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Watch Matty Matheson and Benny Blanco Lose Their Minds After Eating L.A.’s Best Tacos (and Ceviche)

7:39 AM PDT on June 3, 2021

    [dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]he Los Angeles Taco Life has a way of pulling in anybody who steps into its powerful tortilla-dotted universe. Matty Matheson and Benny Blanco aren’t new to enjoying L.A.’s breadth of regional tacos that it has to offer, but they were new to trying Mariscos El Faro, El Ruso, and Los Dorados, aka L.A.’s current taco and mariscos powerhouses. 

    Fresh out of filming the second season of their show on Youtube titled “Eat Out America,” L.A. TACO had the privilege of taking the two taco-obsessed dudes out on a taco crawl to show them L.A.’s TACO Life. This outing was supposed to occur last year to celebrate the release of Matheson’s second cookbook, Matty Matheson: Home Style Cookery. But due to the pandemic was postponed until now.

    On a weekday afternoon, we all met up at Mariscos El Faro. The unassuming food truck in Highland Park has been around for seven years now. It is owned and operated by Ana Victoria Ibanez and Noel Rayos and is the only mariscos truck in L.A. County that offers Sinaloan-style “Callo de Lobina” on their daily menu, a ceviche-like dish made from salt-cured whitefish. The resulting ceviche is cut in thick sashimi-like slices, as opposed to the standard ground fish used in the majority of the ceviches found in the city’s mariscos trucks. Suffice to say, both Mattheson and Blanco lost their mind at first bite. “This is the best thing I’ve had in L.A. so far,” Matheson said, in between bites of the lobina and El Faro’s flaky empanadas de camarón, made from deep-fried corn masa fortified with dried shrimp.   

    “This is the best thing I’ve had in L.A. so far.” - Matty Matheson

    After that heavy dose of lime juice and chiltepin chiles awakened our appetites, we made our way to El Ruso, where Walter Soto served them his famous Sonoran-style tacos made grilled short rib asada. It was a meeting of the panzas as Matheson and Soto had instant chemistry. We all couldn’t get enough. “It’s so nice to hear about something, and it is actually better than what people say it is,” Matheson says. As Soto and Matheson forged their newfound friendship, Soto showed them the simple joy of a freshly handmade sobaquera flour tortilla. They tore into it and ate it as is in its chewy, tender texture.

    Lastly, we felt both Matheson and Blanco needed to taste a true taquito-style taco dorado via Los Dorados LA’s flautas. And not even a lifetime of eating frozen taquitos or Tex-Mex style crunchy tacos would have prepared them for that first jaggedly crispy bite. Steven Orozco Torres, Los Dorados’ owner, and head taquero, married into the King Taco family and quickly picked up the taquero trade. Both Matheson and Benny noticed the decades worth of technique and flavor in the flautas immediately, providing a revelation to Matheson: “I don’t think I’ve ever had a real taquito; it’s like a perfect food.” 

    This last line best sums up our taco way of life. That’s right, Matty, tacos are the perfect food. Thanks for letting us show you and Benny show what’s up.      

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