd., LA (map

Gorditas at Antojitos Carmen
Gorditas at Antojitos Carmen
Gorditas are a member of the extended taco family, right? Thin round disks of masa are gently fried instead of griddled, pulling off the rare "crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside" feat that so many places miss. Read more here »

Antojitos Carmen: 2510 E. Cesar Chavez Ave, Boyle Heights (map

Lobster Taco at Sky's Gourmet Tacos
Lobster Taco at Sky's Gourmet Tacos
Here is the lobster. It's battered and fried to golden brown, then wrapped in its own fried tortilla that's been dipped with spices beforehand. Add a handful of yellow cheese and a dash of diced tomatoes for a rich, almost creamy taco that's warm and fresh and pretty magnificent. Lobster taco, yeah who knew? Read more here »

Sky's Gourmet Tacos: 5408 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90019 (map

Carne Asada and Carnitas Tacos at Rambos Tacos Truck
Carne Asada and Carnitas Tacos at Rambos Tacos Truck
The real power players at this truck are the carne asada and carnitas. The bits of asada beef are well griddled to provide a few tasty seared edges in each taco, while the vibrant red salsa isn't afraid to slap you around a little bit. The slow-roasted and subtly crisped carnitas are handcrafted with love and a slew of savory spices. Read more here »

Rambos Tacos Truck: 4250 Eagle Rock Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 9004

Carne Asada Tacos at Mexicali Taco & Co.
Carne Asada Tacos at Mexicali Taco & Co.
Well-salted beef arrives in thick chunks after spending just enough time over some very forgiving heat. You'll find a few crisp, meaty edges that taste familiar to anyone interested in barbecue-style rib tips. But you'll also find a softer, pliable interior that satisfies those savory pockets of your soul with thick chunks of slightly chewy, warm, satisfying pure beefiness. Read more here »

Mexicali Taco & Co, 702 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles 90012 (map