Considering how close Los Angles is to Baja, there is a dearth of fish tacos in the city. It’s enough to require occasional trips down to San Diego for a fix. Fortunately, L.A. has Ricky’s, at least most of the time. In the several years that Ricky Piña has operated a his incredible fish taco truck, he’s been forced to change parking lots three times, with stints of running it as an itinerant pop-up, telling fans where he is parked on his Twitter account.
The latest location, parked near a freeway overpass, isn’t very romantic, but it’s at least partially shaded, and offers sufficient parking. The service is slow, and the lines grow long. During the summer, when our fancy turns to thoughts of fish tacos, we find ourselves cringing in sympathy for the poor cooks trapped in a tin trailer with a deep-fryer going full blast.
The menu is only three tacos fried to order: fresh, hot, crispy. The fish itself is a high point. The cod is custardy and the shrimp are plump and they taste clean and market-fresh. We always get at least one of each. These fish tacos are those that we measure all others against, which may explain our pessimism about new Baja influenced restaurants.
Squirt bottles of salsa and crema are another high point. Every sauce is delicious in its own way, and designed to match fried fish. After tasting these, it takes willpower to stop yourself from overdressing such beautiful seafood.
On special days, when the market price is tenable, Ricky offers a third variety: lobster. You have to check the Twitter to know when, or just get lucky.