All the way out in East Los is Mariscos El Jato, an authentic mariscos restaurant. The Monster is the lone gringo on this afternoon as families gorge themselves on delicacies from the sea.
This is a fast paced place, the clatter of dishes, the laughing of patrons, the music pumped up high. It’s got a good spirit, a positive energy as you sit at a communal table and tear into the thick chips and tasty salsa. And you’ll get your food before your napkin hits your lap. They have this down to a science.
The Monster knows coming in a Mexican style shrimp cocktail is in his future and this one does not disappoint. Loaded to bear with large, plump crustaceans, huge chucks of avocado, tomato and cilantro it is a feast waiting for some Tapatio to bring the ecstasy meter to high. It does not disappoint and alone is worth the drive from Santa Monica.
But then there are shrimp tacos, fried shrimp in a hard tortilla shell, covered in avocado, green peppers and lettuce. And perhaps these are the reason The Monster wants to eat here every day.
Either way, this is an old-school mariscos joint, the kind that serve wonderfully fresh food to hungry patrons at a fair price.
Why go? There is a clown. Blowing up balloons. In the restaurant. He gives The Monster an…emu? An elephant? Maybe it’s a…Monster?
Monster rating: 4/5 Monsters
2936 East 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033