Ricky's fish tacos has such a high distinction in the Los Angeles taco community, appearing frequently on "Best Taco" lists (i.e. LA Weekly) and garnering praise from local taco aficionados. I think this truck has a rather endearing story to tell as well, having started as a street vendor, being shut down, and then returning to its former glory as a permanent fixture on Virgil Ave. It still sells its popular fish tacos from a truck, but now that truck sits on the end of an irregularly-shaped block complete with a little eating area, a space unlikely to be suitable for a traditional brick and mortar kind of establishment.
I ordered two tacos, one fish and one shrimp. There is something unique about Ricky's that I like very much, they leave their crema and various salsas in a little refrigerator next to the ordering window, giving its patrons the ability to dress their own tacos as they see fit. I dig that.
So, dressed and ready to go, I set my tacos down and dug in. This is where my confusion about the popularity of Ricky's fish tacos begins. The first thing I notice as I lift the taco is that the tortillas are without a doubt from a package. They have those perfectly round, kinda dry edges. You know what I mean? Those tortillas are fine if you're making 'em at home or something and want something easy, but if you're gonna throw down $3 per taco, they better have some kickass tortillas.
The fish batter is nice, but I found it to be rather salty. Like most humans who walk the Earth, I love salty food, but the subtlety of the fish is hampered somewhat by the saltiness. I did like the toppings, the freshly chopped cabbage, jalapeño, and tomato that adorn the top give the taco a fresh crunch when you bite into it.
I can't say the salsas were anything special, but again the option to dress your own taco is a nice one, and an added bonus that a small sign listed all of the ingredients of each. The do offer various aguas frescas for a dollar each, which are quite good! I tried both the horchata and jamaica with strawberry, and both were refreshing and balanced well. What's puzzling is why they are so inexpensive when the tacos cost so much. Go figure, I guess Ricky makes all his money on the tacos.
Given the myriad high-quality options nearby, I can't recommend this truck over the exceptional tacos that can be found if you hop in your car and drive another 15 minutes. The tacos here aren't bad or anything, but I have a feeling that there was a certain flair that was lost when the business went fully legit.