Though L.A. abounds with tasty street tacos, Downtown taqueria Chicas Tacos became an instant hit after opening its doors on Olive Street 3 ½ years ago. The success of Chicas is due in no small part to Chef Eduardo Ruiz, a James Beard Award-winner on a quest to create “a better taco.”
Better how? Think organic, fresh, non-GMO ingredients, not to mention award-winning tortillas from La Princesita and locally sourced, high-quality meat and fish. You’ll also find many vegetarian and vegan offerings.
Since Chicas opened a second location in Culver City in January, we now have even more opportunities to feast on Ruiz’s creations. Far more spacious than the DTLA original, the new location on Culver Blvd. offers an extended menu. In addition to tacos, you’ll find burritos and bowls, along with beer, wine, bubbly and margaritas.
Flavorful vegan queso, made with a base of sweet potatoes and carrots, enhances both vegan nachos dishes served here. Laden with Impossible “meat,” Impossible Nachos also showcase that irresistible avocado-cashew crema. Plant-Based Nachos heave with marinated jackfruit, avocado-cashew crema, salsa morita, scallions, radishes, chile, and cilantro.
Whether you’re a vegan or a carnivore, you’re likely to love the Impossible Taco, which won the Best Taco de Chef award at the Taqueando Festival in 2019. Other vegan options include a Jackfruit Taco (topped with heavenly avocado-cashew crema and cherry tomato pico de gallo) and a Cauliflower & Mushroom Taco.
Meatier taco/burrito/bowl options feature Angus steak, marinated chicken, award-winning beer-battered fish deliciously topped with Caesar salad, and slow-braised barbacoa or pork chili verde garnished with caramelized onions.
Looking for lighter fare? The Caesar salad features a superior 20-ingredient dressing. The chopped salad is a healthful medley of kale, romaine, cabbage, roasted sweet potato, tomato, radishes, radishes, pickled red onion, queso fresco, crispy hominy, pepitas, and Fresno chili vinaigrette.
With a menu inspired by the Valle de Guadalupe, it’s fitting that both the red and the white wines served here hail from that region. The beer list includes selections from Tijuana (La Pervesa IPA) and Monterrey (Boca Negra). Chicas Margarita, made with agave wine, is reportedly delicious but sadly, was completely sold out during my visit. I loved the Coconut Cream Horchata and plan to return to try the Watermelon Cinnamon and Cucumber Lime Mint aguas frescas.
Looks like Chicas is aiming for a taco takeover in 2020. New locations will open soon in Beverlygrove and Venice. Chicas is also behind the food at the upcoming All Season Brewing Co., a gastropub housed in the gorgeous Streamline Moderne 1937 Firestone building in the Mid-Wilshire area.
Open daily, Chicas Tacos is located at 9345 Culver Blvd. in Culver City. You can find more info here.