DTLA: Mexicali Has a New Home



When I first encountered Mexicali on the street years ago, I must have arrived after a big rush. I had heard about these “great tacos” and something curiously named a vampiro. Unfortunately, all the taco stand had left was chicken and beef. They had ran out of everything including salsa. Eating a dried out taco wasn’t very impressive and I never made the trek back to seemingly random street corner. Fast forward to last year when one of LA’s foodie couples DJ Jewelz and the ever loveable Korean Fury got hitched. I didn’t make it out to the second reception after the wedding. But I did have the Mexicali tacos from the day they got engaged. They had hired the taco stand for the party and I could see why everyone enjoyed their tacos.

Still, I wasn’t completely on board until I visited their new brick and mortar location on the edge of Downtown and Chinatown.

the salsa bar


This salsa bar was extremely well-stocked. Not only where there multiple kinds of salsas, there were tons of raw and marinated veggies.

carne asada taco

chicken nachos


After looking over the menu, we decided that we’d get almost everything on the menu. The helpful counter girl was instrumental in helping us pick out the right protein for the taco, cachetada, quesadilla and nachos we ordered.

vegetarian quesadilla


We probably could have ordered more tacos but I was glad to share the one between the three of us as we did have a ton of other food. The nachos didn’t seem so unhealthy when topped with chicken. I could probably dig another order just about now. And we went vegetarian with the quesadilla. Probably to balance out the triple meat vampiro (not shown). The vampiro is a quesadilla like creation that’s been infused with Mexicali’s special garlic sauce.

chorizo cachetada

I have to say, my favorite Mexican taco or now cachetada topping/filling is pork. The chorizo tied everything together for me.

I had a great time trying out all the different sauces at the salsa bar. The marinated onions were the best!

Cantonese-Baja style peppers

But all of it was trumped by the Cantonese-Baja style peppers. The gueros are $1.50 an order and we ended up getting another order.

Next time I want to try the triple meat vampiro again and add an egg for a measly $.75 cents more. Seventy-five cents, people!

Welcome to the neighborhood, Mexicali. We’re glad for both a DTLA lunch and late night eats option.


Mexicali Taco

702 N Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 — (213) 613-0416
© The Minty 2012