El Cielito Lindo
Once in a while it’s nice to pretend to be a tourist in your own city. Take a day and hike up to the Hollywood sign, check out the Santa Monica Pier, go visit Griffith Observatory, or, on this lovely lazy Sunday before game four, take an afternoon stroll through Olvera Street. Start near Union Station at the south end of the street and walk through, listen to some mariachis, try on a guayabera, see if you can guess what language the blonde family in cargo shorts is speaking, and then wind up at El Cielito Lindo, the venerable taquito stand on the very northern end of the street.
It is those taquitos you want, and for good reason – they are excellent, as close as you can get to the taquito ideal, crunchy on the outside but generously stuffed with tender shredded beef, unsullied by unnecessary adornments save a little pool of green avocado salsa. The salsa is great, creamy and cool with just a little bite of spice, the perfect foil to the fried corn and beef of the taquitos. They come two to a tray, a nice light lunch on their own or, if you prefer, you can add a third taquito and some beans for a few extra bucks. Either way they are truly satisfying, and a plate of taquitos with an horchata is a foundational LA meal, sure to awaken the nostalgia in even the most jaded of Angeleno hearts.
When you grab your food, ignore the couple of tables inside and take a seat on the nearby brick planter instead – it is the perfect spot to watch the crowds pass by, to sit in the sun and drink in the silliness around you. And then it’s time for another LA tradition, looking at Union Station and complaining about public transportation. 23 Olvera St, Los Angeles 90012; https://www.cielitolindo.org