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Mariscos El Paradero in Bellflower, Los Angeles, Sinaloan Seafood
Seafood tower from Mariscos El Paradero
Wonho Frank Lee

Vibrant Sinaloan Ceviches and Carne Asada Shine at These 17 LA Restaurants

Taste the incredible carne asada, seafood towers, and Sinaloan sushi across LA

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Seafood tower from Mariscos El Paradero
| Wonho Frank Lee

Among the Pobladores, or founding families of Los Angeles that arrived in 1781, four of the eleven families were from Sinaloa, comprising Black, Afro-Mexican, mestizo, and indigenous backgrounds. It’s not hyperbole to say Sinaloenses have a long history of immigration to LA, accelerated in the late 1970s for economic reasons, and escalating violence ushered in by Operation Condor, affecting farmers and people from small towns. Due to these and other historic connections, one out of every five Sinaloenses in the U.S. lives in the greater LA metropolitan area, especially Los Angeles, Inland Empire, and Orange County. Each generation leaves their culinary mark in LA’s cevicherías, cenadurías, fondas, and Sinaloan sushi restaurants. In LA, Mexican-American food trucks gain inspiration from Culiacán’s extravagant seafood towers, and while their ceviches come streaked in squirts of salsa negra, chamoy, and dusted with Tajín.

Mornings are for steamed beef head tacos, menudo blanco, chilaquiles, and machaca, or beef jerky prepared in a variety of ways. Mom and pop restaurants serve mouthwatering plates of well-seasoned northern guisos: chilorio (spicy shredded pork), barbacoa de res (stewed beef and potatoes), bistec ranchero, and cochinita pibil (Sinaloa-style) paired with runny, mind blowingly good frijoles puercos, or refried beans cooked with lard, melted cheese, and chorizo that cover half the plate. Specialists from Mazatlán are the carne asada stars in town, serving antojitos like asado, sopes, enchiladas del suelo, plus soups like caldo de cazuela, cocido, and frijol. But mariscos are the most notable culinary export from Sinaloa.

At food trucks and cevicherías, Angelenos snack on ceviche de sierra, a bony fish finely chopped and mixed with grated carrots, aguachiles, and callo de hacha given a acid bath in lime before scooping onto tostadas then served with simple condiments as they would be in Mazatlán and southern Sinaloa. From Culiacán, it’s the salty, spicy, and sour flavors of the chuchería (candy shop) thrown in, with tostadas overflowing with seafood drenched in condiments, impossibly constructed seafood towers, and sushi sinaloense. The colorful sushi rolls filled with meat, imitation crab, queso Philly, and Tampico paste which are then soaked in eel and hot sauce. Welcome to Culichitown USA, the center of Sinaloense life in the United States, where there’s a bottle of Salsa Sinaloa on every truck, and banda-fueled dancing, and eating mariscos at night. Here is Eater’s guide to culichi dining in LA.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Bocho Camaron

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Molcajete lovers are well served by this shrimp-themed ceviche trailer that specializes in aguachiles (spicy shrimp) and callo de hacha (pen shell clams) prepared in mortar and pestles, swimming in a citrusy mixture of lime juice, salsa negra, and chiles ground in the vessel. Another top seller is the clamachile, a shrimp and octopus cocktail in a Clamato, lime juice, and salsa negra that recalls a spicy, Sinaloan maleficio cocktail. The botanas here, like the callo de hacha, are simply cooked with lime and dressed with salsa like on a sunny afternoon on Mazatlán’s malecon.

Cenaduria Gumacus

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Come here for an early cena (supper) of antojitos sinaloenses like asado, meat and potatoes covered in fresh shredded lettuce, carrots, pickled red onions, Mexican cream, and a sprinkling of dry, salty cheese. Tacos dorados, or deep fried tacos, come dressed the same, with a choice of meat. For a unique take on a Mexican classic, try the enchiladas del suelo, a trio of open-faced enchiladas filled with beans and chorizo. And don’t miss owner Bernabé Martinez’s daily specials, such as sopa de frijol con hueso, a hearty bean stew with a meaty, pork shank bone, for a robust taste of Culiacán.  

