The secret to loving LA is finding your spots. Your Coffee Shop, Your Bar, Your Hiking Trail, Your Grocery Store, Your Holistic Salon. They’re the places that make you feel at home, whether you were born here or just arrived last month, with a curated Instagram account and head full of influencer dreams. Either way, there’s a pretty good chance you’re still searching for Your Ceviche Spot. Well, look no further, because we’ve got it: La Cevicheria.
For proof, head over to this tiny, eight-table spot on Pico, and order what you see every other person eating: The chapín ceviche. It’s Guatemalan-style - less common than Mexican or Peruvian (which they also serve) - made with finely chopped seafood, onions, tomatoes, and avocado, then tossed with lime juice and mint. It’s incredibly fresh, goes great with the handmade crispy tortillas, and is an excellent example of the sort of spicy, simple-yet-complex seafood they serve here. So are the conchas negras (bloody clams). They’re not literally bloody, but rather dark-colored, half-dollar-sized clams that taste entirely different from any other shellfish - almost as if they’ve been stewed in beef stock. They’re best when doused in lime and dabbed with some of the super-spicy homemade hot sauce in the mustard-colored bottle at your table.
Another dish that is absolutely worth your time is the fish taco platter. The tacos are lightly breaded, Ensenada-style, and served in a corn tortilla with cabbage, avocado, and a spicy crema. You get two for $6, and they’re an essential order when you’re here with someone else. So is the fish burrito, assembled with fried pollack, house-stewed pinto beans, avocado, and rice, stuffed inside a truly perfect and chewy flour tortilla. If there’s anything more comforting in this part of Mid-City, we haven’t found it yet.
Are there misses here? Sure. For such a huge menu, there’s an lot you can skip. The cocteles tend to taste pretty bland compared to the killer chapín ceviche, in particular the Vuelve A La Vida, a mixed-seafood coctel with abalone, concha negra, crab, and shrimp that all sort of blends together into an under-seasoned seafood stew. And the Peruvian-style mixed ceviche lacks the depth of flavor as the much more complex chapín.
The thing is, at one of Your Spots, you don’t need every single dish to be fantastic. You don’t go to Your Cocktail Spot for the burger, after all. What you’re looking for is consistency, a list of five or six things you always order - and that’s exactly what you get here. And that’s why La Cevicheria is always going to be one of Our Spots.
Less glamorous than the ubiquitous fish tacos, this whitefish, avocado, rice, and pinto bean-stuffed burrito might be our favorite thing here.
But that doesn’t mean these excellent, Baja-style tacos shouldn’t be on your table, either. They’re different enough that it won’t feel like overload.
There’s no nice way of saying it: Compared to oysters, these guys are pretty unglamorous. But they’re also great, hearty little mollusks that are excellent when hit with a healthy squeeze of fresh lime.
Mint is not the first thing we’d think to put in a ceviche with chopped octopus, shrimp, and crab. But that’s why we’re not chefs. Because this is the best ceviche on the menu, and maybe the best in the city.
The Caribeña is our favorite of the stews - this creamy, spicy mariscada is a cure to all hangovers, headaches, and heartbreaks (probably).
You won’t be mad about ordering this Peruvian-style ceviche with aji peppers, it’ll just taste a bit bland next to the chapín that should also be on your table.