Wes Avila, Guerilla Tacos and the current state of the TACO!

I have had my eye on this LA native taco genius since 2012 when he opened at Handsome Coffee Roasters. I was living nearby and tried at least 20 times to find him and eat his tacos. Alas...

At the same time I was packing up my LA life to leave for a vida nueva in Mexico. I kept missing the window.

Every time I came back to visit it was the same. He was first on my list but on the day he was in Culver City I was at the other end of the city. On the day he was downtown I was on the tarmac returning to Baja.

I read. I watched. People began raving and never stopped raving about his creative taco acumen and they were right. Yesterday, FINALLY, I partook.

I had to sneak him in between Westside Dr.'s appointments. My best pal since high school days and fellow food maestro picked me up on a street corner in Beverly Hills at 12:05pm. I had to be back at that same corner by 2pm.

A mere 11 miles, LA traffic was typically hellish and conspired against us. Google Maps conspired against us too and took us to the wrong address. Finally by 1:00pm we were sprinting out of the car to order. "We'll take it all!" Oh no, they were out of 2/3 of the daily tacos. "We'll take whatever you got!"

The wait was manageable. Maybe 20 minutes. Lots of amazing window shopping to be done at both Blacktop Coffee and the cute Alchemy Works store right in front of the Guerilla Truck parked at 826 E. 3rd Street. There is also a fresh cold-pressed juice vendor.

Both Thurs and Fri at that location from 9-2 you can find him there. I had no idea he opened so early. Of course by 1pm he was out. Be informed! I WANT MORE GUERILLA TACOS.

So how were the tacos? Well.... I only had the Sweet Potato Feta taco, which this ARTICLE tells me he created as a breakfast taco. It was effin' great. I also had the Quesadilla which was a cheese-filled flour tortilla topped with some kind of air-dried beef, broccolini and Oaxacan cheese. I folded it like a taco or like a piece of NY Pizza (which it miraculously resembled) and inhaled that sucker.

We had the Scallop Ceviche Tostada which was fresh and tasty. Sauced with a nice Jalapeno emulsion, the scallops were like butter. The crispy tortilla tasted like the bagged Ceviche stand variety. Traditional but I would have preferred a crispy lettuce cup or some crazy shite like that.

I saw this whole Fried Mackerel going by. I obnoxiously asked to take a foto. Really I felt like a true tourist. The schwanky new method of taking my moolah ($30 for 4 items and 2 Pellegrinos) was an iPad device. The man in charge was firm but friendly. I do think I have been away too long.

When I started blogging about tacos in 2010 the scene was very different. The cheap taco was KING. I have always been a fan of the gourmet fusion upscale taco. I honestly believe that the taco is a superb format for any kind of food experimentation and judging by the popularity of this superlative gourmet taco truck, it looks like I'm right. Be sure to check in with Wes regularly as each day his menu is brilliantly varied. Today: Oxtail and Foie Gras tacos. Tomorrow?

On a side note, kudos to Bill Esparza. He has flown to new foodie journalism heights on the wings of his passion for Latin food and the absolute expertise of his knowledge of our city streets. I am loving his TACOPEDIA and his recent article for LA Magazine on the state of Latin Food in the U.S. of A.

Just for good measure and because they are THAT good, we stopped at Mariscos Jalisco #2 on E. 10th St, near Towne (a bit closer to Downtown) for a $2 crispy piece of shrimpy perfection on the way back. We arrived in Beverly Hills at 2:09. Andale Taco Express!

God Bless the Americas. And God bless the Taco.

PS I just saw surfing around after I posted this that Guerilla Tacos won the Taco Madness competition for 2015! Congratulations! Mariscos Jalisco came in 2nd. Do I have my finger on the pulse or WHAT? Ja Ja.