In Long Beach (and, for the better part, all of LA County), Jalisco is the Mexican state most represented both culturally and cuisine-wise. East Los Angeles is a haven for Jaliscans. Long Beach’s most cherished Mexican joint, Los Compadres (be it the DTLB location or the Anaheim locale)? The most appropriate nod to the great state of Jalisco in Long Beach.
However, other holes in the Mexican food quilt of LB become clearer. Oaxaca—which once has a dedicated grub homage along 7th at Walnut with Oaxaca Mio but has since been empty—is glaringly missing from the food scene here.
And so was Sinaloa.
Enter Mariscos Los Bochones, a Sinaloense joint complete with banda, parrilladas, and mariscocos that has happily replaced the sad’n’empty joint that was Tony’s Italian Restaurant (which should have had Italian with quotes written around it because it was about as Italian as a jar of Prego).
The tostada campechana.
The county’s introduction to Sinaloa cuisine—par none—was and remains Highland Park’s El Sinaloense, part of an collection of Sinaloense restaurants where South Gate meets Highland Park—and Los Bochones has a lot to learn from its most well-known rival. But for what it’s lacking in Sinaloense offerings, particularly machaca (not the shredded beef soaked in juices that is called machaca but isn’t remotely machaca) and chilorio (a stew of shredded pork with a chile ancho sauce), it makes up for what the State of Sinaloa does best: seafood.
The Sinaloense love of seafood and drinking is best exemplified by Los Bochones’ cervezas served perronas style. (Translation: “badass style.”) What this means is that your six pack of Modelo cans will come topped with loads of shrimp, peanuts, cucumber, onion and Chamoy. In other words: wonderful, especially when paired with the tenor of Joan Sebastian from the jukebox.
Want to keep traveling on the fish train? Get the tostada campechana, a wonderfully citric blend of chilled shrimp, octopus, and imitation crab that sits atop a crisped corn tortilla. Recommended pairing includes oyster shots and an ice cold michelada made with Corona Familiar.
Of course, if you really want to get Sinaloense (besides hopping on the corrido-filled jukebox), go for one of the state’s founding dishes, the aguachile. Call it the Mexican response to Peruvian leche de tigre, this wonderful spicy’n’citric concoction is usually raw shrimp marinated in a bright green (or red, as Los Bochones has both) sauce that consists of blended chiles and lime juice. The result? Insanely addicting heat and flavor that is only second to the same dish served at the Mariscos El Faro food truck.
Or if you’re boring, get a burrito. Because they have those too. Because that’s what Americans are used to. But if you’re truly a lover of food, go Sinaloense. Perronas style.
Mariscos Los Bochones is located at 701 Long Beach Blvd.