El bigotón is a man with a big mustache, and Edgar Sanchez’s grandfather fits the description. A logo depicting an anchor with a thick mustache and nautical knot honors his nickname at Mariscos El Bigotón, a family-run seafood East L.A. truck that serves some of the city’s best Mexican seafood in eye-popping compositions that are downright architectural.
The family hails from Jerez, Zacatecas, and presides over an ambitious truck with a built-in steel counter that seats five people, and also hosts diners at two communal fold-up card tables with green plastic chairs.
Pastelaso ($20) is a beast of a seafood tower shaped to resemble a cake. El Bigotón’s basic version features fish ceviche (tilapia), shrimp, octopus, shrimp aguachile, and a single fried head-on shrimp. I suggest ordering Pastelaso El Guero ($25), a slight upgrade constructed with sweet cooked shrimp; punchy shrimp aguachile; milder shrimp ceviche folded with tomato, cucumber, cilantro, and red onion; tender octopus slices; firm, sweet callo de hacha; and six crunchy fried head-on shrimp. The top layer involves creamy avocado and savory lashings of salsa negra made with soy sauce, chile guajillo, chiltepin, tamarind, garlic, onion, and spices. Sanchez and his team conclude the feaest with a sprinkling of Salsa Sinaloa’s piquant Michelada spice. To dial up the heat, partake in a hot sauce of your choice from the truck’s salsa bar.