Coastal Mexican cuisine is making a comeback in Los Angeles and establishments like El Faro are proving that a humble plate of ceviche can redefine your expectations of Mexican food. El Faro is a one-year-old Mexican seafood truck in Highland Park specializing in Sinaloa-style seafood.
Chefs and owners, Héctor Rayos and Ana Ibañez, are a husband and wife team native of El Sitio del Medio de Badiraguato, Sinaloa. Héctor previously worked for 15 years at the popular San Fernando Valley Mexican American restaurant Las Fuentes, until last year, when Héctor and his wife saw the need of high quality Mariscos in their own neighborhood of Highland Park. That's when they decided to open Mariscos El Faro, with a very ambitious menu that featured regional dishes like Callo de lobina, a preparation of wild bass that involves salt-curing the meaty fish for at least 24 hours. It is then sliced in ridiculously thick sashimi-like slices (or tronchitos) and prepared with the chef’s signature toasty salsa negra sauce chock full of chiltepín chile pepper, a moderately spicy chile typically used in Sinaloan cuisine. The flavor is similar to that of freshly cracked black pepper, except with more heat.
Another crowd favorite are their Empanadas de camarón, an expertly prepared version of this Mexican beach town staple food that is equally as hard to find in Los Angeles as the aforementioned lobina. The coastal Mexican way of preparing empanadas involves deep frying a highly seasoned corn masa-based turnover, stuffed with chopped plump shrimp, until flaky, crunchy and chewy at the same time.
El Faro offers regional dishes that will have you coming back for more, so next time you're in Highland Park, pay a visit to Mariscos El Faro and pull up a milk crate to feast on some of the most delicious Sinaloa-style Seafood you'll find in Los Angeles.
6113-6139 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles
(in front of the Highland Park Recreation Center)