Crispy tortilla chips, melted cheese, spicy chili, sour cream, guacamole, diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce; put them all together and you’ve got America’s favorite appetizer. However, with Mexico being Southern California’s next-door neighbor, the nachos in Los Angeles tend to be a bit more authentic than what the rest of the country is used to. The national chains have a certain commercial formula that appeals to the masses, but the “real” nachos are found elsewhere. These five local haunts are a great place to start when on the hunt for nachos.
142 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
If you come to Tinga for nachos, come with an appetite because the plates here are big and piled high. Choose between the chicken nachos (thick tortilla chips, chicken tinga, crema and guacamole), the cochinita pibil nachos (orange and achiote-marinated pork with habanero salsa, monterey jack, guac and queso fresco) or the black bean nachos (Oaxaca cheese, goat cheese, guacamole and pico de gallo). You’ll wish your stomach was bigger.
Stop, Guac N Roll
Los Angeles, CA 91602
Mexican BBQ? There’s a food truck for that. Stop, Guac N Roll has a simple but delicious menu of the most “original, exciting and refreshingly crisp Mexican food” in the valley. The nachos (as well as the taquitos and the big flauta) come with a choice of BBQ beef, BBQ chicken or BBQ pork, all served with guacamole and even more BBQ sauce. And the deep-fried avocados are a must-try. Check the website for the truck’s schedule.
Related: Best Chili In Los Angeles
1525 S. Bundy Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90025
When analyzing the anatomy of nachos, it has the same basic components of a taco (meat, cheese, guac, sour cream, pico de gallo, beans, etc.) just broken up and spread out. So when a place headlines its tacos, by default, the nachos have to be good. Taco Plus proves this theory. Enjoy crispy tortilla with fresh toppings and your choice of meat heartily piled on a plate that perfectly serves one. With the price of $4.95, there’s no need to share.
Your friends can get their own.
Chano’s Drive In
3000 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Chano’s Drive In puts a delicious spin on the traditional nachos (which are also available with a choice of chicken, beef or pork) for its selection of nacho fries on the not-so-secret secret menu. Instead of piling all that goodness onto chips, Chano’s puts it on crispy fries. Established in 1984, Chanos’s Drive In prides itself in using fresh local ingredients and serving food made to order instead of using microwaves and heat lamps. You’ll be able to taste the difference.
8809 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Launched in 2009, Komodo started off as a food truck traversing the streets of L.A. and has since become a popular eatery with brick and mortar locations serving up modern California Asian fusion dishes. Serving up their Kimchi Nachos, Chef Erwin Tjahyadi puts together his take on a classic. Made with homemade corn nachos, and, of course kimchi, the nachos also come complete with bacon, chicken, green onions, Sriracha aioli, cheese and sour cream. Whether you catch their food truck or stop by their Pico or Venice locations, it’s something you won’t want to miss.
4507 Valley Blvd., Suite 102
Los Angeles, CA 90032
The nachos at King Torta are called super nachos for a reason. Savor a heaping plate of chips smothered in your choice of meat with beans, guac, sour cream and lots of cheese. One serving is enough for two if you’re willing to share. The vegetarian version is equally large. Whichever way you want it, don’t forget to get the red salsa on the side if you like your nachos spicy.
Related: Best Spicy Food In Los Angeles
Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.