Ricky's Fish Tacos Set a High Bar


Just four blocks from Umami Burger in the Silver Lake neighborhood, the self-described former florist-turned Baja fish taco maker, Ricky Piña, plies his trade by a fryer filled with shrimp, fish, and lobster under a tent just off the sidewalk. What's in his batter? "Wheat flour, oregano, mustard, salt, and pepper," he explained. Beer? "No beer, but if I were going to use beer then Tecate."

Go ahead, be skeptical — you've heard the hype about Ricky's Fish Tacos. And that goes double when you see all the par-fried seafood sitting around the fryer. "It's pre-fried?" you first wonder. No. It was par-fried just minutes ago, and it contributes to the hyperbolic golden delicious fry that Baja fish taco dreams are made from.

For $10.75 you order a lobster taco ($8) that's longer than your hand, a fish taco that's wider than the corn tortilla it's served on, and a shrimp taco. The huge pieces of seafood are fresh, large, and crispy — fried in a batter that becomes really crispy and crunchy, while letting the seafood stay juicy inside.

There are good corn tortillas, a covering of super-fresh slices of cabbage, and a variety of sauces (including a fresh green tomatillo salsa). Everything simple, but delicious. And for these reasons this dish made my list of most memorable meals of 2011.

Click for more of the Most Memorable Meals of 2011.