The Best Mariscos Spots in LA guide image


The Best Mariscos Spots in LA

When the hot weather hits, remember that Los Angeles has an endless array of great places to eat fresh mariscos.

Whether it’s seafood tacos and tostadas, whole grilled fish, shrimp coctels or creative takes on ceviche, eating mariscos in Los Angeles means a wide range of experiences and regional styles, each delicious in its own way. But even with an overwhelming number of options, there's one thing that’s universal: the sheer joy that comes with eating amazingly fresh seafood on a sunny day with a cold drink in hand. From a bakery serving Peruvian ceviche to a Mexican aguachile specialist in the Valley, here are 16 of our favorite mariscos spots in LA. 


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3544 W Imperial Hwy, Inglewood
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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 pretty famous, and rightfully so because the family behind it has been serving some of the best Nayarit-style seafood in town for decades. Right away, order the signature whole snook (it takes a solid half-hour to prepare), which is marinated in a salty umami-rich sauce and grilled to perfection. You also can’t go wrong with their marlin-topped mini tostadas and bright, citrusy aguachile verde, both great for sharing family-style.

Holbox is a food stall inside Mercado La Paloma that serves very fancy and inventive mariscos without making them unrecognizable to classic ceviche fans. The Figueroa Corridor spot, run by the same chef as Chichen Itza, sources the freshest West Coast seafood and dresses it up with delicious things like marinated fennel, chili de arbol-infused soy sauce, and tart calamari ink sofrito. Order the kanpachi and uni tostada for a decadent bite: There’s lots of lime and fresh tomato flavor, plus some extra creaminess from the avocado puree and heat from a smoky arbol-guajillo sauce. 

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photo credit: Matt Gendal

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Mariscos El Faro

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 tomatoey 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. 

You can’t talk about tacos in LA without discussing the shrimp tacos at Mariscos Jalisco, and we’re not here to do otherwise. Now served at four locations across town, these crispy-fried tacos dorados are stuffed with a delicious shrimp and potato filling, topped with avocado, then doused in a fresh tomato salsa with flecks of cabbage mixed in. These tacos offer amazing texture and flavor, and are probably worth a trip across the country to eat. But Mariscos Jalisco isn’t a one-hit wonder. There are plenty of other great options here as well, like 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.

Ceviche Project is where you go to have excellent mariscos on date night and maybe impress your dining partner with a little extra flair. This intimate Silver Lake spot has a few tables, but we strongly suggest sitting at the bar where you can watch Octavio, the owner-chef, prepare fresh ceviches and oyster platters in a slick white suit. The menu is filled with inventive flavor combinations like kanpachi sashimi dressed with salsa macha and ponzu and a ”Mayan-style” octopus tostada drizzled with tangy burnt habanero salsa. The entire experience feels like a romantic sushi dinner with 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 fabulous 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.

Every dish at this Silver Lake food truck is fresh and exhilarating, like a film written and directed by Jordan Peele. The chef comes from a fine dining background in Oaxaca, which shines through various ceviches, barbacoa octopus tacos, and cochinita pibil served with pickled onions. If we had to pick a highlight it would be the aguachile negro, which comes with an inky black sauce that’s silky, a bit sweet, and properly punchy. It’s made with burnt tomatillos, which lend a luxurious texture and a wonderful pucker. Pair this with a crunchy tostada or michelada. The truck’s hours and schedule vary week to week, so make sure to follow them on Instagram for the latest updates. 

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.

With locations in Downey and Pico Rivera, Mariscos Choix specializes in Sinaloa-style mariscos, which usually means a healthy amount of salsa negra and some very good micheladas. Choix has a pretty extensive menu, and a meal here can easily turn into a tour of Pacific marine life—raw, fried, and grilled. Start with a spicy oyster shooter in smoky coctel sauce before sampling grilled octopus tacos paved with melted cheese. And a stop here is never complete without the callo de hacha tostada: huge buttery scallops tossed in a chiltepín salsa that’s deliciously earthy and intensely spicy. 

Braving the tourist trap that is Grand Central Market can be a pain, but the downtown food hall still has many food options worth the hassle. La Tostaderia, home to tangy, chunky, and deceivingly spicy ceviche tostadas, is one of them. The shrimp tostada at this seafood stand gets the job done, with nice chunks of cucumber and avocado for texture. But it’s the incredible tostada mixta—octopus and scallop mixed with chopped radish and red onion—that we have an intense love-hate relationship with, thanks to a super spicy habanero oil drizzled over the top. The combination of tender seafood and sharp chile oil leaves us speechless, but that also might just be us internally panicking from the heat. 

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 variety of seafood dishes pulled from all over Central and South America. There's 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 easily our 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 briny 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.

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