Happy National Taco Day! Here's Your Guide To Finding The Most Interesting Tacos In Los Angeles

Colorful Tijuana-style tacos made with beef birria from Birrieria Villalobos in Boyle Heights. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

In Los Angeles, there's no shortage of places to go to get your taco fix — whether it's the dependable truck parked down the street from your apartment, or the trendy hangout incorporating sweet potatoes and soft shell crab into your dish.

While we haven't tried all the tacos L.A. has to offer, we have visited and written about quite a few places and gotten to know the families and friends who cook up these delectable treats.

Below is a roundup of our taco coverage AKA the local businesses that have caught our attention with their take on the taco.

HOW TIJUANA TACOS BECAME LA'S HOTTEST FOOD TREND

Featuring: Birrieria Gomez, Teddy's Red Tacos, Tacos El Viejon, Tacos Don Cuco

The exact parameters of Tijuana-style birria, a regional version of the classic Jalisciense party dish of slow-cooked meat served in its juices, are imprecise but the broad strokes are simple. The birria is made with beef and the broth is heavily spiced and bright red from an array of chiles. It's served mostly for breakfast in antojito form — as tacos, mulitas, quesadillas, vampiros, et al. — and splashed with consomé, which you can also get on the side. READ MORE

La Bruja aka the flan taco from Evil Cooks. (Cesar Hernandez for LAist)

MEET EVIL COOKS, THE FLAN TACO'S DEVILISH MASTERMINDS

What they're known for: Flan tacos and other creative concoctions like their taco de fideo and soft shell crab taco

Evil Cooks got their start as a clothing brand and gained traction on social media in 2016 after creating a "MAKE TACOS GREAT AGAIN" hat. Their first food event was a taco tasting in 2018. Now, Evil Cooks pops up weekly at various locations around L.A. including Sara's Market, El Café by Primera Taza and Smorgasburg as well as at private events and catering gigs. READ MORE

Javier Cabral, the taco scout for the Netflix series "Taco Chronicles," hard at work. (Natalie Chudnovsky/LAist)

MEET THE TACO SCOUT WHO FOUND ALL OF 'TACO CHRONICLES' BEST EATS

Featuring: Sonoratown, Guerrilla Tacos

Javier Cabral has one of the best gigs on the planet. As the taco scout and associate producer of Netflix's Spanish-language series, Las Crónicas Del Taco or Taco Chronicles, he spent most of 2018 traveling to Mexico to find the most delectable carnitas, asada, barbacoa, canasta, guisado and pastor, the six types of tacos that each receive a dedicated episode on the show.

He also helped coordinate production with Sonoratown and Guerrilla Tacos, the only restaurants outside of Mexico featured on the show, both in Cabral's (and our) hometown of Los Angeles. Sonoratown's popularity extends from its true-to-tradition approach, while Guerrilla Tacos stands out for its modern take on the dish. READ MORE

Two 30-foot tall sculptures at Tio's Tacos in Riverside. (Audrey Ngo for LAist)

TIO'S TACOS IN RIVERSIDE HAS A VAST, OUTDOOR SCULPTURE MUSEUM

Known for: Michoacán-style chicken soft taco plate and housing over 100 sculptures made from recycled materials

In 1984, Martin Sanchez came to the United States and settled in East L.A. He started selling oranges by freeway exits. Selling oranges turned into selling hot dogs, which turned into selling tacos. Only five years after arriving in Southern California, he and his wife, Concepcion, opened Tio's Tacos in Riverside. READ MORE

Chicken shawarma tacos at X'tiosu Kitchen. (Photo by Tien Nguyen/LAist)

OAXACAN TACOS WITH A MIDDLE EASTERN TINGE? MEET THE BROTHERS MAKING THEM

Standout dish: Chicken schawarma tacos

With X'tiosu Kitchen, brothers Felipe and Ignacio Santiago have leaned into their personal and professional backgrounds, taking what they learned while working in restaurant kitchens and combining it with the Oaxacan flavors of their youth. Since opening in 2017, they have become popular with Boyle Heights locals, workers at the nearby medical centers and people who travel from as far away as USC and UCLA to eat their kebobs and baba ganouj (their spelling). READ MORE

A pair of volcanes at Kermes Taco Grill in East L.A. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

VOLCANES AREN'T EASY TO FIND IN LA — BUT KERMES MAKES SOME OF THE BEST

What are volcanes: Crisp, corn tortillas, curled at the edges and heaped with toppings, maybe pollo con crema or chicharron in a verde sauce or calabacitas

At Kermés Taco Grill, you can choose from 13 different toppings, mostly guisados (or stews), all of which are made by Torres from recipes that she has spent decades perfecting. The asada and the tinga are probably the most popular choices. There's also cabeza, lengua, chicken mole, shrimp, rajas (poblano peppers grilled with corn, tomatoes and onions) and refried beans with elote. (You can get any of these toppings made as a quesadilla, mulita, burrito or taco.) The volcanes come with Monterey cheese, guacamole and sour cream. After that, it's up to you to dress them. READ MORE

LET'S TACO-BOUT LA'S BEST VEGAN TACOS

Featuring: Vegatinos, Cena Vegan, Plant Food For People, Organix, Gracias Madre

"I'm an Angeleno who grew up eating traditional street tacos in Lincoln Heights. I'm also a vegan. So I'm on a constant search for the perfect combination of corn tortilla and plant-based filling." Here's what our writer found. READ MORE