With the Ceviche Lover’s Guide to Los Angeles in hand, The Astronomer and I made our way to Mariscos Los Lechugas, where Jaime Lechuga, his wife Virginia, and their friend Epi Osuna have been selling Ensenada-style cocteles, tostadas, and tacos for the past decade on a serene-enough stretch of El Sereno.
Their colorfully painted trailer, which is hitched onto the back of a pickup truck, can be found on South Huntington Drive every day from 11 a.m. until early evening; it departs between 4 to 6 p.m., depending on customer demand and staff fatigue.
The Astronomer and I started off with a coctel. There’s one with just shrimp, another with both shrimp and octopus, and my selection, the “campechana” ($8), which included a bit of everything. The seafood, an array of shrimp, octopus, and tuna, was snappy and fresh, while the tangy tomato brew was well-balanced and terrific.
There are saltines and a selection of hot sauces lined against the trailer’s metal counter for garnishing. As we crumbled crackers into our coctel, we took a moment to admire the vintage photos of Mr. Lechuga accepting a trophy for winning a grueling 700-mile bike race from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta and the photos of his son Ernie riding side-by-side with Lance Armstrong.
Mariscos, it turns out, are the fuel of choice for world-class cyclists!
To round out our meal, we also shared a “fish ceviche” tostada ($2), albacore marinated in lime juice with white onion, tomato, and cilantro. According to my friend Bill, the author of the Ceviche Lover’s Guide to Los Angeles, Mr. Lechuga is friends with a tuna supplier, which means he can offer top-notch quality at an affordable price.
Mariscos Los Lechugas
5244 South Huntington Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032
One year ago: Umami Burger – Pasadena
Two years ago: Stella Barra Pizzeria – Los Angeles (Santa Monica)
Three years ago: Thiên Ân Bò 7 Món – Rosemead
Four years ago: Don Dae Gam – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
Five years ago: Phở Hoàng – Birmingham
Six years ago: Vegetation Profile: Sugar Apple
Seven years ago: Old-Fashioned Potato Gratin