>> Mariscos Guillen | Eat the World Los Angeles

Thursday 28 May 2020

Mariscos Guillen

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EDITOR'S NOTE: An updated version of this article (22 January 2024) is available as part of the Historical section of our Substack page. Check that out here:
On flights in and out of LAX, avoided when possible but sometimes inevitable, the silver lining is always food. For a while it was Mariscos Chente that was the first destination when returning, but lately the Lyft instructions usually point toward 106 Seafood Underground. Before most travel came to a halt, a recent trip returned on a Tuesday, Chef Sergio's day off, and afforded the opportunity to seek out more LAX-adjacent mariscos, this time in Hawthorne.

Mariscos Guillen, named for the original owner, was a fun lunch find and much more than the simple counter-service joint it presents itself as. The menu of offerings is actually quite vast, but the stack of tostadas near the register for ordering might clue you into what most people are eating here.

With a truck that parks in Inglewood and another bricks and mortar location in Santa Monica they call "La Playita," the franchise makes a name for itself up and down the 405. None of them are fancy, remaining workaday mariscos joints through and through. You will see construction workers and locals here, people that demand a lot for their money.

Pay in cash, take your seat, and get settled. As simple dishes like the ceviche tostada ($2.50, above) are enjoyed, someone will come over and make sure everything is good. The place has all the makings of a joint you want to become a regular in.

If you are more interested in clean, fresh shrimp unadorned, the shrimp tostada ($6, above) is a good call. A little surprising, but then again not really, was the offer of ketchup. "Is that the style here?"


Add a little heat with their delicious salsa made with chiles de arbรณl, which could really be slathered over everything.

For those that want a few more ingredients and fresh vegetables, the fish and shrimp tacos (above) are an even better choice, coming with their house-made smoky mayo. The chef does a great job toasting up the tortillas.

Make sure to add more of that salsa on top of the mayo, and prepare yourself to walk back up to the counter to order some micheladas once you notice most of the other customers enjoying them. Settle in, you're already a regular.

12319 Prairie Avenue

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