El Sinaloense Restaurant

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Culichis show up on weekends for soulful bowls of menudo blanco (white menudo) chock-full of beef tripe, stomach, and silky tendon, just like back home, and one of the best bowls of menudo in town. For others it’s spicy chilorio (braised pork in red salsa), or fibrous strands of juicy machaca (beef jerky), accompanied by pale, creamy frijoles puercos (refried beans in lard and chorizo).

Sinaloa Express

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You can’t go wrong with the guisos here like barbacoa estilo Sinaloa, beef and potato marinated in adobo that melts into a stew that’s slowly braised until the meat is fork tender. Scoop up a perfect bite into a corn tortilla spread with rich frijoles puercos and sopa fría (macaroni salad). Caldo de cazuela, a beef and vegetable stew simmered in beef stock and red chiles, is home cooking at its best. The full breakfast menu includes a generous plate of crispy chilaquiles, red or green, with fried eggs and beans. Whether comforting antojitos, seafood, or weekend menudo, the menu is all things to all Sinaloenses.  

El Chito Sushi and Mariscos

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The number of Sinaloa-style sushi restaurants that have opened up in under a decade in LA, appealing to the young Sinaloan (as well as other Mexican) crowd in Orange County, and Inland Empire is innumerable, a testament to second, and third generation Sinaloenses embracing their roots. One of the newer entrees is this Los Mochis-style ocean blue-wrapped food truck making beautiful, precise trays of tuna, salmon, and inside out rolls stuffed with Tampico paste, plus jalapenos rolls capped with breaded seafood, and a thin jalapeño ring. The ceviches are outstanding, as are the spicy Cajun seafood boils in a bag.

Culichitown

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What started as a cevichería for chef Misael Guerrero’s friends and followers inside his Fontana garage in 2010 is on a course to become a 28-branch chain franchise in eight states, spreading Culiacán-style sushi, seafood, and culture nationwide. These restaurants are no doubt inspired by his brief stint as a cook at Sinaloa sushi giant Sushi Factory in Culiacán prior to coming to the Fontana. At Culichitown, it’s a sports bar, banda show, Sinaloa sushi and seafood hotspot, and bottle service club all rolled into one with mass appeal to the Mexican community. Saturday night means corridos, chicken cordon bleu rolls on rectangular plates as long as your arm, and bottles of Don Julio 70 on ice.

Mariscos El Faro

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Just as it is in Mazatlán, Hector Rayos’ popular Highland park food truck is all about fresh seafood ceviches, briefly marinated in lime, which are then simply dressed with crescent moon cuts of cucumber, slivers of purple onion, tomato slices, and cilantro. Tostadas come topped with firm, chunky salt-cured sea bass strips, callo de lobina, and aguachile made from fleshy shrimp. The specialties come finished with wedges of avocado, and powdered a menacing red with pulverized, fiery chile chiltepín.

Mariscos El Moreno

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Like many cevicheros in LA, Felipe Murrieta started in his garage back in 2010, later rolling out a food truck, and finally his first storefront in 2018 with a full menu of barra fría (cold bar), and barra caliente (hot bar) delights from Los Mochis, Sinaloa. Go for the fresh, meaty callo de hacha, and oyster shots with Clamato, chamoy, and a salty Tajín rim — perfect with a bucket of Barrilito beers. The hidden gem on this sizable menu is the hefty langostinos al mojo de ajo, or langoustines sauteed in garlic and butter, a delicacy from Murrieta’s hometown.  

Tacos La Carreta

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Taquero Jose Morales is part of the small band of vendors from Mazatlán that introduced LA to the joys of chorreadas — buttery tacos smeared with asiento (unrefined lard), and melted cheese on a thick corn tortilla topped with carne asada, finely diced vegetables, and mild salsas. Whether in a taco, chorreada, or vampiro (a corn tortilla crisped, and blackened on the comal and topped with carne asada), this truck is one of the best places in LA for quality carne asada cooked over mesquite. Try their torito de harina, a fire-roasted chile poblano, split open and filled with melted cheese and smoky carne asada in a flour tortilla.

