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.