Potato & Fish Tacos at Tacomiendo in West Los Angeles – America’s 17th Best Taco

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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I love tacos.  I really do.  But I have become pretty snobby about them.  I usually get fish tacos (as I do not eat meat or chicken) and I prefer it not be fried.  Though I’ve had some might fine fried babies.  So – when I saw an article listing the “35 Best Tacos in America” – I knew I had to try any local ones on the list.

#17 was Tacomiendo.

17) Tacomiendo, Los Angeles: Potato Taco

At the no-frills, order-at-the-counter Tacomiendo, where you’ll hear much more Spanish than English spoken, the tortillas are homemade, the prices are reasonable, and the tacos are big. Burritos are a favorite here, but the tacos get high marks, too — and if you don’t mind carbo-loading, the unusual potato taco, potato chunks and cheese in a crispy shell, is certainly memorable.

They specifically mention which KIND of taco won at each joint.  As it turns out, Tacomiendo is over at Pico & Gateway – an area you couldn’t pay me to trek to under normal circumstances but my dog, Dexter, is undergoing physical therapy at Two Hands Four Paws which is only a few blocks away!  So, yesterday, as Dex had his day at the spa, I hopped over to Tacomiendo & ordered me some tacos (to steal the vernacular of my badass boyfriend, Miles).

There is a boatload of construction over there & it was a very confusing few blocks to navigate but, eventually, I spotted the place, tucked into an auto court sorta strip mall – on the southeast corner of Gateway & Pico.  Here is the outside.


And here is the rest of that mall as seen from inside Tacomiendo.


ALL car places so Tacomiendo can be easy to miss.  The obscurity of the place & the strip mall exterior actually raised my hopes about Tacomiendo.  I mean – who would even SEE this place, let alone put it on the list of “must try” taco spots?  If it was singled out – it must be incredible!  So – I ventured forward.

Here is the interior.


There is a little salsa & other appropriate toppings bar over on the left on the yellow wall.

I looked at the menu overhead & couldn’t spot potato anything so I asked when it was my time to order.  Yes, I was told, they do serve a potato taco but it comes in a hard shell.  I was informed of this as if it would make me reconsider.  But – I was here expressly to try America’s 17th best Goddamn taco & I had good information that it was the potato taco here at Tacomiendo – so, undeterred, I ordered it.  I also ordered a fish taco & a Diet Coke (even though I think Diet Coke is tantamount to drinking engine fluid – as far as how good it is for you).   I paid my bill.


Lunch for $7?  Not bad!  It seems the potato taco might be considered an appetizer.  Hmm.  I went to the salsa bar & stocked up & ate a bunch of these carrots & jalapenos.


Pretty soon, a woman delivered this little basket to my table.


That is the potato taco on the left.  The fish taco was a purist’s dream as it came in a homemade soft taco shell – naked.  Solomente grilled fish.  I topped it with cilantro, onion & two salsas and squeezed two limes over it.

Then I bit into the potato taco.  It seemed to be filled with a cheesy mashed potato.  Tasty – but not remarkable.  The potato taco at Senor Fish is better, in my opinion.  In fact, I preferred the fresh & delicious fish taco to the potato variety – primarily due to its simplicity & the wonderful homemade taco it was wrapped in.


So – there you have it.  Both tacos were good enough to order again but I definitely preferred the fish one.

How anyone can list the 35 best tacos in America is beyond me.  I would have a very hard time listing the 35 best in Hollywood alone.  Taco stands are EVERYWHERE.  But there are a few more local joints on this list & I aim to try them all.  So far – the taco to beat (if you ask me) is the INSANE lobster taco here – at Benny’s in Venice – the best taco I have ever had.   Not sure how they missed that bad boy.  But – as I said – I will try the others they suggest & I will keep you posted on any changes & developments!


Lobster taco at Benny’s in Venice.

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