Monday, January 30, 2012

Ensenada Too Far? Try Ricky's Fish Tacos

Originating from sunny Ensenada, fish tacos are a common sight in California. On my visit back to Los Angeles, I finally got the chance to see what the fuss was all about. Ricky's Fish Tacos, a stand that would be perfectly for a futbol tailgate, had been on my list for a long time. Since my previous experiences with fish tacos were at Rubios or Wahoo's, I needed some convincing that fish tacos were more than just overbattered and greasy messes.


Since I had trouble finding Ricky's, I will devote time to explaining how to find it. Luckily, Christine, the older sister who I never wanted, was an expert and guided me in the whole process. First, check Ricky's Twitter @rickysfishtacos to see if he's open that day. For the most part, he is open Wednesday through Sunday afternoons. However, since he also caters private events, check the Twitter feed for more accurate information.

Second, as I mentioned above, Ricky's is not a traditional restaurant. As you can tell from the picture, it is an outdoor stand of not more than a few tables, a frying vat, and some coolers with fresh seafood underneath a canopy. That said, he's in a small yard at the corner of North Virgil Avenue and De Longpre Avenue, across from the Vons parking lot.

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Once you arrive, go up to Ricky or his assistant and place your order. He has fish or shrimp tacos. If you're lucky, he will also be serving lobster tacos. They are fried in front of you in a golden vat. If you stand too close for too long, you too will smell delicious.

I ordered one shrimp and one fish. I was not lucky that day. A person of normal appetite will probably be okay with two or three. I can report that Ricky avoids the main problem with battered and fried fish, the batter does not dominate the flavor. Also, it felt surprisingly light; you don't get the uncomfortable feeling that usually accompanies a meal of fried fare. The pico de gallo and cabbage give some textual variety while the crema and salsas added flavor dimensions. None of the accompaniments overpowered the centerpiece seafood though. If you do feel like throwing the flavors out of balance, additional sauces are available for self-dispense.

That day, Ricky was also serving cucumber and spinach agua fresca. This was an odd combination for me, but perfect for the unseasonably warm January day.

Ricky's Fish Tacos
1400 N. Virgil Ave.
Los Feliz/Hollywood/Silverlake, CA 90027
$2.50 for the fish, more for the shrimp and lobster.


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