Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sky's The Limit...My Gourmet Taco Journey

Having grown up a California kid and a Los Angeles native, I have found in my journey for good tasting Mexican food some of the best authentic, traditional and sometimes exotic Mexican TACOS this side of the border. No matter which style of Mexican faire I decide to savor at the time, I have to incorporate the TACO onto my combination plate. I'm not sure what it is about the TACO that does it for me the most? Maybe it's the crispy, deep-fried shell that hums golden satisfying goodness or perhaps the savory meaty fillings and locally fresh produce that's piled on top. Or could it be that they are easily transportable...not like their plate siblings "the enchilada" where you HAVE to use a folk to consume. The TACO is a "must have" for me. And don't forget the salsa! These are a definite must because it defines one of the true essences of Southern California living and now every establishment is putting a different spin on their taco and salsa creation. I guess that's what makes them so interesting in taste!

Some of the establishments I've stumbled upon have taken me to the Southwest in WeHo where Mexican gourmet faire is all the go! Me and my girlfriends sit outdoors and sip on beautifully blended mango or crisp and fruity "kick-ass" watermelon margaritas under a large canvas convertible roofed restaurant with our rhinestoned flip-flops on. As we relax and converse about who's dating who in Hollywood a stone morter and pestle is placed on the table filled with a salsa so bold and flavorful from fire-roasted chiles accompanied by house made tortilla chips that make our mouths water from the smokey goodness. Then of course a plate of TACO's to share is upon us...and a slow-roasted chicken-chile taco and slow-roasted chipotle studded tri-tip of beef taco just hit the spot.

Other establishments of the more traditional and authentic kind take me back to when I was a kid here in L.A. and restaurants like El Cholo, El Coyote and Casa Vega were and still are the town favorites when it comes to authentic Mexican cuisine. Your standard chicken, ground or shredded beef hard shell taco is what I would call classic Mexican "comfort" food. There is no denying a familiar taste of what you know and love of classic taquitos, tostadas and tortas filled with slow stewed meats and mounds of shredded cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.

But what about combining the two loves of gourmet and traditional Mexican faire? and finding a taco heaven of peace and tranquility in one establishment? On the west side of Los Angeles on Pico blvd stands a taco establishment that has been serving their customers for 18 years. Sky's Gourmet Tacos. I probably have driven by this place numerous times and it's been beckoning me to come inside. With it's avocado green exterior and pink neon sign it looked very "spirited" and "chic" like most of their customers have defined their cuisine, so I decided to succumb to the calling and go inside.

With just a few scattered tables inside and some outside I proceeded to order from the menu posted on the wall above me. So many different selections my mind was swimming with indecision, but I decided to go with the shrimp tacos and I'm glad that I did! My favorite are the shrimp tacos/hard shell. Wrapped in aluminum foil and served in a paper "to-go" basket, chowed down. I was told the customers have nominated the shrimp tacos as the signature dish. Delicious!! Their lobster tacos (a facebook page fan of mine) recommended I try, I hear they are amazing as well. " worries, I'll definitely be going back to taste these." The spot is a little pricey...but hell isn't everything that's worth having a little pricey? They're worth the cost. From burritos, to nachos, tacos, fresh salads, quesadillas and a separate vegetarian menu...the food is fresh, innovative and flavorful.

Now my girlfriend Rhonda (who would throw on a pair of rhinestoned flip-flops in a minute and join me for a taco or two...not to mention a "kick-ass" margarita) would have to disagree. Although I believe she's been to Sky's Gourmet Tacos she raves about another taco spot further South or East (I can't remember) called World Tacos that she insists I must try. If you're feeling Rhonda's plight, please let me know what to expect? I hear they are out of this world...literally! Anyway, I'll make it there one day because it's all about the taco you know...but for now Sky's The Limit!

1 comment:

  1. Kai Kai Kai! Yes, we MUST make it to World Taco, I guarantee you won't be disappointed. My rhinestone flip flops are waiting. Pick up our tacos(I recommend the curry lamb or lime shrimp) and a quick jaunt over to Mandrake for a Dark and Stormy, what could be better? :-) Why limit yourself to the Sky, when you deserve the World?!?!