In Tacos We Trust

by Lia
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Simple, homestyle flavors at Guisados

At Guisados, it’s all about “homestyle braises on handmade corn tortillas.” The second you walk into the restaurant, you’re hit with the aroma of tender meats stewed in chiles and spices. You can also see corn tortillas being made from scratch — pressed by hand and cooked on a huge flat circular griddle. Everything is made fresh, using the best ingredients to ensure the best flavors in each taco.


The Guisados Sampler

There are a bunch of tacos to choose from, and the variety can be overwhelming — especially for a first-timer at Guisados. The entire menu looks amazing, so it can be hard to pick a taco or two to eat. But there’s a solution: the Guisados sampler! With the sampler, you can order six smaller tacos, which is the best way to taste several different braises in one meal. 

The last time I ordered a sampler, I chose the following:  [Descriptions are from the Guisados website]

  • Steak Picado: Flank steak simmered with green bell peppers and bacon. Served with green serrano chile atop black beans.
  • Bistek en Salsa Roja: Flank steak simmered with red bell peppers and tomatoes. Served with chile de arbol and avocado above black beans.
  • Tinga de Pollo: Shredded chicken breast braised with tomatoes, cabbage, chorizo and chipotle.  Served with chipotle chile and avocado.
  • Chicharron: Pork rinds simmered in chile verde. Served with green serrano chile, atop black beans.
  • Chuleta en Chile Verde: Diced pork chop in a chile verde. Served atop black beans with chile arbol, green serrano  chile and sour cream.
  • Cochinita Pibil: Shredded pork cooked in a sweet, red achiote spice atop black beans. Served with Yucatan compliments, Pickled red onions and habanero chile. Taco defaults at a 3 on scale of 1-10. Proceed with caution. (I like to get this one super spicy! 🌶🔥)

All of the tacos have a mild to medium level of spiciness, but I got the Tinga de Pollo and the Cochinita Pibil extra hot. You know you have the right amount of heat when you start to sweat around your nose and temples. 

And because my eyes were larger than my stomach, I also ordered a Guisados quesadilla. 🤤 

The first time I went to Guisados, the person in front of me in line HIGHLY recommended that I order the Quesadilla con Chorizo. And this individual was a vegetarian! Apparently, this quesadilla used to be a “secret menu” item; but it has become so popular that it’s now on the main menu. The quesadilla is stuffed with queso panela, a white Mexican cheese, and tasty chorizo. (I suggest skipping the chorizo taco on the menu and getting the quesadilla with chorizo instead.)

The tacos and quesadillas are dynamite at Guisados. But they know how to round out a meal with a fantastic selection of agua frescas, which are natural fruit drinks that are absolutely refreshing — and if you are eating spicy tacos, their agua frescas can cool you down. I love their horchata.

The owners and operators of Guisados, which is now in multiple locations throughout Los Angeles, are focused on one thing: making food the way mom makes it. I think they do a great job at that. The tortillas are made with care, using fresh ground masa from a local market; and the braises taste like they’ve been simmering all day in mom’s kitchen. Everyone who works at Guisados is incredibly nice, too. If you have trouble choosing tacos, look to them for guidance. They’re like your friendly, super smart cousins at the family reunion.

Guisados tacos are the comfort food of Los Angeles. They’re perfect for dinner with friends and family, and good for late night snacks after an art walk or Dodgers game. They’re pretty much good any time and are totally worth the wait, as lines can be long due to everyone in LA wanting to eat these amazing homestyle tacos.

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