Chef Ray Garcia and former FIG running mate Jacob Shure, who heads front of house, recently opened B.S. Taqueria in downtown Los Angeles with restaurateur Bill Chait, taking over Mo-chica’s former home. Now you’ll find a pink, yellow and orange color scheme, along with kitschy-fun items like an elephant piggy bank, faux avocados, rows of decorative maracas hanging from strings, and a back room that resembles a cacti filled desert.
I accepted a lunch invite to B.S. Taqueria and learned that Chef Garcia has also knows how to have fun with the menu, which appears behind smiling staffers on a bright orange wall. The menu is ambitious for a taqueria, with bags of lemon pepper chicken chicharrones, chicken oysters and shishito peppers; matzo-inspired masa ball soup; goblets of campechana verde that hold a considerable amount of ocean life; and a variety of tacos served on house-made corn tortillas. Tacos come in pairs and if you’re lucky, tout Clams and Lardo ($10).
Just like Garcia did at FIG, he builds layers of flavor. He starts with a base of lardo salsa featuring diced lardo, onion, cilantro and serrano chiles. Next come plump Manila clams cooked in their own juices with lime juice, serrano juice, green onion and butter. Of course the clams are served out of their shells. The finishing flourish involves crispy garlic chips and lardo that’s roasted with onion, chiles and garlic before being whipped. You’ve got flavor to spare at this stage, but consider the salsa caddy, which rests on each table. You can also request a spicy orange salsa crafted from habanero, garlic, red peppers, tomato, and vinegar to boost flavor even further. Do it.