Carne asada tacos and quesadilla from La Carreta on a plastic plate on a food truck in Long Beach
Carne asada tacos and quesadilla from La Carreta
Matthew Kang

Raspatos El Mazatleco

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Cool off with refreshing juices, sapados, and fruit cocktails inside a colorful, verdant little juice and sandwich bar in this Paramount mini shopping plaza. Sip on icy, tropical papaya shakes with a pork leg torta, and a tostielote, which is a savory snack of grilled corn, cream, melted cheese, and lime in a split open Tostitos bag topped with grated dry cheese. Try the mother of all fruit salads, the sandia tropical, which is a halved watermelon rind filled with cubed watermelon, lime-dressed mixed fruit, and chamoy garnished with a banderilla (tamarind candy straw).

Mariscos Los Sitios

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Named after Geovani Valenzuela’s pueblo, Los Sitios in Badiraguato, Sinaloa, this black trailer with neon green logo serves flavorful tostadas with callo de lobina (salt cured bass), aguachile ( spicy shrimp) doused with salsa negra, tomato juice, and a mouth-stinging salsa de chile chiltepín. Go tostada-less and order seafood botanas (snacks). And for big city flavors, order the Culiacán-style torre de mariscos, a spiral of stacked seafood and vegetables with an avocado crest drowned in an umami bland of salsa and lime juice.

Mariscos El Paradero

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There exists no rival for trendy Culiacán-style mariscos in LA than El Paradero, featuring slender, baroque ceviche towers flaunting high-quality seafood, tostadas heaped with callo de hacha, raw shrimp, and octopus, and overdressed cut rolls of Sinaloa-style sushi. The tostada mitotero is a mix of seafood, seasoned with umami-rich salsa negra, and either of the ceviches dishes made with Tostitos are a fun, spicy way add some crunch to your seafood at the only USA branch of an Alhuey, Sinaloa cevichería. 

Mariscos El Paradero in Bellflower, Los Angeles, Sinaloan Seafood
Mariscos El Paradero in Bellflower
Wonho Frank Lee

Tortas Sinaloa

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Though often overshadowed by tortas chilangas and tapatias here in LA, our own local Sinaloa-style torta chain has its own tradition of sandwiches made with wide, puffy rolls grilled on the outside. Combinations of fire-roasted carne asada, thin, rumpled milanesa, or pierna (pork leg) with sliced avocado are just like typical of sandwich shops in Culiacan, and special tortas tailored to the diaspora like the Fontana, made with carne asada, refried beans, panela cheese, and avocado. It’s the perfect meal while you sit in traffic on the 10 East.

Tamaleria Rincon Sinaloense

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This may be the most welcoming tamaleria in the greater Los Angeles area with its well-lit dining room, chalkboard menu, and corn field sticker that runs the length of one wall reminding you it’s all about the masa. All tamales are moist tender corn husk tamales of stewed, shredded pork in a bright red sauce, their most popular, of thick strands of shredded beef, in the same guiso. Chicken with diced potatoes in a tangy, green salsa is another popular filling in Sinaloa. If you show up near closing, end the evening with a pineapple tamal — a sweet bean paired with a hot cup of cinnamon spiced, champurrado. 

Luizon Mariscos y Sushi

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It feels like an off-strip Vegas casino cafe for Sinaloenses, complete with lively banda groups, and boisterous comedians channeling the vibe emanating from the dining room’s red interior — a victory for room color psychology. Besides the entertaining performers and crowd, there are baked Sinaloa-style sushi rolls packed with shrimp, steak, chicken, tampico paste, and queso Philly, but the botana game here is off the charts. Bring some friends, and order from the selection of raw, and cooked seafood, and ceviches, and the cevicheros will plate a seafood platter fit for Caesar’s Palace.   

