Let's just say I haven't learned just yet. Today, on my way to the office(yes, it's Saturday. What's it to you?), I suddenly got the urge to change flight plans. For no reason at all, Eat, Drink and Be Merry's blogpost about Ricky's Fish Taco Cart popped in my head. It's a good read: http://eatdrinknbmerry.blogspot.com/2009/08/rickys-fish-tacos-one-man-stand.html
Then I remembered LA-OC's blogpost, http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com/2009/08/mini-foodventure-132-tacos-strawberry.html, and decided to do a Google search for the spot in Silverlake that Ricky spends every weekend at. Considering there was no address, and the fact that I was on the 405 going south, it was quite the task. But I remembered HC mentioning that it was in front of Intelligentsia on Sunset. A few hairy moments on Google maps, and I had directions.
From reading the posts, I found that Ricky sets up shop across the street from Intelligentsia, on the corner of Sunset and Hyperion, from 12pm-4pm on Sats and Suns. Since I arrived early, I bought some cheeses at Silverlake Cheese and began searching for the rainbow umbrella that was also mentioned. Noon came and went, and no rainbow umbrella. At 12:20, I spotted a rainbow something moving behind a parked car. A few moments passed, and I realized it was a shirtless, somewhat obese man, pushing a baby stroller with a rainbow flag. At 12:30, I gave up and hiked the 3 blocks to my car. Always the optimist, I passed by the location, did a u, and gave it another pass. Truly giving up, I did a last u to get back to the office. On this last u, I saw the umbrella. A smile creased my face and I cut off three cars to grab a parking spot.
Right away, I got a good feeling about Ricky's stand. Though completely mobile(as in, I'm out in 5 if the cops show), everything was clean and orderly. Since he just arrived, the oil needed a few minutes to heat, so we chatted at bit. I mentioned Eat, Drink and Be Merry's blogpost, and he smiled. We talked about his food, and as some time passed, I learned that Ricky was indeed from Ensenada. His batter, which looked amazing, comprised of self rising flour, baking powder, various spices and saffron flower. The fish? Vietnamese Basa, whose flesh is tender and juicy. The condiments? Pico de gallo, finely chopped with onion, tomato and parley. Crema made with skim milk. Cabbage, finely chopped and fresh. Salsa, slight heat and great flavor. The tortilla? Corn. When I asked how he heated it, he said there was no need. He knew the vendor, and they were just made two hours prior.
I noticed the oil seemed different than the oils I've used. I love frying everything, so I asked what the oil was. He told me exactly what it was, but asked that I not tell. Let's just say, I can think of no better 'oil' to use!
As Ricky finally handed me my first taco, I remembered to take a picture. Only one, so enjoy:
Upon sinking my teeth into this montrosity, I immediately got all of the flavors of the condiments at once, followed by the crunchiness of the fried batter and finished with pillowy soft fish. I finished that thing in 30 seconds, shoving the last two bites into my mouth. As I struggled to not choke to death, Dylan of Eat, Drink and Be Merry walked up with some colleagues. How fitting, I thought to myself! So, I re-introduced myself and let him know I was there because of his blogpost.
After finishing a second, I ordered three more to go. I told Ricky about my cheese in the car, so he quickly assembled three more monstrosities and sent me on my merry way. Dylan was a little astonished that I had ordered so many, but I ignorantly professed that I could eat ten of these. After arriving at the car, I scarffed down numero tres, and started feeling a little push in the gut. After the fourth, I was downright full. It was at this point that I started thinking about how far I'd travelled, and how long I waited for Ricky to show up. I decided I couldn't wait any longer and powered through the fifth, and most painful, taco.
Even though I feel disgusting, I'm glad I was able to find Ricky's Fish Taco Stand. At $2.50 a pop, these gorgeous tacos are a bargain. Needless to say, I will NEVER go to Rubio's again. Set yourself on a mini food adventure and head over to Ricky's in Silverlake. Just don't eat five...I need to go lay down now.