The Best Mariscos Spots in LAFrom Mexican shrimp tacos to Peruvian ceviches, Los Angeles has an endless array of great places to eat mariscos. These are our 16 favorites.
It's possible you've witnessed someone dig into an overpriced piece of halibut and say, “Gee golly gosh, we’re so lucky to have access to fresh seafood.” (Maybe that person was you, actually.) LA's real fishy flex is our mariscos—punchy-hot aguachiles, seafood stews, zippy cold shrimp that mends a hangover from which we thought we’d never recover. Los Angeles’ mariscos scene shows off a range of styles—predominantly Mexican, as well as Guatemalan and Peruvian—but the sheer joy of eating drippy tostada on a hot day is universal. From a bakery serving ceviche to an Inglewood backyard with excellent fried fish, here are our 16 favorite mariscos spots in LA.
Holbox is a food stall inside Mercado La Paloma that serves inventive mariscos without making them unrecognizable to fans of the classics. The Figueroa Corridor spot, run by the same chef as Chichen Itza, dresses up West Coast seafood with delicious things like marinated fennel, chile de arbol-infused soy sauce, and calamari ink sofrito. Order the kanpachi and uni tostada for a bite you'll talk about (and annoy your friends over) for weeks. It has tons of lime and juicy tomato flavor, plus extra creaminess from avocado puree and heat from a smoky arbol-guajillo sauce.
You can’t talk about tacos in LA without mentioning the shrimp tacos at Mariscos Jalisco, and we’re not here to deviate from that discourse. Now served at four locations across town, these crispy-fried tacos dorados are stuffed with a warm shrimp and potato filling, topped with avocado, then doused in a fresh tomato salsa with flecks of cabbage mixed in. For seafood fans, the texture alone could warrant a trip across the country. But Mariscos Jalisco isn’t a one-hit wonder. We also love the Poseidon tostada, which comes heaped with finely minced Baja-style ceviche, cooked octopus, and a spicy red aguachile that acts as a fiery garnish.
Loreto in Frogtown remixes classic mariscos in ways that feel clever rather than busy. Their essence is always traditional, though. Our seafood marathons here include aguachile rojo punched up by fiery chiltepín, an otoro tostada drenched in a yuzu vinaigrette, and a beautiful butterflied fish that comes with unlimited quesadillas. Imagine yourself with a crisp paloma in one hand and a spoonful of shrimp esquites with lobster mayo in the other. If it sounds like paradise, that's because it is.
You might get lost on the way to 106 Seafood Underground, a cash-only restaurant located in someone's backyard in Inglewood on a street without signs. But if you trust us not to lead you astray, you'll be rewarded with a truly incredible mariscos experience. 106 Seafood is by no means a fly-by-night operation: it's a full-fledged restaurant with table service, a shaded patio, and a professional kitchen sautéing shrimp in an outdoor shed. Order the flaky whole grilled snook for the table, plus other shareable dishes like a refreshing green apple ceviche, piles of crispy fish chicharron, and langoustines smothered in a salty-spicy-sour sauce that follows a secret recipe (but not-so-secretly altered our lives). We're still thinking about you, secret sauce.
If someone were to plan a bus tour of LA mariscos spots (sign us up), Coni’Seafood would be a mandatory stop. This Inglewood establishment is rightfully famous—the family behind it has been serving some of the best Nayarit-style seafood in town for decades. As soon as you arrive, order the signature whole snook (it takes a solid half-hour to prepare) marinated in a salty, umami-rich sauce and grilled to perfection. We also typically opt for the marlin-topped mini tostadas and bright, citrusy aguachile verde.
In roughly 16 feet of space, this Silver Lake food truck can whip up mariscos that wouldn’t look out of place in a fine dining restaurant. Imagine smoky octopus barbacoa, soft shell crab tacos that pop from spicy pineapple salsa, and an aguachile negro with a silky and properly punchy, jet-black sauce made with burnt tomatillos. Whatever you end up getting, top it with one of the truck’s salsas in the refrigerated cabinet. These range from nutty salsa macha to an unexpected carrot-habanero that’s so creamy and tangy that we mindlessly put it on everything we order here.
Za Za Zá is a daytime-only mariscos window in Loreto’s side alley that puts ceviche on tostilocos. You read that correctly. And now that your belly is making the sounds of a laundry machine full of marbles, we should also say that everything on this short menu reads just as exciting. Bite into a face-sized gringa full of smoky swordfish al pastor, a yellowfish tostada that’s capped with tangy tobiko mayo, and a costra full of cheesy shrimp in a warm flour tortilla. Za Za Zá does simple classics just as well, too, like big mugs of coctel with octopus, shrimp, and spicy Clamato to cool you off on their sunny patio. Sadly this spot is only open three hours a day for lunch. But. hey, there’s always Loreto to look forward to.
El Muelle 8, and its menu full of pictures of plump scallops showing off their good sides, requires some amount of self-control. This Sinaloa-style marisquería in Downey has separate hot and cold bar menus, each spanning multiple pages like a celebrity NDA. Order the Muelle 8 ceviche for the table that mixes scallops, shrimp, and octopus tentacles in a spicy marinade, and then surround it with hot dishes. There are massive empanadas filled with cheesy marlin stew, crispy pulpo chicharrón tacos, and a mar y tierra taco with beef and diced shrimp glued together by melted cheese. If you want to keep things lighter, order the agauchile verde and drizzle on some chilepín salsa that's sitting on the table. The dish's charred tomatillo salsa is so tart that it pleasantly haunts our salivary glands.