Taqueria Mazatlán

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The pandemic closed taquero Joshi Coronel’s physical location, but the embers still burn bright at his Mazatlán-style carne asada trailer in Fontana, ablaze in flame graphics. Chorreadas come on sopes (thick tortillas) liberally brushed with asiento (unrefined lard), and gooey, melted cheese to adhere fat chunks of mesquite-grilled top sirloin to the base. Treat yourself to a side of papa loca, a dish of twice-roasted potatoes layered with carne asada, chopped vegetables, melted cheese salsa, and cream for a classic steakhouse side dish, street-style. 

Taqueria Mazatlán
Taqueria Mazatlán
Matthew Kang

Tacos de Cabeza de Res

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Weekend mornings in the cities and towns of Sinaloa are for mariscos, if you’re close enough to a beach, menudo blanco at the local fondas, and juicy, steamed beef head tacos of cheeks, tongue, eyes, and head meats. On the corner of Santa Ana and Cedar in Bloomington is where Inland Empire Sinaloense get their fix of paper plates armed with a half dozen beef cheek tacos covered in chopped white onion and cilantro, and a tart, spicy green salsa.

Bocho Camaron

Molcajete lovers are well served by this shrimp-themed ceviche trailer that specializes in aguachiles (spicy shrimp) and callo de hacha (pen shell clams) prepared in mortar and pestles, swimming in a citrusy mixture of lime juice, salsa negra, and chiles ground in the vessel. Another top seller is the clamachile, a shrimp and octopus cocktail in a Clamato, lime juice, and salsa negra that recalls a spicy, Sinaloan maleficio cocktail. The botanas here, like the callo de hacha, are simply cooked with lime and dressed with salsa like on a sunny afternoon on Mazatlán’s malecon.

Cenaduria Gumacus

Come here for an early cena (supper) of antojitos sinaloenses like asado, meat and potatoes covered in fresh shredded lettuce, carrots, pickled red onions, Mexican cream, and a sprinkling of dry, salty cheese. Tacos dorados, or deep fried tacos, come dressed the same, with a choice of meat. For a unique take on a Mexican classic, try the enchiladas del suelo, a trio of open-faced enchiladas filled with beans and chorizo. And don’t miss owner Bernabé Martinez’s daily specials, such as sopa de frijol con hueso, a hearty bean stew with a meaty, pork shank bone, for a robust taste of Culiacán.  

El Sinaloense Restaurant

Culichis show up on weekends for soulful bowls of menudo blanco (white menudo) chock-full of beef tripe, stomach, and silky tendon, just like back home, and one of the best bowls of menudo in town. For others it’s spicy chilorio (braised pork in red salsa), or fibrous strands of juicy machaca (beef jerky), accompanied by pale, creamy frijoles puercos (refried beans in lard and chorizo).

Sinaloa Express

You can’t go wrong with the guisos here like barbacoa estilo Sinaloa, beef and potato marinated in adobo that melts into a stew that’s slowly braised until the meat is fork tender. Scoop up a perfect bite into a corn tortilla spread with rich frijoles puercos and sopa fría (macaroni salad). Caldo de cazuela, a beef and vegetable stew simmered in beef stock and red chiles, is home cooking at its best. The full breakfast menu includes a generous plate of crispy chilaquiles, red or green, with fried eggs and beans. Whether comforting antojitos, seafood, or weekend menudo, the menu is all things to all Sinaloenses.  

El Chito Sushi and Mariscos

The number of Sinaloa-style sushi restaurants that have opened up in under a decade in LA, appealing to the young Sinaloan (as well as other Mexican) crowd in Orange County, and Inland Empire is innumerable, a testament to second, and third generation Sinaloenses embracing their roots. One of the newer entrees is this Los Mochis-style ocean blue-wrapped food truck making beautiful, precise trays of tuna, salmon, and inside out rolls stuffed with Tampico paste, plus jalapenos rolls capped with breaded seafood, and a thin jalapeño ring. The ceviches are outstanding, as are the spicy Cajun seafood boils in a bag.

