When Guisados in Los Angeles writes the words “proceed with caution” on its menu, don’t be a hero. Selecting a spiciness level of 10, or even 8, for your cochinita pibil could put you out of commission for the next 24 hours, maybe even make you hallucinate a little. Same goes for the chiles toreados, a searingly hot taco laden with blistered jalapeño, serrano, habanero, and Thai chiles. Can’t take the heat? Father/son co-owners Armando De La Torre Sr. and Jr. are masters of braised meat; you can’t go wrong with their milder chicharron (pork rinds simmered in chile verde sauce) or tinga de pollo (shredded chicken breast braised with tomatoes, cabbage, chorizo, and chipotle).
Guisados has five locations these days. The newest is in Burbank, but our favorite is still the O.G. Boyle Heights spot, where the corn tortillas are made to order at Carnitas Uruapan next door. Tacos are $2.75 to $3, and three’ll do you.
Boyle Heights: 2100 East Cesar E. Chavez Ave., Los Angeles, CA; 323-264-7201.
Echo Park: 1261 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA; 213-250-7600.
DTLA: 541 S. Spring St., #101, Los Angeles, CA; 213-627-7656.
West Hollywood: 8935 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA: 310-777-0310.
Burbank: 312 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, CA; 818-238-9806.