Ceviche Project is where you go for date night mariscos. This intimate Silver Lake spot has a few tables, but we strongly suggest sitting at the bar where you can watch the chef-owner Octavio prepare ceviches and oyster platters in his slick white suit. The menu is filled with inventive flavor combinations like kanpachi with ponzu and sweet bursts of diced melon, a ”Mayan-style” octopus tostada drizzled with tangy burnt habanero salsa. Eating fish after fish at the bar feels a little like eating a romantic sushi dinner, except here you get to listen to a well-curated Latin playlist thrumming in the background.
A bakery and cevicheria aren’t things we’d typically expect under the same roof, but at Lonzo’s it works. Sure, you can walk away with a decent French baguette, but it’s the Peruvian mariscos you're really here for, including the incredible leche de tigre coctel. This shrimp and kanpachi ceviche comes in a cocktail glass filled with a tart and salty marinade, plus a dose of ají amarillo for heat. There’s a lot of texture going on, too: cooked yams, large corn kernels called choclo and some perfectly fried calamari, which get dunked in that citrusy sauce.
Relaxing at the park is great, but doing it while eating mariscos is even better. Mariscos El Faro offers you to the chance to do both at its park-adjacent Highland Park location, where the food truck serves beautifully simple Sinaloa-style mariscos like tender sea bass tostadas and very good red aguachiles. Both dishes come marinated in the truck’s special sauce that’s acidic and tomato-y with a big kick from chiltepín chiles. And since the weather is probably part of the reason you wanted to visit the park in the first place, Mariscos El Faro’s delicious micheladas are also a perfect choice on a warm, sunny day.
LA Cha Cha Chá is home to one of the city’s best rooftops, which makes it a popular spot for birthday dinners and out-of-towners wanting to take in the scenic smog over DTLA. But besides great views, this Mexico City transplant offers delicious mezcal cocktails and a menu of both small and shareable plates, including some excellent mariscos options. Their tostada monumento with charred octopus is fresh and tangy with habanero chile and a creamy cilantro aioli, while the tostada terraza gets a smoky kick from the chile morita salsa used to coat chunks of ahi tuna. The whole grilled red snapper is also a great choice for the table, with a tart red leaf chimichurri spicing up the mildly sweet fish.
If you’re driving down Atlantic Avenue and spot a long line spiraling out of a tiny strip mall, you’re probably passing Mariscos El Moreno. This counter-service Mexican restaurant in Lynwood specializes in family-style Sinaloan seafood dishes: shrimp ceviche, oyster shots, aguachile verde filled with plump chunks of octopus, and more. The menu is long, but if you’re looking for something spicy and refreshing, the "La Morena” served in a stone molcajete is an absolute must-order. It’s a massive portion of chipotle-heavy broth loaded with a mix of fresh mussels, chopped octopus, plump shrimp. Mariscos El Moreno has a small dining room, but most people order at the counter outside and take their food to-go. Heads up: it’s cash-only.
Similar to your party trick that never fails, Maricos El Viejito has mastered one thing: making delicious aguachile. This Sun Valley strip mall spot also serves savory marlin tacos with chipotle salsa and a great tostada mixta with heaping amounts of abalone and octopus, but we still recommend sticking to the house favorite. The raw shrimp in Viejito’s aguachile comes out perfectly tender, never chewy, swimming in a fresh and acidic sauce balanced with just enough salt. Cucumber, raw onion, and creamy avocado slices bring texture, while fresh serrano chiles add a slow burn that lingers after each bite.
Mariscos Tocho is a Sonoran-style seafood restaurant that doesn’t shy away from bold flavors, and by that, we mean using copious amounts of sauce. The Lynwood spot makes a delicious salsa negra that bristles with heat from crushed chiltepín, smokiness from dried chiles, plus a hint of sweetness from a secret ingredient—whatever it is, it just works. The tostada negra with large chunks of shrimp arrives drenched in the sweet-savory salsa, then gets finished with avocado and chipotle crema. Another stand out on the sprawling menu is the botana gorda, a pile of tender shrimp and octopus sautéed with onions and more spoonfuls of that addictive salsa negra.
As you might guess from the ocean blue paint job and nautical knick-knacks on the walls, this eight-table restaurant in Mid-City serves a spectacular variety of seafood dishes pulled from all over Central and South America: fried fish tacos, Mexican and Peruvian ceviches, and a silky Caribbean seafood stew stocked with squid and mussels. But the star of the menu (and our hands-down favorite dish) is the unique Guatemalan-style ceviche with blood clams, a mixture of chopped seafood, onions, tomatoes, and avocado tossed in an inky black sauce made from lime juice, mint, and Worcestershire. The clams are fresh and flavorful, the tostadas on the side are crisp, and the Jarritos you’re sipping on is ice cold (no beer here, sadly). Dab on some of their super-spicy homemade hot sauce, served in a mustard-yellow squeeze bottle, if you dare. Cash only.