Culichitown

What started as a cevichería for chef Misael Guerrero’s friends and followers inside his Fontana garage in 2010 is on a course to become a 28-branch chain franchise in eight states, spreading Culiacán-style sushi, seafood, and culture nationwide. These restaurants are no doubt inspired by his brief stint as a cook at Sinaloa sushi giant Sushi Factory in Culiacán prior to coming to the Fontana. At Culichitown, it’s a sports bar, banda show, Sinaloa sushi and seafood hotspot, and bottle service club all rolled into one with mass appeal to the Mexican community. Saturday night means corridos, chicken cordon bleu rolls on rectangular plates as long as your arm, and bottles of Don Julio 70 on ice.

Mariscos El Faro

Just as it is in Mazatlán, Hector Rayos’ popular Highland park food truck is all about fresh seafood ceviches, briefly marinated in lime, which are then simply dressed with crescent moon cuts of cucumber, slivers of purple onion, tomato slices, and cilantro. Tostadas come topped with firm, chunky salt-cured sea bass strips, callo de lobina, and aguachile made from fleshy shrimp. The specialties come finished with wedges of avocado, and powdered a menacing red with pulverized, fiery chile chiltepín.

Mariscos El Moreno

Like many cevicheros in LA, Felipe Murrieta started in his garage back in 2010, later rolling out a food truck, and finally his first storefront in 2018 with a full menu of barra fría (cold bar), and barra caliente (hot bar) delights from Los Mochis, Sinaloa. Go for the fresh, meaty callo de hacha, and oyster shots with Clamato, chamoy, and a salty Tajín rim — perfect with a bucket of Barrilito beers. The hidden gem on this sizable menu is the hefty langostinos al mojo de ajo, or langoustines sauteed in garlic and butter, a delicacy from Murrieta’s hometown.  

Tacos La Carreta

Carne asada tacos and quesadilla from La Carreta on a plastic plate on a food truck in Long Beach
Carne asada tacos and quesadilla from La Carreta
Matthew Kang

Taquero Jose Morales is part of the small band of vendors from Mazatlán that introduced LA to the joys of chorreadas — buttery tacos smeared with asiento (unrefined lard), and melted cheese on a thick corn tortilla topped with carne asada, finely diced vegetables, and mild salsas. Whether in a taco, chorreada, or vampiro (a corn tortilla crisped, and blackened on the comal and topped with carne asada), this truck is one of the best places in LA for quality carne asada cooked over mesquite. Try their torito de harina, a fire-roasted chile poblano, split open and filled with melted cheese and smoky carne asada in a flour tortilla.

Carne asada tacos and quesadilla from La Carreta on a plastic plate on a food truck in Long Beach
Carne asada tacos and quesadilla from La Carreta
Matthew Kang

Raspatos El Mazatleco

Cool off with refreshing juices, sapados, and fruit cocktails inside a colorful, verdant little juice and sandwich bar in this Paramount mini shopping plaza. Sip on icy, tropical papaya shakes with a pork leg torta, and a tostielote, which is a savory snack of grilled corn, cream, melted cheese, and lime in a split open Tostitos bag topped with grated dry cheese. Try the mother of all fruit salads, the sandia tropical, which is a halved watermelon rind filled with cubed watermelon, lime-dressed mixed fruit, and chamoy garnished with a banderilla (tamarind candy straw).

Mariscos Los Sitios

Named after Geovani Valenzuela’s pueblo, Los Sitios in Badiraguato, Sinaloa, this black trailer with neon green logo serves flavorful tostadas with callo de lobina (salt cured bass), aguachile ( spicy shrimp) doused with salsa negra, tomato juice, and a mouth-stinging salsa de chile chiltepín. Go tostada-less and order seafood botanas (snacks). And for big city flavors, order the Culiacán-style torre de mariscos, a spiral of stacked seafood and vegetables with an avocado crest drowned in an umami bland of salsa and lime juice.

