Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ray Garcia Opens BS Taqueria in Downtown LA

It was six years ago that I first had Chef Ray Garcia's braised tongue with tomatillo and breakfast radish, back when he was starting out at FIG. Now, you can have that same amazingly tender tongue on handmade corn tortillas (made with nixtamal) at his newly opened B.S. Taqueria in Downtown LA.

Also not to be missed is the clams and lardo taco, topped with garlic chips.
Surf and turf? The lardo adds a wonderful richness but it's the flavor of the clams that shine through. Add to that the crunchy garlic chips.
There are also three great salsas available on the tables, but these tacos were already so flavorful I found I didn't need to add anything extra.

Housemade bologna with escabeche or the Chorizo and Papas ($8 for 2) are other great options.
BS Taqueria
On top of tacos, B.S. Taqueria offers other great dishes like campechana (seafood cocktail) and fun appetizers. I tried the Lemon pepper chicken chicharrones (chicken skin, chicken oysters, lemon, shishito, $6). Fried chicken oysters!
BS Taqueria

Other than the food, I'm loving the cocktails here. They're some of the most unique and fun cocktails I've tried in LA lately. The cocktails are inspired by things Chef Garcia remembered from childhood and the bar team (headed by Julian Cox and Nick Meyer) has taken it and ran with it.

The first cocktail I tried was the De La Rosa, made with Spanish peanut-infused tequila blanco, orgeat, rice wine, and fresh lime ($11)
BS Taqueria
This cocktail is named and inspired by a Mexican peanut marzipan candy called de la Rosa, and it was a really unique cocktail. It smells wonderfully of peanuts, but tasted refreshing and citrusy. The drink is garnished with marigold, which is edible. Do try it after you finish the cocktail - when the flower has soaked up all the liquid it could, it had an interesting texture.
BS Taqueria

Hoja Santa (hoja santa, tequila blanco, lime, cucumber, sal de camaron aka shrimp salt, $11)
Hoja Santa
Even in LA I don't see hoja santa often, so it was intriguing to see it muddled in this cocktail. On its own, the hoja santa (the cocktail) is on the sweeter side, but when drank with the shrimp salt rim, it balanced out nicely.

Barracho Gazpacho (single village mezcal, cherry tomatoes, celery, micro cilantro, beet escabeche, strawberry, $13)
BS Taqueria
This is a nice cocktail for someone like me who's intrigued by savory components but don't want it as thick and savory as a Bloody Mary. Light, refreshing, lightly sweet with the vegetal components from the tomatoes, cilantro, and beet.

Mole Rojo (tequila reposado, red mole grenadine, lime, ancho reyes, $12). It's garnished with burnt chile on a clothes pin.
BS Taqueria
They've made grenadine using the red mole paste that they bought at an East LA mercado and then strained it (the original infusion was quite thick).
BS Taqueria

The Tamarindo combines vodka, Amontillado sherry, tamarind syrup, bitters, soda, and a tamarind candy straw.
BS Taqueria
I'm glad to see tamarind cocktails that is not a tamarind margarita - the sherry and bitters work nicely here to temper the tartness.

Orange Bang (mezcal, fresh tangerine, pineapple, housemade coconut cream, chiltepin salt, $11)
What's there to say? We all love Orange Bang, and this one has mezcal in it!

B.S. Taqueria is currently only open for lunch but will expand the hours to dinner (with a bigger menu) soon, but don't wait to go try the great tacos and cocktails here! Of course, go again to try the expanded dinner menu later ...

B.S. Taqueria
514 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
B.S. Taqueria on Urbanspoon


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