- Los Angeles‘ Guerrilla Tacos is shaking up the Mexican food scene thanks to CEO and head chef Wes Avila’s unique taco creations.
- Avila offers a seven-course omakase menu – meaning he chooses what you’ll be served.
- The courses feature the best produce and meat LA has to offer.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The following is a transcript of the video:
Joe Avella: Guerrilla Tacos is a popular taqueria in downtown LA known for unique and innovative tacos. Its high acclaim got Guerrilla Tacos featured in an episode of “Taco Chronicles” on Netflix. Today, we’re doing the omakase menu, a Japanese phrase that means “I’ll leave it up to you” where chef Avila and his team decide that day what they’re serving. Seven courses! What will they be? I have no idea. You’ll find out when I find out.
Wes Avila: What sets Guerrilla Tacos apart from other tacos is that we’re uniquely Angelino, meaning, like, our ingredients are pretty broad. We use a lot of stuff that is local. A lot of local seafood. Like, you’ll see later today, I’ve brought in some local halibut. We get sea urchin. We play with a lot of stuff like that but take other techniques, using Mexican techniques, French techniques, whatever, under the melting pot of Los Angeles that I like to use. That’s what makes it uniquely Angelino.
Customer: This is my second time here. When I saw this spot on Netflix, I was like, I have to come check it out. And I like the decoration, the colors; it’s art. And the food is art.
Customer: We were just kinda asking some locals where we can get some really good food, and they recommended that we come here. We got a variety of different ones, and I feel like each one kinda had its own kinda, like, DNA. Its own kinda, like, vibe.
Wes: Well, we started our omakase menu back in June as a way to let my chefs and my cooks be able to express themselves. We'll do seven courses. Whatever it is that comes in, whatever it is that we have that we're playing with, and we'll just do something special. On the menu, it just says "just trust us." And that's what we mean. Just trust us.
Joe: I don't think I've ever done any sort of, like, "Chef, surprise me" or "I trust you" sort of menu. I'm Mr. Decision Fatigue when it comes to going to any restaurant. I as an adult cannot make my own decisions, so let that adult do it for me.
The omakase menu is $75 for seven courses, two of which will be desserts.
Joe: All right, it's an oyster. He told me what type. I instantly forgot. And it also comes with a shot that I'm assuming I drink, so I don't know if I gotta pour it on here or just take the hit and then drink up, so I'm gonna do the latter. I'm gonna go boom and then boom. No, I think I was supposed to pour that on there. That's excellent. First one down, and I'm already very happy.
Halibut, heirloom tomatoes, cilantro. For him to have this window where he can kinda be creative and do whatever he's feeling that day, it really makes it exciting. If this was just on the menu, maybe as a starter or something, no way I'm getting it. No way I would think, like, "Oh, I wanna start out with a ceviche." I like ceviche, I just never would have thought...gotten it. I would have gotten, I don't know, mozzarella sticks or something. No tacos yet, but hoping that they'll start coming out soon.
[crunching] Oh, man, that's so good. Have you had fava beans before? I've never had them before. All I know is the reference from "Silence of the Lambs." And Hannibal Lecter knows what's up with the beans, man. These are great. And this blue-corn tortilla chip with the olive oil, this thing is excellent.
All right, look at this thing. I don't know how I'm even picking this thing up. [crunching] Yo! This is the type of taco that people are coming here for. The soft-shell crab is, like, really firm, really crisp, you know? It's fried to, like, perfection. The tortilla itself is also a lot firmer than it looks, so it's not falling apart at all. And just a little bit of heat to it, so the whole thing works so well together. I mean, look at this thing. It's a sturdy taco.
OK, so this will be the first taquito I've had not from a 7-Eleven, so I'm excited about that. Deep-fried shrimp taquito, yo. I absolutely love it. This thing is packed with shrimp.
Really great. Now I get it. Now I get why they're so popular. Every course is better than the last one, definitely. [singing] Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo, it's a strawberry doughnut. This is about as fresh as they come. Perfect. Mm. Perfect way to end this. Strawberries are fresh. The doughnuts are fresh. Perfect.
Looks like we are ending this delicious meal with fresh melon. I didn't catch which melon this was, but... That's not cantaloupe, is it?
Producer: What else could it be?
Joe: I don't know. I don't know a lot about melons. What are the good names of other melons?
Joe: Definitely not watermelon. Is a mango a melon?
Joe: Is that a melon?
Producer: Yeah sure.
Joe: This was excellent. It was, like, a soup-to-nuts meal. I can't say soup to nuts. There's no soup or nuts. I don't think anything that I was served today, besides maybe the taquitos, was something that I would be like, "Oh, that sounds great, I'll get that." But I'm glad that I did it because everything that came out was better than the thing that came before it.
$75 is a little out of my price range, but, I mean, it was really good. It's definitely worth $75. I probably wouldn't have done it, but I'm glad I did.