Mariscos El Paradero

Mariscos El Paradero in Bellflower, Los Angeles, Sinaloan Seafood
Mariscos El Paradero in Bellflower
Wonho Frank Lee

There exists no rival for trendy Culiacán-style mariscos in LA than El Paradero, featuring slender, baroque ceviche towers flaunting high-quality seafood, tostadas heaped with callo de hacha, raw shrimp, and octopus, and overdressed cut rolls of Sinaloa-style sushi. The tostada mitotero is a mix of seafood, seasoned with umami-rich salsa negra, and either of the ceviches dishes made with Tostitos are a fun, spicy way add some crunch to your seafood at the only USA branch of an Alhuey, Sinaloa cevichería. 

Mariscos El Paradero in Bellflower, Los Angeles, Sinaloan Seafood
Mariscos El Paradero in Bellflower
Wonho Frank Lee

Tortas Sinaloa

Though often overshadowed by tortas chilangas and tapatias here in LA, our own local Sinaloa-style torta chain has its own tradition of sandwiches made with wide, puffy rolls grilled on the outside. Combinations of fire-roasted carne asada, thin, rumpled milanesa, or pierna (pork leg) with sliced avocado are just like typical of sandwich shops in Culiacan, and special tortas tailored to the diaspora like the Fontana, made with carne asada, refried beans, panela cheese, and avocado. It’s the perfect meal while you sit in traffic on the 10 East.

Tamaleria Rincon Sinaloense

This may be the most welcoming tamaleria in the greater Los Angeles area with its well-lit dining room, chalkboard menu, and corn field sticker that runs the length of one wall reminding you it’s all about the masa. All tamales are moist tender corn husk tamales of stewed, shredded pork in a bright red sauce, their most popular, of thick strands of shredded beef, in the same guiso. Chicken with diced potatoes in a tangy, green salsa is another popular filling in Sinaloa. If you show up near closing, end the evening with a pineapple tamal — a sweet bean paired with a hot cup of cinnamon spiced, champurrado. 

Luizon Mariscos y Sushi

It feels like an off-strip Vegas casino cafe for Sinaloenses, complete with lively banda groups, and boisterous comedians channeling the vibe emanating from the dining room’s red interior — a victory for room color psychology. Besides the entertaining performers and crowd, there are baked Sinaloa-style sushi rolls packed with shrimp, steak, chicken, tampico paste, and queso Philly, but the botana game here is off the charts. Bring some friends, and order from the selection of raw, and cooked seafood, and ceviches, and the cevicheros will plate a seafood platter fit for Caesar’s Palace.   

Related Maps

Taqueria Mazatlán

Taqueria Mazatlán
Taqueria Mazatlán
Matthew Kang

The pandemic closed taquero Joshi Coronel’s physical location, but the embers still burn bright at his Mazatlán-style carne asada trailer in Fontana, ablaze in flame graphics. Chorreadas come on sopes (thick tortillas) liberally brushed with asiento (unrefined lard), and gooey, melted cheese to adhere fat chunks of mesquite-grilled top sirloin to the base. Treat yourself to a side of papa loca, a dish of twice-roasted potatoes layered with carne asada, chopped vegetables, melted cheese salsa, and cream for a classic steakhouse side dish, street-style. 

Taqueria Mazatlán
Taqueria Mazatlán
Matthew Kang

Tacos de Cabeza de Res

Weekend mornings in the cities and towns of Sinaloa are for mariscos, if you’re close enough to a beach, menudo blanco at the local fondas, and juicy, steamed beef head tacos of cheeks, tongue, eyes, and head meats. On the corner of Santa Ana and Cedar in Bloomington is where Inland Empire Sinaloense get their fix of paper plates armed with a half dozen beef cheek tacos covered in chopped white onion and cilantro, and a tart, spicy green salsa.

Related Maps