BY: JAZMIN ARREOLA
A contemporary culture of food stands and trucks has taken over Los Angeles, something that Angelinos have embraced and learned to love, and Ricky Piña is not complaining. Two soft corn tortillas embraced crispy, deep-fried basa fish strips. A diced tomato salsa-fresca, also known as pico de gallo, gushes fresh tomato and cilantro juices. The combination of the salsa and crisp fish complimented the Mexican cream-smothered cabbage crunch with each bite. I licked my fingers covered with Mexican fresh cream and the mild salsa of my choosing, tingles in my mouth for a couple more seconds before I bite into the taco again.
Ricky's Fish Tacos, have been a sensation in Los Angeles for the past five years. What started off as a hair salon and then a storage place for Piña, soon became a well known fish taco haven for those LA fish lovers.
Piña chooses the basa fish or “bocourti” for his fish tacos, a type of catfish. He said that his basa fish is a swai fillet with low fat content that helps conserve the flavor and freshness of the fish.
Piña seasons the fish with garlic, salt and flour then dips it in a beer batter of oregano and mustard. The strips are then deep fried to a perfect golden crisp. Ricky’s Fish Tacos also serve shrimp tacos or a combination of fish and shrimp.
The aftermath is quite a different experience, making anyone feel light and not heavy like most fried foods do.
Impatient taco lovers wait with smells that make any hungry person’s gut growl and twist in hunger.
Three tomatillo red, green sauces and a Mexican cream await in the mini fridge underneath the small ordering window of the matte grey taco truck. The choices are mild, medium and hot, whichever you prefer.
Hibiscus or cucumber-spinach aguas frescas don’t fail to quench the thirst that come after the tasty delight in your taste buds. Soft drinks are also offered.
Before the taco truck, Piña began making his tacos with two large deep friers in the lot of his storage place in Silver Lake, something that did not fly with the city. To comply with city regulations, Ricky’s Fish Tacos shut down for a couple months and started up again with a truck in Chinatown. Locals were bummed to find out about the move and had not realize Chinatown had stolen their cool catfish.
Three weeks ago, Ricky’s Tacos made their move back to their home sweet home, Silver Lake, and locals are stoked!
“I’m glad they’re back; the [tacos] are so amazing,” said Nathan Haas, an LA local living in the area for over 30 years. “There are people that are even visiting from France that are eating these tacos. It’s a major draw.”
Loyal taco eater Haas is not taking any other fish taco but Ricky's.
Fish Tacos are three dollars and worth every penny. the hype is true, the fish is the word; so fish taco lovers, don’t hesitate to take this trip down to Los Angeles. Ricky’s Fish Tacos are here to please and stay for good.