>> Mariscos Tocho | Eat the World Los Angeles

Friday 17 December 2021

Mariscos Tocho

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Mariscos Tocho trailer in Santana Tires & Wheels lot
COVID-19 UPDATE: This business makes it home in a trailer, the outdoor lot has a tented area with tables and plenty of space for customers, who are generally unmasked.

Rocky Point, the nickname of Puerto Peรฑasco on Sonora's Gulf of California coast, is only a bit more than an hour's drive from the Arizona state line. But like most of the rest of Sonora's coast, is largely overlooked by the other states that surround this body of water like Baja and Sinaloa, especially by residents of Los Angeles. All the way from this tourist favorite town down through Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, and Colima, mariscos have a lot in common and quite a bit of regional diversity.

A small trailer in an industrial Watts lot used mostly for the storage of unused 18 wheelers is the first of its kind to offer estilo Rocky Point, and since opening over five years ago has been a neighborhood favorite and drawn crowds from well outside of Watts. Groups of men who have been working since long before you woke up and others nursing headaches from a long night come here with their own beverages and order big plates of what cures them best at this Friday through Sunday spot.

Tables under the tent for customers

If you have visited Puerto Peรฑasco and sat down at popular locals-focused restaurants like Mariscos Las Plebes, you will recognize the offerings at Mariscos Tocho, with cheesy seafood and/or manta ray tacos, deep dark and chunky sauced-up ceviches, and all the more pan-coastal cocteles, botanas, and other ceviches that can be found just about anywhere.

Sonoran food is not completely unfamiliar to Angelenos, but is usually spoken about in the form of Hermosillo's hot dogs or grilled meats and flour tortillas. There is one Sonoran mariscos truck that has ruled Santa Ana for a while and more recently expanded into a permanent space, but for the most part the seafood of this state is more of a mystery as most Sonorenses who have made their home in the United States are in Arizona.

2 tacos Tochos, 2 tacos de pescado

Unfortunately the manta ray tacos have not been available for some time, but there are plenty of options for those not in the mood for ceviche. The chef has devised a way to combine the beauty of Sonora's meat and seafood in his Taco Tocho ($4, above left and below), a cheesy taco stuffed with both carne asada and shrimp. If you are looking for a place for some surf and turf, Sonora makes the most sense since they do both so expertly.

Buried within the taco is the trailer's beloved salsa negra, a chunky affair of charred dry chilies, brown sugar, and some type of delicious MSG. Every single order of tacos, ceviches, burritos, and anything else requiring salsa comes with more of this and a creamy garlic-laden mayo salsa that are divine when combined. This namesake trio of beef, shrimp, and cheese can also be ordered on a plate of fries (papas Tocho loco), which was always in front of at least one group on recent visits.

Taco Tocho (camarรณn, carne asada, queso)

Taco de pescado estilo Rocky Point

The taco de pescado estilo Rocky Point ($4, above) will not be on many best-of lists in Los Angeles, but it is still a strong option, especially when both sauces are dumped on top. A generous filet of fried fish is topped with a fat hunk of avocado and plenty of fresh and crisp vegetables.

What many people travel far for, and what is hard to not order even if you come to the trailer quite often is an order of the house special tostada negra ($13, below). This is a ceviche made with big pieces of shrimp and octopus and drenched with the salsa negra.

Tostada Negra

Do not be ashamed to add more of this and the creamy salsa, because this is one of the reasons people come to the truck. Everything is so fresh and obviously never frozen, the quality is a huge step above even the above average mariscos spots in the city.

"Regular" tostadas might be slightly less food but still are massive and come with plenty of extra for scooping. The tostada de ceviche de pescado ($7, below) is a simple preparation that lets the immaculate fish speak for itself. This also comes in a shrimp version, and you can get tostadas with cooked shrimp as well.

Tostada de ceviche de pescado


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