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Jakob Layman

Guerrilla Tacos

Jakob Layman

If there’s any justice in this world, one day Los Angeles will have a Taco Truck Walk of Fame. It will probably be on a stretch of Olympic Blvd., and hopefully the plaques will be shaped like tacos instead of stars. One thing is for certain - Guerrilla Tacos’ plaque will have prime real estate.

Before it moved into a brick and mortar, Guerrilla was the truck where people would line up for 45 minutes to order fancy $4 sweet potato tacos. Many whined that the price was too high, but once they were standing in the street trying not to spill salsa down their fronts, they’d realize these tacos stood out from the thousands they’d had before. So when Guerrilla opened up in the Arts District, we feared that the food would lose its magic. Instead, they’ve built a restaurant that is unmistakably Guerrilla, with the added bonus of incredible non-taco dishes that they probably couldn’t have pulled off in a truck.

Somehow the restaurant feels just like the truck did - casual, with very friendly staff and fast service - except you’re sitting at a table instead of a gutter in Culver City. This is a big space with booths, a full bar, and an open kitchen that puts out food faster than streaming services release TV shows.

Jakob Layman

If you’re looking for familiar faces (i.e., tacos) on the menu, you’ll certainly find them. They change up semi-regularly, but you’ll reliably find old favorites from the truck, like the sweet potato, mushroom, and fried cod tacos, plus a tostada with raw fish on top. None of those will disappoint you, but it’s worth branching out into some of the newer tacos too. The albondigas one absolutely falls apart (turns out chicken meatballs don’t often come in tortillas for a reason) but tastes amazing. The potato taquitos are cheesy, crispy tubes of carb on carb, and the pocho taco (with ground wild boar and cheddar) makes a very good argument for crispy taco shells not being the worst.

You could easily come to Guerrilla, order a bunch of tacos, and have a great time. But you’d be missing out on dishes that you couldn’t really eat on the side of the road - like the open-faced seasonal quesadilla that might have lobster and a fried egg on top, the fantastic veggie queso fundido, or the chopped up, garlicky, buttery, calamari steak that comes with little plastic sword toothpicks for delivery to your mouth. And if you do need a reminder of simpler times, come on a weekday morning for the breakfast burritos served out of a window that you’ll have to eat old-Guerrilla style: standing on the street or sitting in your car.

Guerrilla Tacos has come a long way. They have merch now. But they haven’t gone brick and mortar just to sell booze and make more money. They might have already earned their spot on our imaginary Taco Walk of Fame, but the permanent Guerrilla is also trying something new. And it’s absolutely paying off.

Food Rundown

Breakfast Burritos

You can only get these on weekday mornings between 8 and 11am, and because they’re served out of a window, you will probably end up eating in your car. But both the bean and cheese and bacon avocado versions are worth getting salsa on the steering wheel.

Jakob Layman
Sweet Potato Taco

If you’re ever trying to explain Guerrilla Tacos to someone, order this for them. They’ll probably whine about paying $4 for one taco that doesn’t even have meat in it, but then this crunchy-soft-sweet-salty number will arrive and they’ll get it.

Jakob Layman
Baja Fried Cod Taco

This is a perfectly fine fish taco. But we’d order other things ahead of it.

Jakob Layman
Pocho Taco

Last time you got drunk, you got it in your head that the Cheesy Gordita Crunch is the pinnacle of delicious food. You made your rideshare driver detour to a drive-thru, and inevitably ended up disappointed. This ground wild boar, aged cheddar, and chipotle crema taco comes in a hard shell, and it’s exactly what you were hoping that the Gordita Crunch would be.

Jakob Layman
Albondigas Taco

This thing has no structural integrity (one bite into the chicken meatballs, and the other half jumps ship), but it sure does taste excellent.

Jakob Layman
Potato Taquitos

You get two taquitos per order, but just be proactive and ask for another serving right away.

Hamachi Tostada

We could use a little more of the salsa bruja on top, but the fish is fantastic.

Jakob Layman
Seasonal Quesadilla

If the four words “open-faced lobster quesadilla” don’t immediately spur you to action, then “topped with a fried egg” probably will. Even if the one pictured is a mushroom quesadilla.

Calamari Steak

The name here is slightly misleading - you don’t get a big slab of squid. Instead you get little pieces of buttery, garlicky calamari. The tiny sword toothpicks are a reason to order this alone.

Jakob Layman
Oxtail and Fries

If you’re looking for something big and filling, this is your dish. The oxtails are melty and rich, the fries are thick and crunchy, and the garlic aioli is a perfect example of the form.

Jakob Layman
Butterscotch Doughnuts

There’s a good chance you’ll miss these (they’re only listed on the board behind the counter), but now that you know they exist, you need to order them. The fluffy doughnuts are covered in crunchy corn nuts, come on top of a butterscotch sauce, and you get a couple of scoops of ice cream on the side.

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